Feeling Fallspired – Part 2

Continued from part 1

The Burlap

After doing some research on the different ways I could cut my table runner down to size without having to deal with fraying edges in the near future, I settled on two options:

  • Using a mixture of 1 part mod podge and 1 part water
  • Using some double-sided tape

Since I didn’t have any double-sided tape, but I did have mod podge (well, sort of) I decided to start off with testing that.  I put my burlap runner down over some wax paper and mixed some school glue and water together in a 1:2 proportion (accidentally making mod podge in the process).  Then, using a small sponge, I applied a generous amount of the mixture across my burlap (I made sure to saturate the fabric so that I didn’t have to turn it over and apply on the other side as well.  After that, I hung my runner on the clothesline to dry.

You know what?  It worked! :!: (to my surprise)

Then, it was just a question of measuring out the length of burlap that I wanted and starting over with the mod podge before cutting it down to size.

Enter Pinterest

Of course, no decoration project is complete without the collaboration of Pinterest.  So off I went in search of a manageable Autumn wreath to make.

And then, I saw this:

Not exactly a wreath, but oh so cute!

Not exactly a wreath, but oh so cute!

I immediately knew that I had to make this.  I also knew that following its confection, one of 2 things were going to happen:

1.  It would become a super cute decoration that I could reuse year after year.

2.  It would be relegated to the cemetery of Pinterest Fails

I started out by finding buying the required amount of canning jar rings, 25 to be exact (ok, truth: I only bought two packs of 12 ’cause I had one ring lying around at home) and a pack of cinnamon sticks.

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Then, I cut out a long piece of sting and strung my rings (all facing in the same direction) onto my string before trying to tie it.  The moment of truth was about to be revealed, I crossed my fingers for it to work.

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Imagine my surprise when it worked!  On the first try!  (Notice the piece of string still attached to the ring.  Though the original tutorial call for cutting it, I suggest keeping it attached to aid in the next step).

Once my pumpkin shape was finished, I fished an old can of spray pain from my art supplies.  I’d bought a black chalkboard paint aaaaages ago and thought that the matte black finish would look great.  I went out on the balcony, held my art project by the string and spray painted it.  Then, I made good use of my clothesline once more to let the paint dry.

Once dry, it was time to add the stem (a bunch of cinnamon sticks) and the leaves and showcase it on the shelf at the top of our entrance stairs.  (The pumpkin has since been replaced by a butternut squash as it is now in this pie).

I’m thinking that this pumpkin craft could be fun to do with little (but not too little ones).  Perhaps, the canning jar rings could be replaced with a slinky.  Hum…will have to give that a try.

It felt so good to get involved in an art project again.  It seems that in the process of building a family, I have somewhat forgotten myself.

Are there things that you loved to do pre-kids and haven’t taken the time to do in too long?  What is the last Pinterest project that you have tackled?

Ten Thought Tuesday: September 30th

TTT

  1. Little Dude’s back at daycare today for the first time since his big allergic reaction.  He was super happy to see his sitter and friends when he got there.
  2. The hardest part for him wasn’t even the intense itching (he’s such a trooper!), but the fact that we weren’t allowing him to touch his sister for the first couple of days because we weren’t sure of what he had and whether he was contagious or not.
  3. He’s been catching up on his big brother cuddles though since getting the green light to hug, kiss and hold his little sister.
  4. Before being called by my son’s daycare provider last Friday, I managed to finish cutting my burlap table runner to size and found a way to keep the edges from fraying.  You can find out how on tomorrow’s post.
  5. Now that the little guy is doing better, I’m motivated to get back into the kitchen.  Yesterday, I made an awesome pumpkin pie and today I’m making a leek, butternut squash and cauliflower potage (yum!).
  6. The dada is also going to be able to stain the balcony today!
  7. It’s rather impressive: we recently added one child to our family, yet my laundry has multiplied by 10.  How did that happen?
  8. I’m probably going to go out and take a walk with baby girl today.  After pretty much being cooped up all weekend (’cause, as we know, mommies are the ones kids want when they’re sick), I need to get out and move around.
  9. Though she’s gotten better at taking more time to drink, Amélie still gets overenthusiastic when she drinks sometimes and ends up covering me, herself, her nursing pillow and the burp cloth in projectile spitup *facepalm*.  This is particularly fun when it happens in the middle of the night :roll:.
  10. That’s it!  I’m off to the kitchen to get cooking! :D

Care to share some random thoughts today?

Updates!

So today was Amélie’s 1 month check-up.  Since her brother had had a mysterious illness over the weekend, we decided to bring him along as well to get him checked out.  It turns out that the pediatrician took more time with Charles than she did with Amélie.

ImageI commented a couple of days ago about how baby girl suddenly didn’t fit into her newborn clothing anymore.  It’s little wonder though as she is now measuring 54.5cm.  That means that in 14 days she grew 4.5cm (or almost 2 inches).  Holy crap!  Now that’s what I call a growth spurt.  She also gained 780g (or 1 pound and 11 oz).  It would seem that mama has got some pretty darned good milk.

As for Charles, well, the pediatrician was absolutely flabbergasted when she saw him and heard what had happened since last Friday.  She immediately told us that it was a pretty impressive allergic reaction (hives) and urged us to talk about it with Charles’ allergist the next time we go to see her.  She is pretty certain that the reaction is in response to the amox that he took to treat an ear infection as the hives started to appear the morning after he finished his prescription.  She’s asking us to continue to give him Benadryl every 4 h until the hives are all gone and had us meet with a pharmacist to see what was the maximal dose we could give him.

Dada and I are both conked out from the stressful weekend and the little guy (who has always been super good about taking medication) now has to be forced to take his Benadryl (we suspect it’s because he associates it with the intense itch his hives cause).  No fun!

To give you an idea of the progression of the hives, here’s what our weekend looked like:

On Friday, they were just small red spots here and there.  As the day progressed, the spots got redder and larger and had raised edges.

P1000858On Saturday, the spread the continued the spots changed again and became the crater-like spots that turned blue that you see in the picture below and his eyelids became swollen after his nap.

By  Sunday, most of his body was covered by either new or old spots.  BUT at least he started to be in a good mood in the afternoon and started to play so we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Finally, this morning, we’re noticing that there don’t seem to be many new spots and the ugly red-bue ones that were there yesterday are gone.  He also actually had breakfast: his first complete meal since Friday at lunchtime (we’ve been keeping him hydrated and have managed to get him to snack a bit over the course of the weekend).  However, because of the insane amounts of Benadryl he’s been taking all weekend, he now looks like a zombie.

Image 1Oh well, we’ll get through this!  I’m just happy nothing worse happened.

So milk and now, it would seem, amoxcillin.  Here’s to hoping we don’t discover any new allergies.

What the Heck?

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Watching Cars on my computer after I brought him home early from daycare.

Warning: the following post is a rant.

Let’s play a game shall we?

The papa of a sick child with mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch calls his pediatrician’s office.  What happens?

He gets told to either make an appointment for three days later, go to a walk in clinic or go to the emergency room of a hospital.

What the heck!?

The mama of a sick child with increasingly mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch and a low fever calls the free health hotline to try to figure out what’s going on and if the child can wait a few days before seeing a doctor.  What happens?

She gets told to monitor said child’s condition and if symptoms get worse, to go to the pediatrician’s office, a walk in clinic or the emergency room of a hospital.

Sound advice

The mama and papa of an increasingly irritable child with increasingly mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch, a fever of 103F despite the administration of Tempra an hour previously, loss of appetite and the inability to walk because it hurts decide that it’s time to pay a visit to the local walk in clinic.  What happens?

When the dada arrives with said child, he is told that the schedule is full.  He is told to go to the hospital emergency room if he wants his child to be seen

What the heck!?

The dada drives to the nearest hospital with his child.  What happens?

The triage nurse tells him that he shouldn’t be there with his child,but should have driven an extra half hour to the nearest children’s hospital.

What the f*cking heck!?  Can someone please tell me why the heck i have to give 3500$ in income taxes to our province’s healthcare system if no one is willing to see my 22 month old?

Luckily, she decided that since my son was there, he should probably be treated.

Conclusion?

The doctor didn’t know what he has.

Urgh!

What.

The.

Heck!?

We’re seeing the kiddos’ pediatrician Monday for Amélie’s 1 month appointment.  We’re planning on bringing the toddler along so that we can maybe get an answer to the “what does he have” question.

After some intense googling, my partner and I are starting to think it’s hives.  Anyone else want to wager a guess?

This morning.

This morning.

Feeling Fallspiried

Though I am a rather artsy person, I’ve never been one to decorate my home.  I’ve just never found an interest in it…until recently.

Now, I don’t know if it’s because Fall has settled early here (some may say way too early, but hey, I won’t complain as I love the season), because I’m on maternity leave and need to feel as though I am more than an all-you-can-eat milk bar or if it’s the hormones, but I decided that I wanted to decorate the house a bit for Fall this time around.

I first ventured downstairs to rescue some art supplies and different sized mason jars (left over from the previous owners) from the abyss that is the cupboard under the stairs.

Sorry Harry, there ain't no room for you here.

Sorry Harry, there ain’t no room for you here.

Then, I gathered my stained-glass paint and painted my canning jars red, orange and yellow.

Initially, I was planning on adding a bit of pzazz to them, but I’m actually really pleased with the result and decided to keep them like this.

While the jars were drying, I decided to go out and fetch two missing ingredients to complete my Fall dining room decor: a burlap table runner (I’ve been wanting one of these suckers forever) and some pumpkin spice scented candles.

To my amazement, I found both!

There’s just one slight problem: the burlap runner is too long (we’re talking 10 feet long!).  I need to cut it and find a way to make sure the edges don’t fray.  I’m too lazy to get the sewing machine out from under the stairs and figure out how it works, so sewing is out of the question.  Perhaps a diluted solution of glue and water would work.  Or…maybe some no-sew glue or clear nail polish… Hum, it’s long enough that I can run a few tests before cutting it to the desired size, but if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

I guess you will have to wait until I’ve figured out how to manage my table runner before seeing the final result!  :P

What’s your favourite season?  Have you been inspired by Fall?

Wednesday’s Words of the Week: September 24th

1.  Obsessive: In the last week, I made some apple blondies, blueberry muffins, apple crumble and banana bread.  Obsessive much?

A sample of the "small" batch of banana bread I made two days ago.

A sample of the “small” batch of banana bread I made two days ago.

2.  Moo:  I’ve got a 3 week old little one at home.  I won’t elaborate more on the subject ;).

3.  Independence: They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here goes:

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Little Dude, loving the new addition to the washroom: a 2 step stool!

4.  Prevention: Just in case the toddler decides to get out of bed in the middle of the night to wash his hands…

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Safely tucked away in Amélie’s closet for the night.

5.  Brrr:  Fall is definitely here.  It arrived very suddenly two weeks ago.  We’re already heating the house!

6.  Outdoors:  I went for a walk with my partner and baby girl the other day.  It was absolutely beautiful outside!  I had Amélie in the stretchy wrap and she was very happy about it.

P1000797How would you summarize the past seven days in your life in 3 to 7 words?

TGFBW

TGFBW. 

Or, for those of you who aren’t well-versed in made-up acronyms:

Thank Goodness For BabyWearing.

Yep!

You see, yesterday evening, my partner had some training for his job.  This meant that I would be home alone with the two kiddos.  No big deal, right?  I mean, I’ve been alone with the two of them during the day for a few hours at a time, so it’s not like it was mission impossible.

So off I went, at 4pm, daughter in tow in her car seat to fetch my son at daycare.  An hour later (yes, my daycare is far away), I was back home.  I had planned on making some nice pan fried sole with some rice and steamed veggies for supper.  The problem is that when I got home, both the baby and the toddler were hungry.  Luckily, I had made some banana muffins earlier during the day, so I gave the little guy a mini muffin and set him up in front of some Baby Einstein as I nursed Amélie.

Once baby girl was fed, I put her in her basket and started to get everything out to make supper.  The thing is, by then it was already half past 5 and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to get everything done by 6pm.  The little guy was tiring of Baby Einstein, the newborn was resolutely not sleeping and I was getting hungry (and we all know what happens when the mama is hungry, right?!).  I decided to heat up some of the previous evening’s supper (macaroni & ground beef in a tomato sauce) in a pan and stick some homemade chicken nuggets in the oven.  I then cut up a red bell pepper into strips for good measure (’cause we all need our veggies, right?).

As my son and I sat down to eat our very healthy and well-balanced on-the-fly meal, the baby (or “that”, as my son like to affectionately call her) decided she wasn’t content to look at the sides of her basket anymore and became vocal about it.  Then again, who can blame her?  I mean, I’m pretty sure that just like her brother did at the same age, she thinks the collection of brown polka-dots are nipples and wonders why the heck she can’t get any milk out of them.

I finished my supper with baby girl in my arms.

Everything was looking great.  Then it dawned on me that I had to get my son ready for bed.  That meant, bath-taking, antibiotic-taking, teeth brushing, diaper changing, getting into pyjamas…and I had a newborn that was acting as though she hadn’t eaten in years.  Oy!

And then, ding, light bulb moment! :idea:

I grabbed my ring sling, popped my breast out and positioned baby girl so that I could nurse her hands-free.  I decided to forsake the bath as the toddler let me know very clearly that he did not want to go and I very clearly did not want to create a tantrum (you pick your battles, eh!?).  Miraculously, I managed to get everything else done without a hitch in time for Little Dude’s 7pm bedtime!

The best part about all of this?  Amélie fell asleep in the sling as I was getting her brother ready for bed.

YES!

5 Toddler-Approved Activities To Do In Or Around The House

Toddler Approved final

Toddlers can be a lot of fun…provided you have some activities to keep them occupied.  And, let’s face it, toys are good and all, but toddlers seem to prefer the novelty of new activities (or at least, mine does).  Going to play centers and on other outings can be super fun, but outings like those can get expensive and so are generally reserved for special occasions.  The great thing about toddlers is that they love to learn new things.  In that spirit, I’ve put together a list of five activities that I have done on numerous occasions with my toddler.  They are all toddler-approved (well, approved by my toddler anyways).

1.  Water-painting

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It doesn’t get any simpler than this, folks.  All you need is water, a paintbrush and a container.  This no-mess activity is always sure to get my toddler happy.  We usually go out on the balcony and he has fun “painting” the various surfaces he finds including the wood, brick, patio set and patio door.  This is ideal on a hottish to hot day.

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2.  Going to the local library

I don’t know about your toddlers, but mine loves stories so it was only a question of time before I brought him to the local library.  This activity is no-cost for us as we can easily walk to the library (I put him in his little wagon and pull him for the 20 minute walk) and taking out books is free for the residents of our city.  All you need is a citizen card (which is free of charge).

Carte citoyen3.  Have some fun in the kitchen

The first time I brought Charles into the kitchen with me was when he started solids at 6 months of age.  Of course, back then, he was content to sit on the counter and hold onto the food while I got everything ready.

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Is it messy?  You bet!

Does it take a longer time than doing it sans toddler?  Absolutely!

Is it worth it?  There is no doubt in my mind!

Besides the joy at being allowed to do a “grown-up” activity and the pride at being able to prepare his food by himself, it’s also a great activity to hone fine motor skills.  Here are a few shots of Charles preparing his cheese-less mini pizzas.

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4.  Get artsy

Our little guy loves to draw.  In our bookcases, we keep a box of crayons atop a stack of paper.  When he feels like drawing, he grabs his art material and settles down somewhere (on the ground, at his little table, at the dining room table…) to create some toddler masterpieces.

Besides drawing/coloring, finger-painting is also a hit.

P1000817I went ahead and bought a set of ten small crayola gouache bottles and have turned this potentially very messy activity into a limited mess one by shaking the bottle to get some paint in the cap and handing over only the cap to my toddler.

When he’s tired of working with a certain color, I wipe his fingers with a damp washcloth and start over with another color.  I’d say that this technique allows for some pretty nifty results, wouldn’t you?

The next Van Gogh perhaps?

The next Van Gogh perhaps?

5.  Go out and about

Going for walks is an activity that my son really enjoys.  He likes it even more when the walk leads to the local playground or some puddles.  Spending some time outside where he can have the freedom to run around, push his limits (think going down a big kid slide on his own), discover fabulous things (like acorns, sticks and ladybugs) is an awesome way to get him to spend some pent-up energy and sleep well during the night.

What do you do when it’s raining and your toddler insists that he wants to go outside and you want to stay inside?

Stick him on the balcony! ;)

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What are some of your toddler’s favourite activities to do in or around the house?

Don’t Dress the Toddler When You’re Hungry

Most of the time, my son is absolutely adorable.  I mean, how can you not love the quest for independence, the tender love he has for his sister, his charming smile and big blue eyes or his profound fascination with vehicles?  Heck, even the mini (and not so mini) tantrums he throws in an effort to develop (and showcase) his assertiveness are adorable in their own way.

There are some moments, though, where I’m just too tired or hungry or hormonal to put up with his antics.

You see, my son seems to think that anytime is good for playtime.  Of course, that can be explained by the fact that, well, he’s a toddler.  He likes it when his father or I run after him and pretend we’re not able to catch him.  It’s a fun game, except when I’ve been sleeping in increments of 90 minutes, haven’t had breakfast yet and he decides to play this game when I have to get him dressed within a certain time frame as was the case last Friday.  Yikes!

I tried to be a good sport and be patient as I ran after him.  I tried to laugh with him as I caught him and brought him to his room.  I tried to distract him with his stuffed animals as I changed his dirty diaper to avoid the mother of all tantrums.  When that didn’t work out and I still had to suffer through the kicks and screams of a very vocal and unhappy toddler (which, on a side note, seems to be my cue to start potty training with him as it is a recurrent event), I tried to stay patient and calm with him.

But I could feel my own emotions starting to overwhelm me as I hung on to my last nerve for dear life.

I started to get him dressed, fighting him to get his clothes on as he alternated between going limp limp a rag doll, twisting and turning, kicking and screaming, trying to run away from me and generally doing everything in his power to make the seemingly simple task of putting a few pieced of clothes on him as hard as possible for me.  And then, as though he could feel that I was on the verge of losing it, he decided to find that last nerve of mine and trample it into nothingness.

And I cracked.

I cracked.  I yelled at him to stay put.  Yelled at him to stop moving around.  Yelled at him to listen to mommy.

And he did, through tears and his own voice screaming my name over and over again as I finished dressing him.  By the end of the near 20 minutes it took me to get him changed and dressed, we pretty much both looked like this:

P1000763I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him I loved him.  But I felt guilty.  Soooooo guilty at yelling at him like I did.  But it happened and I can’t go back in time.  And I am just human, perfection doesn’t exist.  All I can do is know that I love both my kids to death and hope to do better next time.

But damn, this parenting thing is hard some days.