29 April 2015

A World of Support for Charlotte: A Modern Around the World Quilt

My most recent quilt is now in the hands of a little girl who I've never met. Her name is Charlotte, and she is the niece of my dear friend, Misha. She also happens to be waging an incredibly brave battle against liver cancer that started when she was all of 15 months old. I've been following her story here and haven't been able to get her and her family off of my mind. So I made Charlotte a quilt to give her comfort during her treatments and a place to have a picnic when she's not.

I chose to do a modern take on the traditional around the world pattern (inspired by this quilt) to represent all of the support around the world for Charlotte and her family. I went with bright rainbow solids and a fun Japanese kitty print for the back.

Keep fighting, sweet Charlotte!

27 April 2015

Elliott - Eight Months Old

We are into my favorite stage at our house. Elliott is eight months old and both learning new things and showing more preferences each day. George put it well when he recently told a new parent that, from about six months to two years, it is constantly getting better and better. After that, it gets rough, and we're not through that period with Madeleine yet. But Mr. E is at a happy place, so yay!

Let's start with eating, which is one of Elliott's favorite things. He is a good eater, consuming more or less the same thing as the rest of the family. Most meals consist of something(s) that Elliott feeds himself (cheese stick, vegetable sticks, banana, mango, toast, small pieces of meat, etc.) and something(s) that I feed him on a spoon for the sake of neatness and getting it into his mouth (soup, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.). His pincher grasp has started developing the last week or two, and that is doing wonders for his eating. It's so fun to watch him concentrate, make contact, pinch, and then shove the food into his mouth! We started seeing his allergist this month, who confirmed that he's allergic to eggs and identified him as likely allergic to peanuts. Long story short, due to this very new study, Elliott was given and passed the oral challenge for peanuts, and we're now feeding him peanuts (in the form of peanut butter at this age) at least three times a week. He is positively adorable eating his little peanut butter sandwiches. 

The allergist is also an asthma doctor and diagnosed Elliott as having asthma. We now do a nebulizer breathing treatment once a day, and none of us love it. The smallest mask is a terrible fit, and it's hard to keep him still. On the up side, it is 10 minutes of pure attention to Elliott, which is a rarity for our easy-going second child. 

Elliott's prime mode of movement is still rolling, and he can roll across a room in a matter of seconds if he's motivated to do so. He wants badly to move but seems to make the most effort to do so when he's sitting upright. Speaking of sitting, he's doing that very well. I don't have any crawling predictions as he sometimes seems like he could start very soon and other times seems entirely unsure of how to begin the process. 

His language is developing nicely. He frequently babbles and says "dah dah" on repeat, but he isn't very good at realizing who "dah dah" is. Elliott has starting signing for milk when we sit down in the nursing chair in his room and also other times when he wants fed, like when sitting at the table and watching food being brought to everyone else. He hates having his food presented last. He's not signing for more or all done, but I think he's starting to make a noise like "mah" when I ask him if he wants more. With Elliott, the answer is always yes, more. 

We had a rough patch in the sleeping department about three weeks ago. I had to let him do some crying one night, and it's been better ever since. I'm expecting the next rough patch to start any day now, as that has been Elliott's MO for his entire life. When he's sleeping well, Elliott will nap for an hour or two in the morning and two or three hours in the afternoon, followed by overnight sleep from about 7:30 or 8pm until 7am or so. 

Elliott is grabbing, squirming, and engaging in his environment more every moment. He started to clap this month, and he does so with wild abandon at every opportunity. We're working on high fives and waving, and I'm betting he'll be able to do them by next month...especially with his big sister as his tutor. He loves playing with Madeleine, even when she is tackling him or otherwise being far too rough. They are so incredibly sweet together. 

Speaking of sweet, here's our Elliott:

10 April 2015

Friday I'm in Love: Mother's Day Gift Guide

With Mother's Day a month away, I thought I'd share some loves that would make great gifts for your favorite mother. 

1 - The ladies behind Pretty Prudent (formerly Prudent Baby) have recently released a new book, which I think would be a great coffee table book and inspiration for the mother who enjoys making her home beautiful and cozy.

2 - This (pricey) foot treatment made it on Oprah's Favorite Things list last Christmas, and I can't think of a better way for busy mothers to make their feet soft and beautiful just in time for warmer weather.

3 - Clover clips are such a handy tool for the sewing mother. They're safer than traditional pins, which can easily fall and get lost on the floor until they're found by little fingers and toes, and they can do double duty as kid entertainment once kiddos are old enough to not chew on them.

4 - If there is one thing mothers do a lot, it's wash their hands...and that can easily lead to seriously dry hands. I always grab a tube of this good stuff when I'm at the L'Occitane outlet.

5 - Glassybaby is a feel-good way to help a busy mother unwind after a long day. You can send a special message with their clever names, too.

Another favorite idea is this one: No More Mother's Day Cards. And never underestimate those inexpensive but thoughtful gifts, like getting up with the kids while she gets an extra hour or two of sleep, a heart-felt note of admiration, or a keepsake made by your little one(s).

How are you celebrating the mothers in your life this year?

Be sure to check out what the other ladies are loving this Friday, too: MishaKendraMary BethLaura, and (welcome!) Aileen.

05 April 2015

Happy Easter!

It has become something of a tradition to capture our littlest one in eggs at Easter. This year, she was happy to have the fun left to Elliott, and he was more than happy to splash in the eggs.

I dare you to not smile at this guy.  Happy Easter!

Check out Madeleine in 2013 and 2014.

03 April 2015

Friday I'm in Love

I hope this finds you having a great week! I have a few things I'm loving today.

ONE: Modern Twist Placemats

This alphabet one was given to us as a baby gift when Madeleine was born, and we have gotten so much use out of it. The silicone is easy to wash, gives some traction to her dishes, and still looks as brand new as the day it arrived. This particular mat has been good for animal identification and now letter identification. I recently ordered some more mature mats for the kitchen table, and they are proving to be pretty terrific, too.

TWO: Summer Wedges

I'm a huge fan of wedges and have been on a mission to find something stylish and comfortable for the next several months. I tried on these ones on a whim, and I love them.

THREE: Misha's Upholstered Chair

Yesterday, Misha shared this amazing DIY upholstery job that she just finished. If you're thinking about taking on a project like this, check out her detailed info. Even if you're not, check it out for some serious inspiration. Wow!

Be sure to check out what the other ladies are loving this Friday, too: MishaKendraMary Beth, and Laura

02 April 2015

March 2015 Recap

I'll be honest, March can be summed up with two words: too busy. I'm actually pretty surprised that I have so many pictures because I felt like so much of the month was spent with our heads down, going from one thing to the next. 

We started the month with a hike on this beautiful day. 

When things get too busy, this girl's sass kicks it up a notch. 

We checked out the zoo with Misha and Miss E on a sunny Friday. 

This guy soaked up the zoo until just a few minutes before we needed to leave. 

So much fun eating in March.

But it's not so fun getting an allergic reaction. This was just the beginning.

We love our yard and "special park."

There's always a story to be told, a song to sing, or a why question to ask.

It's a privilege to end my days this way.

Both kiddos ended up with ear infections. E showed us by having massively disrupted sleep while M had an afternoon of fever and lethargy. I enjoyed the cuddles while it lasted.

A couple hours and an episode of Daniel Tiger later, and she was doing this. 

This guy has started going after toys and sitting well in the last week or two.

I finally hung up these photos. Recognize that girl on the left?

Looks like Madeleine's and Cooper's little siblings are going to be buddies just like they are.

I leave you with Elliott's version of one of my favorite YouTube videos* of all time:

Hopefully April will leave us a little more time to slow down.

*Sad post script to the video.