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The best laid plans must at times be put aside, and then somehow, everything works out anyways!  Arden was sent home yesterday from daycare, vomiting with a stomach virus that had been going around.  She threw up every hour or so until 10:30 at night, and then slept relatively peacefully.  I had high hopes that she’d be able to go into daycare in the late morning (12 hours after last vomit), and then she had diarrhea – thus resetting the 12-hour clock. 

Mom and Dad were planning on coming over to go grocery shopping for our Thanksgiving meal anyways, so we just planned that Dad would wheel Arden around while Mom and I shopped.  She was in a remarkably good mood, and no more loose poops.  She fell asleep on my Dad for a bit, ate lunch, and then took a three-hour nap while Mom and I baked and prepped to our heart’s content.  The blue mask is because he’s allergic to the dogs, cats, and the air in general of our 90+ year-old home.

After she woke, we went to a local nursery to look at all their beautiful Christmas decorations and take pictures with Arden – a little tradition we began last year.  After Dave got home from work, Arden opened her present from Grandma & Grandpa – a Little People Farm that she LOVED!

Here’s what’s going to be on our Thanksgiving table tomorrow:

  • Turkey
  • Turkey gravy
  • Rolls
  • Pompano – Dave’s Thanksgiving fish
  • Praline sweet potatoes – recipe from Southern Living
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Stuffing (Stove Top – we’re so not purists around here!  It’s easier and we all like it pretty much as well as homemade.)
  • Broccoli cauliflower casserole
  • Pumpkin pie bars
  • Apple pie

What’s on your Thanksgiving table?

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I haven’t been posting lately because my parents are in town visiting and I’ve been busy spending time with them.  One of the activities my Mom and I did was to attend a Christmas Card Extravaganza at a local stamp and craft store.  We made 16 cards, and got caught up on the current cardmaking techniques.  I like to make cards, but I usually only did annual Christmas cards and I would buy just what I needed to complete my card.  We felt extremely “outclassed” by all the tote-wielding attendees who had enough gear to fill up the trunk of my Nissan Rogue – for stamping!  Anyways, we got to Cuttlebug, emboss, embellish and Stickle to our hearts content. 

Some of my favorites:

Mom and I have already agreed that we would send each other the snowflakes one so we would end up with one of our favorites if we send them all out.  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I finished my knitting project – “Upside-down Daisy” pattern found in Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson.  It’s probably been about a year since I last knitted anything, so I was a little bit rusty.  I’m not sure if I did something wonky or if it’s just that I was knitting in the round that the whole thing’s a tad slanty.  Regardless, I think it turned out cute and Arden has already been putting it to good use today, though the weather here in Michigan is surprisingly warm and she probably doesn’t really need a hat.

I’ll be linking up to some of the parties in my Linky Party Directory.

Arden thoroughly enjoyed her first foray into the world of trick-or-treating.  Aside from a mini-meltdown while donning her costume, she got right into the groove of things.  We only went to a couple of neighbors and nearby friends houses, but she quickly figured out how to hold out her little pumpkin bag and then check to see what went inside.  When we got home, she trick-or-treated to Daddy and then dumped out her bag of goodies on the floor.

Checking out her lit Jack O' Lantern

 

I got a lucky shot of Arden sitting on the steps to our side door.  Nothing fancy, I was trying to get some cute pictures of her playing in the leaves and she wandered off – silly model leaving the photo shoot!

If you’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting much for the last little bit (it’s okay if you didn’t miss me – really!), we took a long weekend trip to Chicago.  We take the train which makes it a lot easier on Arden since she can move around a bit more and take potty breaks.

We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast – The Wicker Park Inn in… you guessed it – Wicker Park.  A very nice stay, and they were very accommodating of tiny guests which turned out to be a bit of a rarity in my Chicago B&B search.  In addition to our lovely room with ensuite bathroom, they have a cute little courtyard for guests.  Arden took advantage of the courtyard for a snack of pumpkin bread from Red Hen and some playtime.  The little bug car is a toy from when I was a baby, we call them “gigglers”.

We went to Navy Pier and Arden went on both her first carousel ride and her first Ferris wheel ride.  She enjoyed both very much!  I’m not really afraid of heights; I just fear I’ll do something stupid and trip and fall over the railing – it’s called autophobia.  Needless to say I was happy to mostly concentrate on trying to get pictures of Arden.  The last picture is Arden at breakfast the next morning.

On Sunday we went to the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier.  We all had a blast!  She kept organizing the orange cones in the firefighters area and went down the fire pole about ten times.  I think I was enjoying the fossil dig more than she was – she took off before we could uncover our dinosaur skeleton!

On Monday morning we went to the playground at Wicker Park to let Arden run off some energy before we headed back to Union Station.  It was nice to talk with some other mothers while Arden played, though we received some envious comments when I started to describe our yard and the dogs running around the playset.  It seems there’s upsides and downsides to both city and suburban living…

I don’t have any fun projects completed to post, so I’ll just do a quick wrap up of what’s been going on.

We broke ground – literally – on our garage reconstruction.  On Thursday, they took out the old slab, dug for the footings, and put in the foundation walls.  We’re using a treated lumber foundation instead of block cement.  It’s pretty interesting to see.  My brother Jeff is taking a class that was discussing treated lumber foundations, so he came out and took some photos.  On Friday, they backfilled and compacted the fill sand.  The framing and concrete guys are working on other jobs right now, so they’re not expected for a week and a half or so.  But, great progress!

Also on Friday, Arden dissapeared into the breakfast nook and was awfully quiet for a minute, so I went to go find her.  We’ve learned that when things get quiet, somethings up!  Arden had taken all her soft toys out of one of the Tub Trugs we use to store her toys in and dragged it into the kitchen and climbed in.  Of course I grabbed the camera instead of helping her out!

Saturday was CMU’s homecoming, so I took Arden.  I got there just at the right time to get a tour of my sorority house and a cup of coffee before the parade started.  Arden’s favorites were the horse drawn carriages and floats with dogs.  That’s my girl!  I took some photos of her at the house – can I brag a bit about the shirt I made for her, and the sweater I knitted when I was pregnant?  That sweater has fit her (okay, it’s a little small now) for about a year – totally worth the time it took to knit!

After we got home from the parade, I got started on the chairs I showed you from the ReStore.  I got the seat off one and sanded it down.  I probably got a bit ambitious with the sander since I’m going to prime and paint them, but oh well.  I’ve also been working a bit each day on a cow costume for a friend’s son.  I’m pretty excited about how it’s turning out.  I had to use a devil costume pattern since I couldn’t find a toddler cow pattern, and I’m appliquéing (is there actually a verb for appliqué?) on the cow spots since the only cow fabric I found was novelty cotton and not thick enough to keep him warm.  So, I’m using fleece and getting creative with my scissors while watching chick flicks – my husband had started watching Step Up, it wasn’t my idea!  Yes, my husband has — um — varied taste in entertainment!  I guess it’s all fair, since I like to craft, sew, quilt, and knit and also am into marathons, adventure races, and Muay Thai kickboxing.

Arden’s not an exceptionally squirmy sleeper, but she does move around enough to get uncovered and often wakes up cold.  We use sleep sacks – Aden + Anais have nice muslin ones that work great, especially in the summer when you just need a little something – but there are never arms on sleepsacks.  So, I thought I could figure out some kind of a solution to the problem.

My approach to this went through a couple of iterations.  First I was planning to sew buttons to the fitted sheet and then do buttonholes to attach the flat sheet.  I figured I’d have to be sure and use extra-large buttons to ensure they weren’t a choking hazard if one should happen to come off.  I was also concerned that she’d end up lying on top of a hard button and wasn’t liking that so much.  Then I realized I could just use ribbon and not have to worry about buttons at all.  So here’s a little tutorial on how I made stay-put toddler bedding:

What you need:

  • Fitted crib sheet(s)
  • Flat crib sheet
  • About 1 ½ yards of ribbon
  • Sewing machine that can make buttonholes
  • Cute toddler!

I started by first making a cozy crib-size blanket out of snuggle chenille.  We’ve got some super-soft and cuddly blankets that Arden loves, but none are hardly any bigger than her and I wanted this to be a mini-version of an adult bed (minus a pillow).  I also had to make her a flat sheet.  The only place I’ve seen flat sheets for toddler beds is part of a set that includes a comforter and I want to use the blanket from her crib set as a coverlet.  I found a white twin sheet on clearance for $4.99 at Target and cut that down to size, finishing the new edges to match the original.

Tacking Ribbon

Next, I tacked 18″ lengths of ribbon to the bottom corners of the fitted sheets – about 1″ in from the end of the pocket seams. 

And another set about 25″ up towards the middle edges of the mattress.  This length is about the distance from Arden’s feet to her chin.  This way she shouldn’t be able to get her head stuck under the stay-put part of the blanket.

Buttonholes

Then I made pairs of buttonholes on the flat sheet to match the placement of the ribbons on the fitted sheet.  On the top set, I made them about 1 ½” closer to the edge of the sheet so I wouldn’t be pinning her tight to the bed.  My machine does automatic buttonholes using the button to set the length.  I just found a button the same width as my ribbon to guide the machine.

Ribbons Pulled Through Buttonholes

I tucked in the sheet and pulled the ribbons up through each of the buttonholes and tied a bow.

I left the outside center tie undone so we can put her into bed and tie it closed.  I had originally planned to do buttonholes on the blanket as well, but I decided that wasn’t necessary.  As long as the sheet stayed on top of her, the blanket should as well.

I couldn’t resist a gratuitous cute toddler photo of our test run.  She seems to like it, and is snoozing soundly while I put this post together.  I’ll add ribbons to the rest of her sheets, and probably make up another flat sheet with the buttonholes.  Don’t you just love it?  I know I do!

I’ll be linking up to the parties in my Linky Party Directory.

I finished Arden’s Halloween costume!  This was so much fun to do.  I also got to try out the embroidery features on my new machine by adding “Chef Arden” to the hat band.  I’m so happy with the embroidery and other features on my Janome Memory Craft 9700 that I’ve decided to name it.  She will henceforth be known as Jane.

Jane's fine work

Pardon the lint, but I think it turned out really neat.  I’m also debating on putting a pocket on the sleeve with the same embroidery.  I did a test run and the piece is large enough to make into a pocket, but I’d have to mostly hand sew it since the sleeves are already together.  I’m also planning to make an oven mitt to go with the costume and become part of her play kitchen.

I also played around with Picnik for the first time.  I don’t expect a camera upgrade in my future anytime soon, so I need to make due with what I’ve got – a Canon PowerShot A570 IS.  I like the watermarks I see on a lot of other blog posts so I added A Jennuine Life to mine.  I also did some fixing and added a border.  What do you think?  And pocket, or no pocket?

I’ll be linking up to the parties in my Linky Party Directory.

make it wear it

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