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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…


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I’m beginning to see a trend to what I’m working on…  It’s fall!  I love fall in Michigan, though today is a bit dreary.  All the better to stay inside and create cute things and post about them!   

My candy corn cutie!

 I’ve been making these pinafore tops all summer.  With the onset of fall and all things associated, I thought the shape of the top was a bit triangular and would be really cute done as a candy corn.  I measured the length of the front of my pattern and divided by three, added an extra 1/2″ for seam allowance, and cut and sewed them together like piecing a quilt.  Then I proceeded as usual to make the pinafore top, using a cute candy corn print for the reverse side.    

Before I sewed the front to the back, I added a blanket or Parisian stitch to the yellow and orange sections to make it look applique’d, and sewed on one of my new Jennuine Design labels, since I think this might be a sample for the Etsy shop I’m planning to open soon.   

Parisian stitch

Jennuine Design label

Pardon the rumpled appearance of the finished product.  My daughter had been wearing it all morning until I borrowed it during her nap to snap some quick photos.  Plus she’s teething, so therefore a drooling maniac and the top is a bit damp.   

Finished product

Super cute and super quick!

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Arden is 18 months old!  Crazy toddler alert!



Arden is now a confident walker and working on running.  Turns out she might have struck out on her own a little earlier, but she had a persistent respiratory infection which was probably causing her ears to be congested.  As soon as we started an extended round of antibiotics at the end of June to kick out the infection, she was off to the races!  This coincided with a trip to Idaho to visit Grandma and Grandpa DeShazer, so they got to witness the developments.

gMa and gPa Sunshine flew in for a visit in July, and were here for some firsts – first fireworks, and they also got Arden her first wagon, which gPa assembled with some “help” from Arden.  We went to the Saginaw Children’s Zoo along with Uncle Jeff, Aunt Amy, and cousin Nathan.  A couple of days later she got to ride in the Kid’s University float for the Cornfest Parade.  It was a hot day, but she liked waving at everyone and ringing her cowbell.

We’ve had some garage sale and swap shop successes this quarter.  I found a play kitchen at a garage sale while I was running with Arden in the jogging stroller.  She loves it!  I made a matching play refrigerator over Labor Day weekend that she likes just as well.  I also found a play set with swings, a little climbing fort and slide on our company’s swap shop.  She climbs right up the little ladder and swings in the “big kid” swings.

Along with walking and running, she also enjoys spinning, somersaults (parent-assisted), and climbing, sliding and swinging on her play set.  She likes to boogie down and entertains her friends and caregivers at daycare with her creative dance moves – she does a really cute “booty bounce”!  It’s fortunate that the dogs and cats are all very tolerant of her, as she likes to lay on whoever has the misfortune of standing still long enough for her to catch them.  If they aren’t in the proper position, she’ll grab on and try to drag them to wherever she wants them to be.  We’ve been working on “pet nicely”, and sometimes it sinks in better than others.  She also discovered that it’s fun to play spin the cat when Poe was lounging on the office swivel chair.

We started potty training “light” at one year, and in August we tried an intensive Potty Weekend.  The concept was to have her be bare bottom during the day for the entire weekend, but by the end of day one it had dissolved into a pee-on-the-floor free-for-all, and we went to training underwear for days two and three.  Much better.  She had one day where she didn’t have any accidents until bedtime, including keeping a cloth diaper dry for two trips out of the house.  Since then we’ve used the training unders some more, but she hasn’t done as good keeping them dry.  I think I’ll give a training weekend another shot in a little bit and see if it sticks more as she gets older.

We had a play date with Arden’s friend Ethan to LeCronier’s Baby Acres, a local petting farm.  Arden had a ball with all the animals, though she was so fixated on the kittens in the beginning that she hardly noticed the more exotic animals like chicks, goats, sheep, piglets, bunnies, chickens and peacocks.  After a little while she caught on that there were other animals, and even formed an odd attachment to one particular chicken.  He/she was not so keen on being caught by a screeching toddler.  She even went on the barrel train ride and rode in a barrel painted like a sheep.  Ethan was not so fond of the ride.

Arden had her first visit to the dentist.  Dr. LeBlanc looked in her mouth at all 12 of her teeth and said everything looked fine.  She did pretty well, but is not a fan of anyone looking in her mouth.  Her favorite part was the kid’s play area. 

She’s using a fork and spoon at meals with pretty good success.  She’s a proficient “scooper”, but needs help with “poking”.  Sometimes she cheats and uses her fingers while still holding the fork.  I guess that counts as using it.

Arden had her first pony ride on Sweet Pea, my cousin Angel’s pony, at our annual chicken BBQ family reunion this year.  Arden had a ball, but she was laughing so much it made Sweet Pea nervous.  She also got her first hay ride that day.

This weekend, Arden and I attended a friend’s Annual End of Summer BBQ.  We got to take a break from the demolition, and Arden got to hang out with her friend Hannah.  I dressed Arden in one of her little pinafores – one of the products I plan to sell on Etsy.  I think they’re adorable, but I had no idea they would be so popular at the BBQ.  Nearly every other mother at the party commented on it, and when I said I made it at least two people said I should sell them, to which I replied “I’m planning to!”.  If I had been really on the ball, I would have already had business cards to hand out, but since that’s about the last thing I still need to do before opening the shop (besides sewing and taking photos), I won’t beat myself up too much about it.


Back view while the girls say good-bye to departing guests

One of my intended products for my eventual Etsy store Jennuine Design will be reversable pinafore tops.  I’ve made several for Arden and one as a gift for a friend and they sew up very quickly.  Arden’s nursery is ladybug-themed, so my mom was eyeing up all the novelty prints at Joanne’s, but I wasn’t going for them at all.  Then we found this adorable and way more subtle print with little cute ladybugs.  The reverse fabric is multicolored polka dots on black – the best we found for not showing through the white background of the print.  I’ve made a matching kerchief, but don’t have photos of that.  Way too cute!

Arden modeling her newest pinnie

Playing shy


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