Friday, April 29, 2011

Being Chloe

It seems we do not take as many pictures as we used to, so here is a mix mash of the last weeks activities.

We uncovered a long lost toy from Andrew's childhood at the warehouse.  It is a discovery toys marble maze.  Oh my gosh I had the exact same one when I was little too, and now Chloe gets to play with it too!  She LOVES putting the marbles in and watching them go all the way to the bottom.  This occupied her for at least an hour straight when we first got it out.  Now a few weeks later she still wants to play with it!  Honestly it has been super fun for me and Andrew to play with it too!

On the weekends we get the paper, and Chloe has become accustomed to "reading" the comics.  Although have any of you read them lately?  They are not funny at all....I thought I remembered them being funnier when I was little.  

Chloe also likes to do the dishes.  Water is her all time favorite "toy".

Speaking of toys, we put some toy cars in her easter basket and she loves them!  She loves anything with wheels:  trains, busses, trucks, bikes.  She does not discriminate!  Don't you just love this super cool shirt she is wearing?!  On my surprise girls trip to Portland, Amber and I made them for our girls with her silhouette machine.  It is like a printer, but instead of printing it cuts!  I love it!  We made a few shirts with plans for many many more next time I am down!
 This is another shirt we made.  Chloe is modeling it during her post-nap cheese and apples snack.
 And here is the back of the shirt..........  I am not sure why Chloe's pants are off, but now that she knows how to take them off on her own there is no telling what she will be wearing when I turn around.
 Here is Chloe realizing that I am taking pictures of her.  "NO pictures Mama!!!!!!"
She realized she was caught in the act.  It is funny, sometimes she loves the camera, and other times she is so not having it!  Obviously photo time was over for this day!  Luckily after bedtime all is forgotten and the next day begins with giggles and a fresh start.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Surprise trip

Recently I went off on a whirlwind surprise girls trip planned by my wonderful amazing spectacular husband, Andrew.  He stayed home with Chloe while I was whisked away to Portland where Amber picked me up for 3 days of non-stop fun.  I did not bring a camera, but luckily Amber is a professional photographer so she managed to take a few photos in between our late nights on the town, awesome meals, shopping, foot massages and constant art and crafting fun.  

This is the massive hotel room Andrew got for us a the Benson in downtown Portland.  Only problem was that they did not have a room with two beds (even though we called several times letting them know that was what we needed).  Good thing Amber is such a good friend!  

 Here I am at Barefoot sage, getting an amazing 1 1/2 hr spa package courtesy of Amber (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!) including A salt water foot bath, a 30 minute lower leg and foot massage and a soothing paraffin dip.  AMAZING!!!  Pardon the i-phone photo.

 On my last day right before we went to the airport I posed for an impromptu photo shoot in the Pearl District.  You can all of see the pictures on Amber's website.  Ah it was the busiest and most relaxing few days I have had in a long time!  Thanks Andrew!  I came back totally refreshed, and a little exhausted.  It was perfect.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

knitting is my new addiction

So, as you may remember I said that I wanted to knit my own Christmas stockings this year.  Well I have made progress and to my amazement figured out how to do it!  Thanks to all of the help over the phone from Amber and from you-tube tutorials I have some finished stockings!  They are really big, and super bright and happy.  I have two more to go, but got distracted by other fun projects so they are on the back burner for now.
You can see the scale here.  Chloe could almost fit in one of these they are so awesomely big!

 This is one of my distractions.  My first ever sweater!  You can get the free pattern here!  I made this for my adorable pregnant friend Amy and her soon to be born baby girl.  I made the arms extra long so she could fold them up now, and fold them down later for a much longer sweater lifespan.  I absolutely love the bright colors in this noro yarn.  I actually loved this sweater SO MUCH that I went out and bought even more of the same yarn and made a bigger sweater for Chloe.  It looks super cute on and I will post some of those pictures later on!
 I had also been wanting to do a Baby Surprise Jacket designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  I found a preemie pattern online and decided to use that one, since I wanted to use a thicker yarn and was afraid if I made the regular baby size it would be way too big.  I love how it turned out and can't wait to see it on our little baby girl once she arrives!  I was right about the sizing too.  It looks like about 3 month size (from what I remember of tiny baby sizes).  I think I will try the long sleeve modification next time, since we do live in Alaska after all!  I used noro yarn for this too and love how the colors turned out.  The quality of this yarn is so far above the quality of stuff you can buy at Michaels or other craft stores.  I will NEVER again buy nylon yarn. NEVER EVER!
I am having so much fun learning to knit!  I have made a few hats along the way too, and will be making more soon!  I am so glad that I went beyond my comfort zone of scarfs and blankets.  The outcomes are so much more rewarding.  Although I am still a super beginner, I feel like I am off to a pretty good start! To anyone who wants to start knitting I say: you-tube is your best friend!!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Melting snow

Finally!! We can see some concrete! The days are getting warmer and the snow is slowly but surely melting away! For some reason these last few weeks of winter seem to take just forever to go away. There is still no visible grass in our yard, but some of our neighbors have some peeking out. We have been doing nightly walks after dinner, and it is the best part of the day- by FAR.
No matter how stressed I have been during the day (which is usually pretty frigging stressed lately), it all just melts away as we get away on our adventures.

Chloe has grown extremely fond of puddles and wants to be in them all of the time. We just bought rain pants for her yesterday so she could splash to her heart's content. The rain boots help but the way this little girl puddle dives we may need to get hip waders!
"Chase you Daddy" (or Mommy or Chloe) is a new game that results in lots of running, laughing and squealing. "Got you!"

"Chase you!" She says this when she wants us to chase her too. I think it is because we say 'Do you want me to chase you?'

There are swings in the little neighborhood park. Also a fav. Although I do have to say I must be old because swinging is no longer as fun as it used to be. I get dizzy after only a few minutes! Maybe I need more practice, or more dramamine :)
I wish there was audio with this pic. Chloe is squealing super loud! A lot of noise comes from those tiny lungs. Maybe opera is in her future.
Next stop after swinging was a quick walk home, bubble bath for Chloe and bed time stories. Another perfect night.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Snowy day activity

We are still here, and this little baby girl in my belly is kicking happily away. It has been snowy and slushy and snowy and slushy lately so I have had to be a little more creative than usual finding fun activities to do. Don't get me wrong Chloe absolutely loves to go outside and play but it is Mommy who wants to branch out!

I don't know about other parents, but for me cleaning up the house is a constant and never ending chore. Lately I have noticed that crayons are a major contributing culprit. They hide everywhere. I wanted to put a stop to the madness of broken crayon bits strewn about. I remember when I was a kid my parents melted down the bits into giant crayons. They didn't remember how they did it, so I headed off with an idea, in search of a way to make it a reality. This is what I came up with!

Step 1: soak crayons in warm water, and the wrappers magically come off. The colorful wrappers were so vibrant and beautiful that I decided to dry and save them for later use in a painting. (The first attempt at this left me scraping and peeling off the wrappers for hours- warm water worked miracles!)
Step 2: rinse off the crayons and make sure any glue residue is removed. Chloe liked this step the best. Normally I would estimate about a minute or two on this, but Chloe made it into a 30 minute affair. Parenting tip: put towels under the "work station".
Step 3: break up the crayons into little pieces and mix however you want. I used a silicone brownie square mold to make my crayons but anything would probably work! Just make sure it is silicone so you can pop those puppies out when they are done.
Step 4: bake in the oven at low heat until all of the bits are melted
Step 5: Pop out the squares after they are cooled and solidified and play with your new crayons!
I did notice a little bit of the unpigmented wax accumulate on the tops of each of the squares so I just trimmed that off with a paring knife so that when Chloe colored she would see pigmented wax, not clear wax.

As for de-cluttering this worked wonders. NO broken crayons anywhere. Plus they are fun to color with :) This project was so much fun I went out and bought several boxes of new crayons to make even more colorful squares.

So much fun!