Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep!

When I was in Steamboat for our annual ski vacation in February, I happened on a knitting shop that was closing (they're in Ski Time Square which is closing due to development). They had great deals on everything so I picked up a little hard-backed book with instructions for knitting various baby quilts.

So, I knitted this for Small Fry. I'm not a great knitter by any means, but with a pattern, I can hold my own. I just love how this turned out...maybe next winter (when I can stand dealing with thick yarns again), I'll knit him another one!

The Family Table

One of my major "have-tos" as a mom is eating together at the dinner table. Every night, at 6:30 pm, we have dinner. Sometimes hubby is working, and sometimes we're out with family, but if we're home, we sit at the table and eat together. We've been doing this with the Monkey since the beginning.

Small Fry has sat with us too, but hasn't "eaten" at the table with us just yet...until this week. He's been eating some rice cereal (mixed with either pears or apples), and it's difficult to feed him in the bouncer. So, hubby brought up the high chair from the basement the other day, and now we've got our first table for four!

Our first family dinner with the four of us! (Oh yah, and Small Fry is crying because I got up from the table to take a picture!)

Corn yesterday and today

Just thought it was cute to compare some pics of the Monkey eating corn on the cob in August 2007 and then just a few weeks ago. (He's so cute, honestly, I just love looking at pictures of him!)



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Monkey and his Horse

We had a great day today! I've got a friend who has a horse (doesn't that sound like the beginning of a joke?), and she offered to give the Monkey a ride. My "someday" dream is to own many horses, so of course hubby and I jumped at the offer.

We had to drive about 90 minutes, just about 15 minutes north of Boulder to get there and it was totally worth it. At first, the Monkey didn't want to ride without hubby, so they went around the ring together a few times, and then we asked if he wanted to ride by himself. "Uh huh, YES" was the emphatic answer.

So, hubby hopped off the horse and there was our tiny little Monkey a top the horse (his name was Smokie). He LOVED it! I even caught some photos where I swear he looked like a little jockey in training.

We then got to feed Smokie some apples. Everyone got in on the fun, and even Small Fry woke up from his nap to pet Smokie.

After the horse ride, we went into downtown Boulder and found our former favorite park (from our college days). We had a fantastic picnic and then took a little scenic tour through town and campus - it was fun to see everything again and think back to when we lived in Boulder - pre-marriage, pre-kids. It all seems so long ago yet it was only five years ago!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Those deflated play balls I posted about the other day? They're finally done! Woo! (It's A LOT of stuffing).

Fruit & Veggies ribbon Play Ball
Sushi ribbon Play Ball

Now, I can move on to finishing up some binky bags, quilts, and of course starting to do something with that *oh so fun to look at* stack of sock monkey fabric!

Drool! I just like looking at this stack - it was hard to focus on the projects I needed to actually finish before playing with this selection of fabric!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lots of Play Balls!

One of my favorite (but most tedious to make) items is the ribbon play ball. I tend to do them in batches, especially since none of the ball is a "quick-to-do" thing. It's all hand tracing, cutting, piecing the sides one at a time and then stuffing.

So, I've now got seven balls to stuff...thought they looked funny all deflated in my studio yesterday. Check for them soon - they'll be up by Tuesday! Fruit & Veggie and Sushi themes available!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

I had in mind to get hubby something cool for Father's Day, but the man is incredibly humble and hardly ever gets ANYTHING for himself (he is consequently super difficult to shop for). So, I was going to get him a lawn trimmer/edger, but who really wants that as a gift? Plus, it's not like he's super excited when I spend money.

So, instead of buying something because it was a way to recognize the holiday, I decided to have the Monkey participate in making him something...actually hubby's favorite something...yellow cake cupcakes with chocolate frosting. (This was the BEST gift because everything we did today was 100% handmade and 100% from stuff I had on hand, i.e. no money was spent!)

The idea of the Monkey helping me bake was simple enough (he helps me prepare dinner every night and LOVES to help me use the stand mixer and bake bread, etc.), but I thought it would be even more fun to document his journey into a little scrapbook for hubby...something that would last beyond the yuminiess of the cupcakes, and make more special.

Since we decided to do cupcakes this morning (while hubby was at work), I had the Monkey baking up a storm, while I was photographing, and then processed the photos (I have a really great digital photo printer from a fantastic mother-in-law who always knows just what I need!), and then scrapbooked the photos. (And of course, fed Small Fry and attempted to get the Monkey down for a nap).

I didn't take photos of the scrapbook itself just yet (just a little 8x8 book I had in my stash), but below are the photos and captions I put in the book.
The Monkey wanted to bake cupcakes for daddy as a "Happy Birthday Father's Day" surprise...This is his journey.

Mommy let him put the cupcake liners in the pan.

She poured in the mix and melted butter and the monkey got to add three eggs (but NO shells!)

"Me do it!"

Mommy said, "Smile!"

He really wanted to taste the batter at this point, and was starting to lose interest in actually baking the cupcakes!

The cupcakes were ready for the oven...

...the timer was set.

Waiting is hard when you are 2 years old.

While waiting for the cupcakes to bake, he got to eat the batter.

He told mommy on numerous occasions that the batter was, "YUM".

Maybe this is why he didn't take a nap on Father's Day!

This is his "YUM" face.

The timer beeped, the cupcakes were done!

But wait! The aren't quite ready yet!

Small Fry, meanwhile, napped during the cupcake making process.

But he did wake up in time to help frost the cupcakes!

Frosting and sprinkles required a lot of mommy help, so we just got a photo of the finished product.

Giving the cupcake a stare down.

Say "Cheese!"

Finally, he got to taste his wonderful creation. He thought they were fantastic.

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What came on the UPS truck today

Ah, the UPS truck is always a fun sight - especially when you know it's bringing something good to your house.

Today we got new Nalgene water bottles for me, hubby and the Monkey! Hubby and I are Nalgene addicts - we collect the things - we've had ones with our college logo, ones that had bumper stickers all over them, ones from mountain towns, etc. Hubby tends to leave his at work so he always needs more than one. (And we always need water, especially at the higher altitudes - so it's the easiest way to always have it on hand).

It's totally dorky, but our old Nalgenes contained BPA...I've known about the chemical for years, as I studied it heavily in college (took a lot of environmental biology/ecology courses), but I just really wasn't that concerned. I still use BPA-containing bottles to feed the occasional bottle to Small Fry (he's had about 3 bottles since he was 6 weeks old). I just take a few precautions (like not heating the bottles - we actually use them cold, not washing in the dishwasher, etc.)

Nalgene just came out with a BPA-free bottle (the Everyday Tritan) that is the same wide-mouth and clear, cool colors, as the poly-carbonate bottles (the BPA containing ones). They actually do feel (and sound) a little different, but they are SO cool. AND coolest of all, they have these "Grip n' Gulp" sippy bottles for toddlers (in the same BPA-free plastic) - they are really cool. The Monkey LOVES his "water bobble", and I actually am going to get a few more - I think they'll become our every day sippy now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 vewy, vewy quiet!

Ah, the joy of silence. The Monkey has had a wee cold the past couple of days and I think Small Fry and I picked it up today. So, we're kind of lounging, I'm cleaning (since that is a chore that is never done). The Monkey easily went down for a nap, and then Small Fry followed suit (he's sleeping on the playmat next to me right now - unswaddled too - that's a big deal!).

So, besides the cats vying for my attention, I'm totally enjoying this relaxing moment. It could end any second, so I'm soaking up all the silence I can!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pee-Kool Update

Well, it was an eventful week. Monday was easy. Wednesday was a little sadder. The Monkey decided "no pee-kool" in the car on Wednesday morning. I told him he'd have tons of fun and he'd enjoy it. He did okay walking into school until we got to his classroom, and then he refused to cross the threshold. His teacher who is SOOO nice, talked to him and together we got him in the classroom and mellowed out.

The teacher pulled out some paint and instantly, the Monkey got excited and forgot all about being sad. That was easy.

Friday, not so easy. As we pulled into the parking lot of the school, he started to say, "no, no pee-kool, bubbie (hubby's mom), daddy". He has been going to Bubbie's house a few mornings a week for the past few months, and has the BEST time, and he definitely misses her. I offered a toy he could bring into school with him, and that worked until we got to the classroom door again. He just broke down in tears, "mommy, hold you me" (he thinks you say "hold you" when he's asking to be held, we corrected him that you say "hold me", and so he's combined the two).

Oh, was my mommy heart broken. I just wanted to hold the Monkey and make it all better. After some bawling, his teacher came in, took over holding him, said "bye-bye mommy, we love you", and shooed me away. I got in the car and cried. I knew he would have fun and enjoy himself, but the mommy instinct to comfort your crying child is SO strong and I just wanted to make it better.

I enjoyed my Friday without work, and headed to Starbucks for a chai and scone, then to run some errands (and buy new clothes - for the first time in three years!!). I returned to school at 12:30 and the Monkey had a great time. The teacher said he just needed a little love and reassurance and he was fine. She also told me he was great with the other kids. It was a fantastic update.

Monday is a Jewish holiday, so school is closed (we're taking the Monkey horseback riding instead), so I'm hoping Wednesday will be less traumatic than Friday. It's been quite an eventful and "growth-ful" week - for kids and parents. :)

Monkeys Everywhere!

I'm in a sock monkey kick right now. The retro little creatures are hot again and I'm totally taken by them! I even stumbled upon the fantastic Etsy seller, BrightsIdea, who is selling adorable authentic (and updated) sock monkeys. I can't wait to purchase a "baby safe" sock monkey!

Check out my chronology of products I've created along with ones that are currently available!

About a year or so ago, Moda fabrics came out with their first adorable sock monkey line, "5 Funky Monkeys" by Erin Michaels. I loved the line, the retro styling along with endless possibilities for baby items (and the line was available in flannel too!), led me to purchase many pieces from the line. Not long after 5 Funky Monkeys, Moda released "Monkey N round", which focused on the fun the mischievous monkeys have, along with incorporating more pastel colors. With these two lines, I created many projects...

Ah, a favorite, the first Minkee/Flannel Baby Blanket - and it went to a good friend who is now looking for a duplicate in case her little one loses the original.

A diaper-mini tote.
Holds a few diapers and wipes, ideal for quick trips and easy to toss in any bag.

Another diaper mini-tote. I created lots of these in many colors...they were a popular item. (And it's interesting noting how much my photography has improved since the early days).

The Sock Monkey ribbon play ball. The ball itself is my most popular item, so I love to create it in many themes. Sock Monkeys were very popular. And I'll soon be creating a new theme ball with the latest sock monkey fabric line.

Sock Monkey ribbon play ball - Version 2.0. I had to create more of these for some custom orders, and so the ribbon colors and fabrics were changed a little bit. I can't wait to use the Malibu Monkeys line for a new ball!

One of my favorite items, the Binky Bag. It holds about 3 pacifiers, and features a snap on one side of the strap. It makes the pacifiers easily accessible (since many of us can relate to the mad binky search when baby is crying). I made these in many colors too.

Another fun Minkee/Flannel blanket - I've been making lots of these as they are popular items. I tend to only make one or two in each style though and then move on.

Classic red monkeys.

Making a bib and burp cloth set. I love these since personally, I'm ALWAYS needing bibs and burp cloths for my spitty little one ;)

Pairing retro monkeys with another hot trend - pink and chocolate. This is one of my favorite items (I would have kept it if I'd had a girl!)

Again, using the beautiful pastel pieces from the "Monkey N round" line to create more blankets.

Another favorite blanket of mine - and this one is still available in my shop!
The piece that revived my sock monkey obsession. I wanted to make a fun onesie to coordinate with some pants I'd made for my little Small Fry. So, using my love of applique, I created this adorable design. It is quickly becoming a popular item in my shop - and is available now!

So naturally when I had the onesie, I wanted to create lots of coordinating pants.
All of the styles below are available in my shop (in 6-12 month size) and are available to be made in custom sizes too (from 0-3 months to 3T).

And last, but certainly NOT least - my favorite, a sock monkey theme "tummy time" quilt. It's just the right size for a baby to roll around on and then tuck into a diaper bag and tote along. And it is available in my shop ;)
So, the sock monkeys are in full swing in my studio...and I'll soon be creating lots of items with pieces from the new Malibu Monkeys line and adding in lots of other pieces from the other two lines. Enjoy!