Category Archives: Life in General

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Boo Boos

We had an excellent Thanksgiving this year, and I had a bountiful Black Friday. Poor Sean had to work part of the week, but I was fortunate enough to be able to take the whole week off. I got to spend time with Anna and even found time to sew, although I felt guilty about sewing when I could have been spending more time with kiddo. The time off has passed far too quickly, and I am already looking forward to the time I am taking off at the end of the year.

As usual, I tried to keep the holiday as stress free as possible. Even more so now that we were also juggling a toddler. In years past I would stress about prepping, cooking, hosting, and all else that comes with having the entire (albeit small) family over for a huge meal. The past few years though, I have worked at making it less and less stressful by ordering ready made (but tasty after a little doctoring by Wendell) mashed potatoes from Fresh Market and cooking anything that I could ahead of time. So the past few years have been fairly low stress, but I was still busy for a couple of days ahead of time making desserts and cranberry sauce and cleaning and whatnot. I would typically be up late the night before finishing things up, and then on Thanksgiving I would be cooking all day and doing last-minute cleaning.

This year I decided we were making a turkey and that was about it aside from some Fresh Market-made additions of mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie; everyone else brought sides and a couple more desserts. Mom also helped with taking stress out of it by helping us clean up, which is harder to do than it sounds when you are trying to keep up with a toddler. I also made the conscious decision to not care that the house wasn’t spotless. In the end, everything turned out great and we had some good eats. Anna loved the feast as well, especially the cranberry sauce. Although she did not seem quite as fond of leftovers, because about the only thing she wanted to eat after that was the leftover sweet potatoes and cranberries. Pretty much anything else we gave her ended up on the floor.

On Black Friday, I had some tasty leftovers for lunch and then went shopping for the third time ever. One of my favorite quilt shops, Wish Upon a Quilt, once again had an awesome “buy one, get one 70% off” sale. If they do that every year, it is definitely going to be my new tradition. And the best part is that they paired up like-priced items, rather than just discounting the cheapest items. I was looking forward to it all month. Last year I bought material for a quilt for my mother (which I finally started working on this past week, and haven’t posted yet), but this year I went shopping without any project in mind aside from one small Christmas present. So I browsed around for a while and ended up buying 6 charm packs, 8 mini charm packs, 2 jelly rolls, 4 chicklets, two simple patterns, templates for a paper pieced star block, and a few other little odds and ends. Score! (translation, each pack has 42 of: charm pack = 5″ squares; mini charm = 2.5″ squares; jelly roll = 2.5″x44″ strips, and the chicklet = four 9″x22″ cuts) I do have a bag pattern that uses one charm pack, so at least one is ear marked for a project. I have no idea what I will do with the rest yet, but I loved the fabrics and wanted them in my stash.

It hasn’t all been fun though. Poor Anna had her first doctor-worthy boo boo, and it was all my fault. Despite better judgment, I turned on the gas logs to knock the chill out of the room. I swear they were on for 3 minutes tops before she ran over and touched the glass in the one second I wasn’t watching. Needless to say, she cried for a long time and we were both very sad. That was Saturday (before T-Day) afternoon, and by evening she had a huge blister stretching across the palm of her hand beneath the fingers and a few smaller blisters on the fingers as well. So, Sunday we went to the doctor. So glad White Oak Pediatrics has weekend hours! We got some prescription antibiotic ointment meant for burns and instructions to bandage her hand with gauze to protect the blister. The estimate for bandaging the blister was a week, but luckily it had gone down completely by Wednesday night and she was bandageless on Thanksgiving day.

Anna did surprisingly well with the whole thing. After the initial pain of the injury, you wouldn’t have known anything was wrong. She was extra good with the doctor, and even held her hand perfectly still for the doctor to bandage it with her fingers straight up. When I had to bandage her hand later she wasn’t always as cooperative, but as long as we had a good distraction for her other hand it went pretty smoothly. There was minimal fussing with the bandage as well. While she did partially unravel it once, I think the only other times I had to replace it were just because it became dirty after a meal. I was pretty shocked we managed to keep her blister intact until it went down on its own, I have never even been able to do that with my own burns!

Now it is the Monday after Thanksgiving. Anna had her 15 month shots scheduled for today, so it was good that we could get a followup on her hand and the ear infection from not-quite three weeks ago. Plus, she had a red spot on her back that had started as a bump a few days ago and was looking suspiciously like ring worm today. Poor kid! The doctor said her burn was healing nicely, her ears were clear, and the spot on her back probably was ring worm. Sigh. That means in less than three weeks this kid has been to the doctor three times, only once being routine and even that had ring worm tacked on to it.

That is about it for the past couple weeks! I will leave you with this old photo of Sean, at around 11 months old, and a blurry one of Anna enjoying Thanksgiving dinner.

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Marbles Plague

The first Saturday we went to Tumble Gym, I knew Anna would get sick. And sure enough, she woke up that Tuesday morning with a runny nose and officially had her first cold. She didn’t have a fever or anything though, the only real symptoms she had was the gunk pouring from her little nose and the fact that she was more clingy than usual.

When we went to Marbles Saturday before last, I had a feeling she would get sick again. Sure enough, Tuesday morning she woke up with a stuffy nose and had a 102 fever by the end of the day. Anna was completely miserable, and instead of her usual bubbly nature there were periods where she would cry pitifully for an hour after naps until the Tylenol kicked in. When she still had a bit of a fever Thursday morning, we went to the doctor. Her cold had turned into a mild ear infection, so she started taking Amoxicillin Friday. I would hate to see a severe ear infection, as miserable as she was. Luckily she seems to really like the taste of both the Amoxicillin and Tylenol; she sucks it down and looks like she wants more. By Saturday afternoon she was feeling much better.

To make it worse, she shared her cold with all of us. Wednesday I started feeling sick, and by Friday I was also utterly miserable with a sore throat, low grade fever, headache, stuffy nose, and generally crappy feeling. A week later I am still sniffly, sneezy, and fatigued. Sean didn’t seem to be quite as miserable, but I could tell he felt pretty rough as well. Her grandma didn’t escape either. Needless to say, no Tumble Gym for us last Saturday! Anna is doing much better now! Although her nose is still a bit runny, Anna is up to her usual cheery antics.

Hopefully this means we are now inoculated against future Marbles visits!

Other than being a bunch of miserable sick people, not much else has been going on lately. I haven’t even felt much like sewing, although I did get the last of my Elegance quilt blocks finished. And thanks to being home, I finally had time to call Ottlite during their business hours about my lamp with the power switch stuck in the on position. I was pretty impressed with how easy it was to make a warranty claim, and the fact that I got to talk to a real person right away that even had a direct extension and email address for further communication. They are sending me a new lamp for $10 shipping. All I had to do was cut the cord of the old lamp and send them a picture of it, no hoops to jump through to prove when or where I purchased it. I also learned that it is shockingly easy to cut a power cord with a rotary cutter. So if you are considering Ottlite, their customer service is great! As it should be considering how ridiculous their prices are I guess. Considering I got two of these lamps on clearance (at different times) for only $24 and $12, I am totally happy. I probably won’t be as happy when it is time to buy a $22 replacement lightbulb, but I know I will do it. It has only been one night sewing without my lamp and I already miss it dearly.

Anna Update & Halloween Prep

This first photo isn’t the best picture of Anna, but see her little teeth? Around her first birthday, the bottom two finally popped through. Those have now been joined by one and a half up top, and a third is trying to pop up on the bottom. Anna has been making use of them too! It is cute to watch her take tiny bites of her graham crackers, and the other day she even had some of her daddy’s apple.

Luckily the teething doesn’t seem to bother her too much. In preparation for sore gums I had bought a few types of oral numbing medicines, but we have yet to use any of them. There have been days where we could tell she was a bit off, and we blamed the teething, but in general she has been her usual happy self.

Anna has also been practicing her artwork. We got her a big pad of blank paper and a box of washable toddler crayons a couple weeks ago. She seems to be getting the hang of making marks now, although sometimes it is still more fun to eat the crayons. I am looking forward to the days when she actually understands the concept of coloring in lines, or drawing pictures. Right now it is mostly banging the crayon on the paper, or scribbling back and forth.

As for me, I have been busy making Anna’s Little Red Riding Hood Halloween costume. Per usual, I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it so I have worked on it a little at a time. I got everything cut for the cape last week, and then spent every spare moment over the weekend stitching it together. Saturday I finished up the cape around midnight, and then started looking at what I wanted to do for her little basket.

My original plan was to make a liner for a basket I picked up at Michael’s… but I had grabbed it without really inspecting the basket, and when I got home I realized it was wobbly and wonky. When I started measuring for the planned liner I discovered the reason it was sitting wonky was because one end of the basket was 1/2″ deeper than the other end, and it was completely uneven on the bottom. For a bit I contemplated forging ahead with the original plan, but then started looking at other options, which lead me to a cute fabric basket tutorial. So, I looted my fabric stash and have that on my work table now… hopefully I will have time to finish it before this weekend!

I will add pictures of Anna in her cape once we get her in costume this weekend… if I can get her to stand still long enough for a photo! I put it on her briefly Sunday, and she had fun flapping the sides while she ran around. It is a little long, but I think it will be okay. Maybe when she is a little older she can still wear it for dress-up.

 

Busy Busy Weekend

See pictures from our iCloud photostream here 

We had a very busy weekend, but a good one. I kind of feel like I need a day off now! We were all on the go all weekend long, with hardly a moment to rest. Saturday usually starts with us taking Anna to Tumble Gym for her weekly 9:00 Tumble Babies class. Well, “class” is a loose term. It is mostly a bunch of under-two year olds running around in various directions while one instructor with far too much energy bounces around trying to lead the activities. Since there is no monthly fee until she turns two, it is totally worth it. Every week we see her confidence improve and it is pretty fun running around with her and all the other kids.

This weekend though, the first Under the Veranda block of the month class was at 10:00 Saturday at Wish Upon a Quilt. Since I wasn’t sure how the timing would go, I skipped Tumble Gym for the first time since she started (August 30), and let her grandma go with her and Sean instead. I was pretty sad about missing Tumble Gym, so maybe in the future I will just drive separately so I can leave a tad early and head straight to my class.

Class was interesting. It was just a lecture, so I felt really weird going to a sewing class without a machine. I got there right on time, sat through my lecture, did a little shopping, and then ran an errand and had lunch before rushing to pack up and head to another sewing class at the same place. That sewing class was pretty fun, although I can’t say I learned much. I did leave with a new pair of pajama pants though.

Then it was back to the house to collect Sean and Anna for some clothes shopping and dinner at Crabtree. Anna scored several adorable new outfits, and a new pair of shoes since she had outgrown all of hers. Man that happens fast. I swear we just bought her shoes with “room to grow” less than two months ago. I know for a fact she got a pair of size 3 sandals the day before her birthday, so that has only been like 5 weeks. Now she is in a size 4 shoe, although we got a size 4.5 so she doesn’t grow out of them by next week.

The new clothes are mostly 18-24 months, which she isn’t quite ready for. But sales were good, and she will fit them soon enough. She can get away with wearing the larger size in dresses, but the shirts and pants are definitely too big. For now anyway. Like I said, give her a week and we might find she has suddenly grown another three inches. I would much rather buy stuff ahead of time so we don’t end up scrambling the next time she suddenly can’t fit any of her clothes.

We stayed out far too late though, an hour past Anna’s 8:00 bed time. She was getting a bit cranky by the time we left, but in all we were proud of her for doing so well and putting up with us keeping her out so late. We normally try to keep her on schedule, but I guess staying up late occasionally shouldn’t be too detrimental. Being out late did not translate into a later morning on Sunday though, so the next morning everything started again at 7:00 as usual. After getting her to bed I was exhausted and was asleep by 10:30… so at least I got a decent night’s sleep.

Sunday was another full, but great, day. Sean had stayed up late the night before, so I let him sleep in a bit while I played with Anna. When he woke up we went out for a family breakfast at First Watch, a new breakfast/brunch/lunch place that opened where the Boston Market on Glenwood Ave use to be. It was awesome! The food was great, and the whole menu looked so good that it was hard to choose. At times the service could have been a little faster, but they were busy and new so we can forgive them that.

Anna especially enjoyed it; she had crayons to play with while we waited and lots of yummy food. It was only the second time she got to play with crayons, and this time she actually figured out how to make marks on the paper.  She seemed to really love the melon in the fruit bowl we ordered for her, and she liked the food we shared from our plates as well. From my plate she had quinoa, chicken, and butternut squash. From Sean’s she had egg, potato, avocado, a little bacon, and maybe some other things I didn’t see. We could tell she enjoyed it, because hardly anything hit the floor! Sean and I enjoyed our meals as well, and we will definitely go back. It may just have to be our new breakfast stop post-Tumble Gym on Saturdays, since Brueggers Caribou Coffee has been unsatisfactory lately.

After that it was a trip to Target for some needed things, plus some crayons for Anna. Then back to the house for Anna’s nap, although she fought that and ended up not having much of one. We were supposed to meet friends at a pumpkin patch at 2, but thanks to Anna’s lack of napping and super cranky awakening, it was more like 2:30 when we got there. That was a lot of fun, and Anna seemed to enjoy it. That kid definitely loves being outdoors, and the weather was perfect. Anna got to see her buddy Logan, play with hay, pick cotton, see goats, go on a hay ride, and walk around the fields. She was great the whole time, with lots of smiles and not a single fussy moment.

After a couple hours of wandering around the pumpkin patch she was exhausted. Once we got in the car I gave her a little snack, and then she was out cold. Our next stop was the grocery store. The poor kid was so tuckered out she barely stirred when I took her out of her car seat, and then she slept on my shoulder most of the time we were shopping. I swear that kid weighs fifty pounds when she is asleep!  So precious though.

I Won Something!

As part of the shop hop I did a couple weeks ago, I was entered in drawings for door prizes at each of the shops I visited. On Tuesday (9/23), Bernina called to let me know I had won their prize. Wow! I hardly ever win anything. Maybe I had good karma that day or something. The prize was a project bag full of little things like fabric, patterns, batting, needles, and a quilt pin.

 

It is always great to add fabric to my stash, so I am happy just to have won that. I like the little project tote as well, and it looks like it will be useful. The batting is polyester, which I have never used since I have always bought cotton; it will be good to have that on hand to try out as well. The pin is pretty neat, but not sure what I will do with it. I am not one to wear lapel pins, but maybe I can find something to pin it to. Can’t say I care much for the patterns, but maybe I can find a use for them one day if no one else wants them. The bag also had some “Pump Gloves” in it, which apparently are really made with the intention of using them to pump gas. Since they are in this bag of sewing stuff though, I have to assume they are meant to be used to help grip a quilt while free motion quilting. Or maybe to help you grip a ruler? I don’t know. I haven’t opened them yet, but they have little dots on them that look like grippy stuff. I have always just used Machingers gloves for quilting, but I will give these a shot. (if anyone is interested in the patterns, pin, books, or measuring tape… just give me a shout, I will gladly share)

In other news… I get a whole room to myself for sewing! Maybe. I asked Sean if I could move his computer to the bedroom (he actually had this idea a while ago) and take over the computer room completely… he agreed. I don’t really want the computer in the bedroom though. And I don’t really want to be sequestered to a lonely room for hours to work on my hobbies. So, I am going to try to arrange things so we can still fit the computers and all my sewing crap in the same small room. Could be interesting.

That project starts this weekend, and is going to take a long time to complete I fear. The first step is to get rid of the elliptical machine that is hogging what feels like half the room. I called Pro Source and they are coming to get it Monday! Yay! Which means this weekend we will be busy clearing a path to the machine… which means getting Sean’s desk out of the way. So really the first step is moving Sean’s computer to the bedroom I guess, which will hopefully be only temporary… but it will probably end up staying there a while. So, this weekend is going to be a busy one with rearranging the bedroom and computer room. Then, after we get rid of the elliptical Monday, I can start moving my sewing crap in and doing some more rearranging and purging of junk that is cluttering up the closet space.

At first it is going to be pretty cobbled together. I plan to bring in a folding table from the garage and make use of other things we already have around the house. As time goes on I am going to figure out what furniture will work best in there as I get a feel for how I use the space. This probably means a few Ikea trips are in my future, as the sewing tables I really want are stupid expensive.

Once I get settled in, the first thing I will do is construct a cutting table for myself. This is basically a counter-height table to cut fabric on, so I don’t kill my back. I saw lots of great ideas for this while Googling and wandering Pinterest.  While exploring one of those ideas I stumbled on a wood working forum where a nice (and presumably not a serial killer) man offered to give me a laminate table top to use in the endeavor. We will be going up to Franklinton to get that Sunday.  I have no idea what it looks like, but it is free! I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth by asking for a picture, but I am told it is a workstation top that is about 30″ x 42″ or so. No clue on the color or condition, but the price is right. Once I know the dimensions for sure, I will figure out what I want to use as a base for it… most likely a couple small book cases or something that would give me storage underneath.

So, if anyone comes across good deals on things that you think will help in the organization of my shiny new sewing room, let me know! That includes used stuff, clearance stuff, whatever. This has to be done on the cheap since it is all coming out of my craft budget. I will be on the lookout for a small computer desk to put my iMac on, probably some bookcases or storage cubes, boxes, bins, and things of that nature. And if anyone goes to Ikea and is willing to pick up a few things, definitely give me a shout! I have a growing Ikea wish list right now, everything from small storage bins to furniture.

New Toys for Me

Today we went to the annual Sewing Expo at the Raleigh Convention Center. I know I have been sewing for a year now, because last time the Expo was in town I was picking up material for my first quilt (the one with the owl and hedgehog). Since I was just getting into sewing last year, I didn’t go. Although this year I was looking forward to it, and had even thought about taking some of the workshops and classes offered at the Expo. It turned out that all the classes I was interested in were during work hours though, so oh well. I didn’t want to do any of them badly enough to use up vacation days for them. I would rather use my vacation days to spend time with Anna during the holidays.

The atmosphere at the RCC was definitely different than the last time I was there, visiting Sean while he worked at Animazement last month. Last month the place was so packed you could barely walk for all the people, and there were protestors out front telling everyone they were going to hell. Today it seemed deserted in comparison.

Sean was awesome enough to go with me, even though he really didn’t want to. He took care of the baby for me while I walked around for a couple hours looking at all the different vendors’ offerings. Sean hates shopping, dislikes crowds, dislikes being bored, and has very little interest in sewing… yet he came anyway, that is how great he is. And not only did he have to deal with all of that, but when you get a baby around a bunch of [mostly old] women you are constantly stopped by people wanting to coo over them.

There were so many cool things! It was hard not to buy everything that caught my eye. I did end up with some good loot though, and some notes of things I want to look for online later. I was happy to see several booths that offered felt stuff, which is my latest interest. There were several things that were very difficult to leave behind, but I keep telling myself there will be more opportunities in the future and I really need to curb my growing back log of projects.

Anna was pretty good for most of it, although she was getting tired and grumpy and hungry by the end. Sean had dressed her in the little dress I made for her last week; I am not sure if it was intentionally because we were going to a sewing expo, but of course everyone there can spot a handmade item and it got several compliments. As usual she charmed everyone she met with her smiles, waves, and her baby talk.

There was one old lady at a booth that lit up the moment she saw Anna, and reached up immediately like she wanted to take her before she realized she shouldn’t and dropped her hands looking a little abashed. Other people working the booth saw, and told her she had to stop trying to touch strangers’ babies, so I guess it is a running thing LOL.

The lady proudly told me all about her seven grandkids and one great grand baby while Sean took Anna off to find a changing table. Upon his return he reported there was no table in the mens room, so I went to try the ladies room while he paid for the appliqué files I was purchasing from them. I didn’t find a changing table either, so when I got back the lady quickly cleared a place on the table and said to change her right there. Of course Anna immediately started trying to grab everything within reach, so the lady gave her a small stuffed snowball with an embroidered face to play with while one of the other ladies was telling Sean tales about diapers she had to change when no table was available. As thanks for letting us change her on their table, we let the lady hold Anna. When we asked to purchase the snowball Anna was so enamored with, she said the cost was holding one baby. So Anna scored a dry diaper and a new toy! Later, Anna played with the snowball the whole way home.

In all, I left with a pack of 65 six inch squares of felt in various colors to jump start my felt stash; a white marking pen to use on felt; some needles made specifically for wool appliqué; 32 new cute appliqué files (these, these, and these) along with a starter pack of some pearlescent mylar to use in a new appliqué technique they were demonstrating; a couple patterns for mini wall quilts; a kit for another mini quilt; a kit for a felt ornament; a kit for a wool table topper; and a kit for yet another mini wall quilt that also has some wool appliqué in it. I have no shortage of things to keep busy with!

After the expo, we walked around downtown until we found a place to eat. We ended up at The Oxford, which was surprisingly good for a pub. I definitely recommend it! After that though, things went a bit downhill. We were walking back to the car when I grabbed my phone to check the time. Or at least I tried to grab my phone. I fumbled, tried to catch it, and just ended up prettying much throwing it on the sidewalk, where it landed flat on its back. The screen shattered. Thankfully we have Apple Care that covers this, so I was more annoyed than upset. I scooped the phone up and had an appointment at the Genius Bar before we made it out of downtown.

Unfortunately, as soon as I got to the Apple Store I discovered my iCloud backup was somehow disabled. I assume this happened at the same time all my other iCloud stuff was mysteriously turned off a month or so ago, but I hadn’t noticed. So my phone hadn’t been backed up in 5 weeks! Ugh. So no new phone for me today, since I wasn’t willing to loose 5 weeks of data. It is backing up right now, but right now our internet connection is lagging so badly for some reason so it says 15 hours remain. Hopefully it will finish before my appointment, otherwise I guess I will be kicking it old school and syncing to the computer with a cable.

Despite the phone thing, it was a great day. And to top it off Sean went out and brought me ice cream and cookies after the baby went to sleep. So I have some fresh baked cookies waiting for me right now!

Here are some pics I snapped mostly to just take notes, so they aren’t that great… but it will give ideas of the nifty kits and patterns I got.

New Toys

Today was a busy day, preceded by a long night. Yesterday I had an awful headache, and by Anna’s bed time I was miserable. I got her to sleep fairly quickly, and then laid down in her room because my head hurt too much to even think about doing anything that required my eyes to be open. I chose her room over mine because I knew she would wake up a few times, since she hasn’t been sleeping well lately. Sure enough she woke up two or three times within the first few hours, but I only had to stumble over to her crib and pat her back to get her back to sleep.

Around 11ish though, she woke up screaming and it took me a little while to get her back to sleep. Then she woke up again a little while later and was wide awake, so we let her play a little before trying to get her settled down again. I think it was sometime after 1:00 when I finally got her to go to sleep… for about two minutes. Then she was wide awake again. I tried leaving her on her own in her crib a while with no success, and then close to 2am I threw in the towel. I told Sean to give the kid a bottle, my head was still splitting and I had to go to sleep. I think it was around 3am before he got her to sleep, but I was sound asleep and don’t even remember him coming to bed.

Luckily after that she slept until around 8:30, so I managed to get enough sleep to not feel wrecked. Even though my head still hurt a bit when I woke up. Despite grand plans of getting out and starting our day early, we didn’t make it out of the house until 11:45. I had a hair cut scheduled for noon, so Sean dropped me off there while he took Anna shopping. Then it was lunch, clothes shopping for Sean, a quilt show at the fairgrounds, a walk through the flea market, dinner, shopping at Buy Buy Baby & Target, and then finally getting back home around 7:30.

Anna did great for being on the go so long, I was really proud of her. She did “talk” really loudly a lot, but no one really seemed bothered by her. It seems like we will have to stick to noisy places for the next few months! She took two naps on the go, and only got a little cranky a couple times. For the most part she was happy all day. And of course while we were at the quilt show we were stopped by some coo’ing old lady about every 10 feet. For some reason a lot of people thought she was a boy today… I don’t get it. She had on pink socks and a pink top, and jeans with pink stitching.

I was also happy that somehow we managed to go the whole day without formula, despite being out of the house for nearly 8 hours. I was able to feed her in the parking lot at the fairgrounds, and in the mother’s room at Buy Buy Baby. We also gave her some solid food while we ate lunch, which was the first time we did that outside of the house.

So it was a really good day. The quilt show was pretty awesome, and Sean was a trooper. He pushed the stroller, weaving through the crowd of old ladies and being patient with all the people that wanted to talk to the baby. He also didn’t complain too much about me buying some things that I don’t really need, considering all the un-started projects I already have waiting for me.

There were tons of cool quilts on display, which I hurried through because I didn’t want Sean or Anna to run out of patience. I just stopped at the really cool ones. Most of my time was spent at the vendor booths, since there were several shops there that I was unfamiliar with or are too far away for me to frequent. Plus lots of the vendors had project kits put together, which I like because it saves me time.

I picked up a couple things to make for Anna, and a couple things for myself as well. Of course, Sean rolls his eyes when I say I am buying stuff like this for Anna. But it really is for her… and me. I get the fun of making it and then watching her play with it.

For Anna, I picked up a kit to make a little taggie blanket for her. It is a small “blanket” of about 12″ square with one soft, fuzzy side (made of a fabric called minkee) and one cotton side; and all around there are little “tags” of folded ribbon sticking out. She LOVES tags, so I know she will really like this. It shouldn’t take me long to make at all since it is really just sewing two squares together, so maybe I can whip it up tomorrow. I will of course post a photo in the Sewing Projects section when I get it finished.

The other thing I got for Anna is a panel of fabric that is printed with pieces for an owl pillow. This is another thing that shouldn’t take too long to do, but I will probably put it off until I finish the Yellow Brick Road quilt… or until I just need a break from it at least.

For me, I picked up a kit to make a little wallet. It is a bifold that closes with a button, and holds a couple credit cards and has a zippered pouch. Honestly I don’t need this, but I liked the fabric and it looked like a fun learning experience. Aside from that, I also got a quilt pattern and ruler – yet another addition to my “to do” list of quilts.

So those were my new toys, and Anna got a new toy as well. Since she is pulling up on things, we decided to get her a toy she could play with while standing. The one we ended up with is called the “Ball-cano” … you can see why Sean chose this one. (click the link for a photo) The box claims it is for 6+ months, but I think she is a little young for it. She does like playing with it, but she is too young to grasp putting the balls in the top piece, or the cause and effect of it. Right now she is still refining the motor skills to pick the balls up, which is super cute to watch. It takes both of her hands, and a fair amount of concentration. Mostly I think she likes the sounds and flashing lights it makes, and she likes that she can stand up with it. For now it seems like it will take both of us helping her to play with it. One person to make sure it doesn’t flip over, one person to make sure she doesn’t face plant into the hard plastic, and both of us to keep feeding the balls through. The mechanism that pushes the balls out of the “ballcano” is triggered by a rolling piece up top, which she can do on her own even if she doesn’t quite connect that cause with the effect of the balls being pushed out and the lights and music starting.