Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sooo big!

Everyone says "it goes by so fast", but I never really understood what it meant.  It is not that time truly moves faster (DUH), but that in your busy day to day life - your child grows up.  Now Kasen is only 6 months (ok so she will be 6 months Sunday), but I see what they mean.  I have been caring for her every day, but still I am shocked that she is no longer a newborn.  Look at this kid...

She looks sooo much like my niece did at her age.  Maybe there is some of me showing through?  And no she is not sitting up by herself - the next few frames have her scrunched down (the realities of soft pants against leaher couch).

The other big change is her awareness... especially of Sterling.  She even smiles at pictures of him.  He seems merely tolerant of her, but that is really all we ask.  After all, he seems merely tolerant of all humans.

Did you notice how he worked his head onto her nice floor blanket? Sneaky that one...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Making a High Chair Cover

As promised - Kasen's cover for her new/old high chair.

I first planned to sew a high chair cover from scratch for Kasen's wooden high chair, but decided to re-purpose something instead.  Having a kid has shown me how much STUFF we consume, so I wasn't crazy about buying a bunch of fabric for this project (especially since she will probably trash it).  I decided my wallet (and the earth) would like me reusing something else.

I found a grocery store cart cover at a consignment store (could probably also be used on a restaurant high chair).  It was quilted, large enough and came with a belt.  Totally worth the few dollars.  Here is the kind of cover it was originally. 

I started with some 1" foam for under the cover.

I specifically chose to use two 1" layers, so one can be removed as she grows into the chair.

I didn't want to alter the chair, so the foam is not attached at all. The straps on the back and under the seat will keep it in place.

Next was to work on the cover.  It had been nicely constructed with bias tape edging all over the seams.  I had never done this work before, but it ended up being pretty easy (although reusing the bias tape was challenging).  I used this tutorial as a guide for attaching bias tape (LOVE this blog).

First I had to make it skinny enough to fit the width of the chair.  I decided for ease (and time) to only cut/re-sew one side.  You will see this made the belt openings off center, but it was fine for my end project.

After cutting the width down, I had to re-edge the sides with the bias tape.  It was cost effective and "green" to reuse - but definitely more challenging.

The seat of the cover had to be made out of the piece of fabric that was meant to go up and over the shopping cart handle.  This piece had leg holes in it, so I had to cut them out.  I attached the bottom and covered all exposed edges with the bias tape.  I hope I sewed it well enough to stand up to the many washings it will endure.

Finished product:

Cute huh?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kasen's "Antiques"?

My mom has saved quite a few things over the years (no.. not like Hoarders TV show type saving - totally normal memory type saving).  From my childhood, she saved a rocking chair, toy chest and high chair.  The toy chest needed some work (pictures of that are coming), but the rocking chair and high chair were in good shape.  I don't know how old something needs to be to be called "antique", so maybe vintage is a more accurate moniker.  I assume these were made for the Bicentenial, so they would only be 34 yrs old.  I would rather NOT think that qualifies ANYTHING as antique.

The rocker is child size and really doesn't need any work.

All of the pieces have this 1776-1976 on them.

Here is the high chair:

All in all the high chair is a really nice piece of furniture.  I like how sturdy and compact it is compared to the plastic ones they make today (which generally sell for over $100).  The biggest problem I saw was it doesn't seem very comfortable nor does it have any type of a harness.  The original harness was leather and broke off long ago.  I love the little details on it...

This past weekend, I was able to address both the comfort and the harness issue.  I'll post pictures tomorrow.  All of this leads up to Kasen eating real food.  This weekend has been declared "Kasen eats real food" weekend.  Well, if mashed, strained peas count as "real food"...  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sewing muchkin stuff

I finally replaced my old, broken sewing machine last weekend.  My new sewing machine (a BabyLock Crafter's Choice) is awesome.  I definitely have some learning to do, but it is making sewing fun again.

The first real project I worked on was the curtains for Kasen's room, but I am still not done and no pictures have been taken - so that will have to wait.  Instead here is my first finished project - an applique on a bib.  I love small projects, this took about 30 minutes.  Here it is:

How freaking cute right?  I love the silly fabric I found too.  Makes me think of a real bow tie.  I wish I can gotten a picture of the little boy wearing it.  We made anther one with an appliqued neck-tie in red gingham.  A-DOR-ABLE.  I really want to do a neck-tie one that is a thick stripe.  Totally man tie on a baby bib. 

My next step is to create a girl version.  I am thinking some sort of necklace, but my applique skills are still developing, so I need one that is pretty simple.  I will definitely take pictures of Kasen enjoying it.

In addition to the little projects, I just started a quilt class.  The fabrics below were especially picked to go with Kasen's room (and other decor in the room).  I am hoping the quilt and curtains finish around the same time - then I promise some photos.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"But she's all wet.."

I know people love babies, but until I had one, I was unaware of how MUCH people like babies.  Add Kasen's cheeks, bottom teeth AND propensity to babble and smile at everyone - freaking magnet for baby lovers.  I have never seen people who looked so... normal, coo and kiss and baby talk so quickly.

Let's be clear - I love my baby.  So when people behave this way, I get it.  I mean I coo, kiss and baby talk like all the others, but I made her.  I see my husband's eyes on her, my grandmother's cheeks and maybe even my skin. 

I am not as strongly drawn to random babies (babies where I don't know their parents).  You know, the babies you see in your day to day life that you will probably never see again.  Even now after having one, I look out of curiosity - but I don't change my route to stop and say "hi".

Although, I don't believe I am completely missing this "baby love" gene, I just don't think it applies strongly to humans.  After all, put a puppy within a 100 ft of me and I WILL change my route to say "Hi".  I guess everyone has their baby weakness. 

When Kasen and I were back in Michigan, she got to meet my Aunt and Uncle (on my  dad's side) and my Uncle's spouse.  It appears my Uncle may have a similar opinion on babies as I do...  the quote "But she's all wet..." was his statement after saying he wanted to hold her.  He was completely correct - she WAS all wet from a night of drooling.  She won him over - you can't deny her...   Oh and don't worry, we draped her in a blanket, so no clothes were harmed for this picture. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

A little Austraila in Seattle

It has started raining in Seattle and you can see the fear on every one's faces.  We attempted to ignore it, but the underlying question - did the "winter rains just start?  Nooooo....

We generally have beautiful summers that last well into fall, but this summer has been... well "mild" is the nicest term I can use.  It isn't exactly accurate though.  More accurate?  Lame (look still generally a nice word).  The summers are what gets Seattleites through the winters, so having a bad summer does not bode well for our sanity this winter.

Winter coming early seems especially bad with an outdoorsy kid.  I don't know whether it is Karl's "must-be-moving-constantly" genes or we actually have a kid who naturally craves nature... who knows.  Regardless, Kasen is NOT GOOD cooped up all day.  It makes her cry, so we leave the house.  She is fine just walking around aimlessly - but I need destinations.  We are lucky to have our local zoo within walking distance. I took this picture in the Australia exhibit today.  A kangaroo or a wallaby?  No idea.  Kasen isn't old enough to ask - so I didn't have to figure it out :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kasen's gift to me...

Today is my birthday.  Other than the small hiccup of Karl being on the other side of the world for work, it has been a good one.  I am headed out to my favorite restaurant tonight, got flowers delivered earlier (good man that husband of mine) and like a zillion Facebook Happy Birthday wishes.  Who forgot?  My daughter.  Then I remembered what her gift was - her general tolerance of all things I do (provided they don't get in the way of her sleeping or eating).  The proof?  Even though she has little wisps for hair - I thought she should try the hair clip look.  Which hair clip you ask?  The biggest one I could find...  I give you "Flamenco Kasen"

Must appreciate this gift while she gives it.  Soon she will be advanced enough to roll her eyes and then I'm in TROUBLE!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Next step - turning BACK over

As promised.... video of Kasen turning over. This is after a few days of "practicing", so she had gotten much more efficient at the process. I am sparing you all (and preserving A LOT of storage space) by showing this later attempt. My video of her 3rd turn over ever? Yeah, I think even James Cameron would think it was a little long... get it!?!? Titanic? Avatar? With no Leo or 3D? No way you would make it to the grand finale - so I removed all the build up. Straight to the rolling over. You're Welcome.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back in Seattle

We just got back in Seattle and in clearly posting to the blog was harder than I expected - more on that later. We spent our Labor day enjoying being back together again by heading downtown on the bus and giving Kasen her first Aquarium experience. She LOVED it (yes she looks skeptical in the photo but she was still sleeping from the nap on the bus).

Now it is back to the real world or coming back "down" from vacation time. We had such a great time in the midwest and got to see so many people - posts on that will definitely be coming later this week. As a teaser... here is a great picture of Kasen in her church clothes (& Grandma in her new Kalamazoo College shirt - GO HORNETS). Sadly, you can't see the leather ballerina shoes on Kasen's feet... YEA - shoes with ribbons on the feet of a 5-month old. They lasted like 5 minutes.

I did want to ask everyone for help for a good cause. The Picarbockers are walking in Seattle's MemoryWalk. It is an event to support the Alzheimer's Association fight against this awful disease. My friend Jeannette is collecting donations for our group and WE NEED HELP!! So please go to the below link and give a little. Any bit helps.

Click HERE to donate for our walk.

I promise to take lots of pictures of Kasen "walking". If you donate - let me know. I will send you one of these Picarbocker original pictures of Kasen in the mail. I mean how vintage of me... a true hard copy photo!?!  So... DONATE now.  Thanks.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Seeing old friends

Today was spent driving down memory lane. I even bought Kasen a Kalamazoo College T-shirt - although I was sure to explain that mommy & daddy can't afford the tuition. Later an old friend, Lynn Chittle, dropped by to see Kase. She has known me since I was an infant. The picture is my mom, Lynn & Kasen in my mom's front yard.
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Kalamazoo bound

It is a 7 hour drive from Pittsburgh to Kalamazoo. I learned 2 valuable lessons on that trip - 1) riding shotgun is impossible if you don't want to listen to a screaming baby and 2) a portable DVD player will be on our next car trip.
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