Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Wordless" Wednesday

Oh, come on, you know it can't be truly wordless when I'm the blog author, but here's a picture anyhow.

Margaret's one of those rare kids who loves naptime.  She practically begs to be put down to sleep, and when you acquiesce, you're graced with the sweetest smile ever.

Should you leave the room without returning Margaret's smile, she'll bellow for you until you poke your head back in to smile and say, "I love you."

She's a friendly dictator, at least.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Relief Society birthday gifts

One of my callings at church is to acknowledge each woman's birthday.  I wanted to do something fun and crafty, but also useful.  I finally decided on little felt needlebooks.  They can have as much or as little detail as I feel like, and I find mine very handy to have around.

In the past, I've embroidered family and friends' names on the ones I made for them, but I was worried that would be too time-intensive with such a large group.  Instead, I found a bag of cute coordinating buttons and sewed a few onto the front of each book.  The books consist of three strips of felt bound together with embroidery floss, with a decorative blanket-stitch around the cover.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pioneer Day

Nothing says "patriotism" like tiny whales.
We had such a fun Pioneer Day yesterday.

We got up early and went over to our town's parade.  Margaret had absolutely no interest in the fire trucks, vintage cars, decorated golf carts, or people throwing candy and ice pops to the kids.  She did enjoy playing with her hat though, so it's all good.

Later in the evening, our neighbors hosted a block party.  We brought a fruit salad and grilled up some chicken and had a great time getting to know our neighbors and fellow church members.  Fritz played some volleyball, and Margaret made friends with the million little girls swarming her, asking for a chance to hold her.  Our neighborhood is primarily made up of large, established families, so a baby is sort of a novelty.  One little girl in particular was just smitten with Margaret, bringing her toys, wanting to hold her during the fireworks, and asking to come over to our house to play sometime.  So sweet.

The neighborhood boys lit off fireworks in the cul de sac before we headed back home (a whole 20 yards).  Again, Margaret was more interested in the people around her than watching the show.  Weird kid.  Fritz did manage to get her to look at a sparkler for a whopping 8 seconds, though.

It's so fun now that Margaret is getting older and our family is able to create some traditions.  This is one we'll certainly have to continue.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Surviving Summer in the Car

I've spent the last 7 out of 8 summers with children in the backseat of my car.  Of those 7, 4 included a baby under the age of 1 year.  If anyone knows how miserable chasing around town in a stifling car with little ones is, it's me.  Have I mentioned I live in the southwestern US?  Where the inside of a car gets to be 130+ degrees in the afternoon?  Yeah.

Riding in a hot car is miserable for anyone, but it can be downright dangerous for an infant.  What's worse, for the AC to even reach the baby, it has to go past the front seats, over the rear-facing baby carseat, and around the sides to baby. I'm not typically a coddler.  I'm not terrified of my child having to be uncomfortable now and then.  But extreme heat is nothing to mess with.

I thought I'd share a few tips I've picked up over the past few years.

1. A little preparation goes a long way.  Write a list of everything you'll need to keep cool in the car.  Hang it on the door you use to exit the house, or laminate it and stick it in your purse/diaper bag.  Keep your summer outing supplies (hats, sunglasses, etc) in a basket that you carry to the car with you.  When you get home, gather everything back into the basket and bring inside to keep from being damaged by the heat.

2. Time outings for the coolest parts of the day.

3. Park in the shade with all windows cracked.

4. Dress everyone in loose, cotton clothing.

5. Apply chemical sunblock 30 minutes before you leave the house (not necessary to wait if using a barrier sunblock), and make sure everyone's wearing a hat and sunglasses (if they'll keep them on).  Margaret used to rip her sunglasses off as soon as they were on her face, but she soon learned it's a lot more pleasant to leave them on and not have to hide from the sun.

6. If your car doesn't have tinted windows, use window shade clings to keep sun off faces.  The cling shades don't pose a projectile risk in case of a crash, like suction cup roller shade designs can.

7. Bring a small insulated bag (We use one made for transporting baby bottles.  Try an insulated lunchbox, a small cooler, or an insulated grocery bag if you have more than one child.) to store the following "cooling off" items:

8. An ice pack for each child.  We use one like this that can cover a significant portion of a car seat.  When you get out of the car for errands or outings, put the ice pack in the carseat, making sure to cover the buckles.  Store in insulated bag between stops.  Do not let children ride on top of ice packs.

9. A folding reflective sunshade for each child.  Cover each ice-packed carseat with a shade to keep ice from melting, and to keep the seat even cooler.

10. A sippy cup filled with ice water for each child.  We've had good luck with these and these for avoiding leaks.  Store in insulated bag when away from car.

11. A bottle of water and a washcloth.  If the kids are hot prior to getting in the car (from running around at the park or somesuch), wipe their faces, hands, necks, and wrists down with a wetted washcloth.  A baby wipe will do in a pinch.  Keep bottle of water in insulated bag, or use an insulated water bottle.

I'd love to hear about ways you manage to beat the car heat.


The past couple of months have been... whew, crazy.

I've been fighting off one bad infection after another since 4/20.  It's amazing how a longer-than-average bout of illness can wipe you out.  I'm finally finishing up my (hopefully!) last bout of antibiotics and trying to get a grip on my house and family again.

Seeing that her mommy was not at her best, Margaret, naturally, decided to finally hit a million milestones we've been waiting on at once.

She's crawling:

Pulling up to stand:

Saying 'mama', 'boo', and 'more': (She usually says it unprompted, but clams up when the camera comes on.)

And generally being her darling, sunshiney self:

In other news, we're finally having our basement carpet (that my grandma way generously paid for as a birthday gift) installed on Thursday.  Fritz and his friends ripped the old carpet out last Wednesday, so we've been stuck upstairs since.  With Margaret's newfound skills, I've had to hole us up in my bedroom (the only completely crawler-proofed room so far).  Girlfriend is not amused.

And, with that, I hear someone squawking from her crib.  Naptime's up!