Sunday, January 19, 2020

a year of baby gifts

I accidentally left my laptop at my parents' house when we visited before Christmas, and I finally have it back. Reunited and it feeeels so good! Now I can catch up on sharing all my recent crafty endeavors. This post is a wrap-up of the baby gifts I made last year.

Let's jump all the way back to April. I finished this Notre Dame baby blanket in a little over 2 weeks last spring! I couldn't find a pattern online so I made my own grid in excel by tracing an interlocking ND logo. I knit the background and purled the logo part. The border is garter stitch. The dark green yarn is Cascade Anchor Bay (machine washable wool/cotton blend) from my local yarn shop. They had just the right amount to make this blanket!

This blanket went to my friends Erin and Matt, who welcomed baby Patrick over the summer! I hope this blanket brings the luck of the Irish. Congrats!

Next up, this Meredith Baby Cardigan for my friends Lauren and Zach. I managed to make zero notes about this project while working on it, which is very unlike me. Here's my guesses. Yarn: pretty sure I used the actual yarn recommended by the pattern for once (gasp!), Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, purchased at a local yarn shop. Color: spearmint? I think? Size: I know I debated this for a while, but I think I settled on 18-24 month. Seems like babies don't grow out of their clothes quite as fast once they're past the one year mark, so they get a little more wear out of a handmade item!

I hope baby Adeline stays toasty warm in her sweater (next winter)!

In the fall, I made these felt mobile pieces for Stacey and Raul's night sky themed nursery for baby Bode. I used the same technique for cutting the shapes as I did for my felt birds, Harry Potter mobile, and Avengers mobile. I designed the shapes on the computer, printed and traced them onto freezer paper, lightly ironed that to the felt, and then cut out the shapes along the template lines. Instead of hand-stitching these pieces, I sewed them on my machine, which worked out much better than I expected. I trimmed the shapes after sewing to get a nice, even edge. Ben and Jen assembled these into a mobile, which looks very cute in Bode's room!

Lastly, I knit this Guernsey blanket for Laura and Andy's little boy Connor. Apparently I have a thing for teal baby items. This is a modified Guernsey Wrap pattern, re-sized to make a baby blanket and knit in aqua Anchor Bay. I managed to take zero photos during the baby shower, probably because I was having fun catching up with my high school friends and their kiddos! We're just starting a cold snap here, so Connor will definitely need some snuggly blankets to stay warm this winter!

I think that's all the baby items I made last year, but I still have a few more knitting projects to share. Stay tuned!

Details for the ND blanket, Meredith Cardigan, and Guernsey blanket are available on my Ravelry page.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

a look back on 2019

Life with a three-year-old has kept us pretty busy this year! Take a look back on our biggest moments from 2019.

Top Row (left to right): Snowy fun sledding on our driveway; a weekend getaway to Sin City; GranE’s spring and fall Mae-cations; and saying a sad goodbye to our beloved parakeet, Charlie

Middle Row: Spending a fun Easter weekend with the family; celebrating three years of our amazing little girl; our vacation to Rhode Island and Lake George; and a late summer trip to GranE and Batman’s beach house

Bottom Row: Introducing Mae to nature walks; celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary with a visit to the amusement park; our cute little Halloween Octonaut; and our first Christmas at home!

We are back home after spending the last few days visiting Dan's family. We packed our bags on Christmas, and drove to the airport early on the 26th. This was our first trip without a stroller, and Mae did great. She was so excited to pull her suitcase through the airport that she forgot to complain about her legs being tired!

On our first night, we had dinner at GranE and Batman’s house and celebrated Christmas with our third round of opening gifts. Mae has loved zipping around on her new scooter and giving everyone check-ups with her doctor kit. We also all got new Batman shirts!

We spent the next day at the playground, on the scooter, and resting inside while watching The Great British Baking Show. Mae likes the show and always feels bad for people when they have “a bad bake.” Mae also made tacos for Pepper with her new taco kit. Pepper wished they were real tacos.

In the evening, we went to Longwood Gardens, which has beautiful Christmas lights and a spectacular greenhouse. We climbed the treehouses and explored the children’s garden. I love this place!

Saturday evening, we went to Dan’s cousin’s bar/restaurant for dinner and drinks with GranE. We had a tasty meal, and Mae danced herself silly next to the table. We hung around just long enough to say hi to other cousins and family who stopped by, but had to leave to get Mae back for bedtime. The holidays are rough on kid’s sleep schedules! (I didn’t take any photos at the bar, but Mae did. I’ll have to look through her camera!)

On Sunday, we drove to Maryland to visit Dan’s Grandma and Batman’s side of the family. We went out for a delicious brunch, and enjoyed visiting with Dan’s cousin, aunt, and uncles along with Great Grandma.

Monday’s weather was dreary and gross, so we stayed inside most of the day. Colleen brought over her Kirsten doll and clothes, which kept Mae entertained for the afternoon. Kirsten even got a check-up from Doctor Mae.

After a bit of a flight delay Tuesday, we finally made it home. We enjoyed all of our Christmas travel, but now we are looking forward to a few quiet days to ourselves before we head back to work. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

home for the holidays

Merry Christmas!

I’m typing while sitting on the couch, surrounded by the scattered aftermath of Christmas: new toys, discarded boxes, bits of wrapping paper, candy wrappers, and pine needles (so many pine needles). Dan is next to me playing a new video game while Mae is conked out upstairs after a long, fun day. Our first Christmas at home was a success!

Last Friday we drove to visit my family for some pre-Christmas festivities. We kicked the weekend off with a trip to the theater to see the latest Star Wars movie with Dad, Kevin, and Christopher while Mae stayed home with Grandma. We spent most of Saturday lounging around the house and made a quick visit to the Christkindlmarket in the evening. Sunday, we drove downtown for one of my favorite traditions, the symphony’s Christmas show. We left Mae with a babysitter, but she’ll be old enough to enjoy it next year. I am so excited to share the experience with her, since she will love the music, dancing, and beautiful costumes! We finished the evening with our sibling gift exchange.

On Monday, we opened our gifts from Mom and Dad.

Mae was so excited to get her very own suitcase, a Bitty Baby, and a little camera. She spent the rest of the day packing everything up, “traveling” to different cities, and taking photos... lots and lots of photos.

We went to the zoo in the evening to see the Christmas lights and the dolphin show. Mae ran to each animal, snapped a photo, and then ran on to the next animal. We could barely keep up!

Christmas Eve morning, we woke up early for Breakfast with Santa. (Mae asked Santa for candy canes. “Big ones. And little ones.”) We ate breakfast and then took Mae to play the little carnival games they had set up. She also got to meet Anna and Elsa. (She just saw "Frozen" for the first time last week when she was home sick from day care. She liked it, but I don't think she has "frozen fever" yet, thank goodness.)

We took pictures with Christmas props at the photo booth.

I laughed until tears were rolling down my face when Mae put on this giant Santa head.

On our way out, I made Mae pose behind this sign that said “TEAM.” It was too perfect of a backdrop to pass up (with some strategic cropping and a bit of leeway on the direction of the E.)

We drove back to our house straight from breakfast to celebrate our first Christmas at home... ever! Mae took a quick nap, and then we went to early evening mass. Afterwards, we had homemade pizza for dinner (topped with pepperonis and spinach for Christmassy colors). We opened our last advent calendar door, watched “Christmas Eve on Sesame Street,” set out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, and read ‘Twas Night Before Christmas. Mae took a long time to fall asleep with all the excitement.

In the morning, she called out to me and I went upstairs to get her out of bed. She looked worried and said, “I don’t think Santa came.” She came down the stairs and ran to the fireplace to find that the cookies, milk, and carrots were gone. Then she ran to the living room to find her presents!

She was excited to open a Playmobil school, more wooden train track, and the game Loopin’ Louie. We spent the rest of the day in our pajamas, playing (and setting up) the new toys. We even went to the playground in our jammies, since it was in the 60s and beautifully sunny! We made a delicious ham dinner and snuggled in for our third viewing of “Muppet Family Christmas” this season.

We had a cheerful, relaxing, quiet Christmas, and it was wonderful! Merry Christmas to all!