Sunday, June 26, 2022

happy colin to you!

Happy birthday to my little two-year-old! He has loved singing his version of the birthday song for Dan, Mae, and me while we celebrated our birthdays over the last couple months, and today it was finally time to sing, "Happy Colin to you!!"
Colin is chatting up a storm these days. Of course he's learned the essential phrases that come with having a big sister, like "my turn" and "NO!" After any accomplishment, like crawling to the top of a slide, he yells "I did it!" He's curious and inquisitive and always asking, "What dat??" When we are in the kitchen he yells, "I see it!" and demands to be lifted so he can see what food is being prepared. He's especially good at asking for food, including his favorites: chicken nugget, hoddog (hot dog), mahna (banana), i-keem (ice cream), and chokkit (chocolate).
His favorite color is yellow. It might just be the only color he knows. Everything is yellow. His favorite activities is whatever Mae is doing. He idolizes his big sister and she loves taking care of him!
Colin loves playing "Oh no, attack!" He climbs all over me yelling, "oh no attaaaaaack!" Then sometimes he is the victim and I smother him with kisses and tickles while he belly laughs. His other favorite game to play (with Mae as his partner-in-crime) is "Ew ew ew." Mae and Colin slowly crawl towards me while I yell things like, "Ew Ew Ew! What is that?? It's so gross and furry! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH IT'S TOUCHING MEEEEEE!!!"
Colin goes to bed around 7:30 p.m., wakes up around 7 a.m., and still takes a nice long nap in the afternoons. He sleeps with a pillow, a blanket, his two pachis (pacifiers), his stuffed animal Owlbert, and a cup of water which he must witness being filled every night right before bed OR ELSE. I have acquiesed to this request, but drew the line at his insistence that I wash the pachis every night under his critical gaze. Not happening. We read two books (usually about cars, trucks, or farm animals), and sing "Skidamarink a dink a dink" before bed. He's just recently started recognizing letters and points at words saying "B-C-D!" He loves when we sing the ABCs (or BCDs, I guess).
He is certainly earning the nickname of "our little Sour Patch Kid." He might just have turned two today, but he has been practicing his tantrums for at least a few months now. Most of the time he's even-tempered and cheerful, but occasionally, and often for no apparent reason, he is all screaming and flailing limbs and rage. Fortunately, when he's sweet, he's sooo sweet. He loves being my big helper. He especially likes to "shop! shop!", unpack groceries, and change laundry. He's overcome his fear of the dustbuster and vacuum and likes to help me suck up all the discarded bird seeds from Kiwi and Blueberry's cage. "Bird! Eat seeds!"

He's loving summer so far. We've made a few more trips to the pool, and could definitely spend all day at the splash pad ("pashpa"). He was even brave enough to attempt swimming in his new puddle jumper, though he promptly tipped sideways and his face went in the water. (He was mostly unfazed.)
Happy birthday to my sweet, silly, snuggly little kiddo! We love you to bits.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

linen estuary skirt

This is the Sew Liberated Estuary Skirt in Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer Yarn Dye, which is a linen/rayon blend. The color is called "Rain." The fabric had a lot of shrinkage during washing and ended up only about 48" wide, which meant I had to cut the back with a center seam instead of as one piece. I'm glad I bought lots of fabric (3yd) since I used most of it.
I made the version with in-seam pockets. I fully interfaced the pockets and the pocket edges on the skirt fronts and back with Pellon Ultraweft interfacing. I found a recommendation for this interfacing on Pattern Review as a good stabilizer that still maintains the drape of rayon. I'm interested to see how it holds up in the washing machine since it is listed as dry-clean only. I did pre-soak it in warm water and hang it to dry. My only complaint so far is that it seemed to leave a sandy grit (I'm assuming it's bits of dry adhesive coming loose) all over my cutting table!

I sewed a size 8 based on my waist measurement of 29" and cut the elastic about 1" longer than recommended. I'm not sure if the linen waistband stretched, the elastic stretched, or I just should have sized down, but the waist turned out quite a bit too large. I did some surgery on the waistband and center back seam, taking out 3" from both seams and 2.5" from the elastic. Much better! I did not sew functional button holes and just stitched the buttons through both plackets since the elastic back allows the skirt to pull on easily without opening the buttons. I sewed the buttons by machine for the first time. Game changer!! Usually I HATE sewing on buttons, but this was very quick and easy. I learned that almost all buttons, regardless of the diameter, have a hole spacing of 4mm! (** The More You Know **)
I shortened the original pattern by 3" and it hit me a couple inches below the knee. I tried to love it, but it's just a terrible length on me. I re-hemmed it, taking out an extra 2", and I like this length much better. Instead of just hemming the bottom of the plackets, I sewed them right-sides-together at the bottom edge of the finished hem and then turned them out to form a point (similar to my Camas blouse, Suki robe, and Jessica dress). I finished all the seams with a serger, since I was afraid flat-felled seams would look too "denim-y" (not a word, but also not the look I was going for.)
I wore the skirt to Oliver's birthday party this weekend. It was super comfortable. The fabric has enough weight that it doesn't blow scandalously in a breeze but is still very lightweight and cool. I was a little worried about the pocket shape, but my phone stayed securely in the pocket all afternoon. We had lots of fun at the dino-themed birthday party! This is the only photo I took, but it's a good one. Happy birthday, Oliver!

Sunday, June 19, 2022

a whole summer in one weekend

Mae's last day of kindergarten was right before Memorial Day weekend. While GranE and Batman came to visit Dan, Mae, and Colin for a couple days, I flew out to their beach house for Colleen's bachelorette party! We managed to make the best of the time available, despite lots of last minute changes due to unforeseen circumstances. We had a beautiful day at the beach on Sunday, and I really enjoyed hanging out with Colleen and her friends!
The following weekend, I think we accomplished an entire summer of activities in one weekend (and it's not even technically summer yet!) Dan was fighting a strep infection, so the kids and I wanted to get out of the house to let him rest as much as possible. It was a beautiful spring day, so we went to the zoo and spent lots of time watching the (relatively) active Galapagos tortoises and the sleepy lions.

During June, Mae is attending summer school on my workdays. After the academic morning session they have fun activities so she has been opting to attend in the afternoons even on the days I'm home! It coordinates pretty well with Colin's naptime. After we picked her up, we put on our swim suits and headed for the pool. Colin ran right into the baby pool, but I think he was a little startled by how cold the water was! Mae showed off all the things she's been thinking about over the winter: blowing bubbles in the water, jumping in from the side, and getting her face wet. Colin clung to me like a soggy little monkey. We spent time in the baby pool, big pool, and at the splash pad. They both had fun even though Colin never moved from my left hip!
On Saturday, we went creek stomping. Mae made leaf boats and chased water skimmers while Colin threw rocks and poked sticks in the mud. It was relaxing, shady, and peaceful.
By the afternoon, thanks to antibiotics, Dan was feeling well enough for a baseball game. We were excited to take Colin to his first game!
Both kids were pretty well entertained through the first 5-6 innings by the music, food, pyrotechnics, and the little toys that Grandma brought. During the 6th inning, we went on a hunt for ice cream sundaes and then spent the rest of the game at the playground in the stadium. The Reds lost, but they did get 11 strikeouts which means free LaRosa's pizza!
Colin spent time sitting on our laps and trying to maneuver around in front of our chairs. He INSISTED that the cup of beer was actually juice and was SO MAD that I wouldn't let him drink it. He was also very concerned about the guy sitting next to us who was throwing his peanut shells on the ground and kept pointing and saying "uh oh." I was a little worried we'd recreate the now-classic photo from Mae's first game where she's screaming her brains out, but Colin was pretty cheerful the whole time!
On Sunday, we went to the farmers market. Unfortunately they had just sold out of fresh spaghetti, but we got some tasty bread from the bakery and, of course, POPSICLES!
We have a few more busy weeks in June, and then I'm expecting July to slow down a bit. Bring on the summer fun!