Friday, September 26, 2014

May The Fourth Be With You!

 Funny story... we asked Austin what kind of birthday party he wanted for a couple of weeks at the end of August. We figured that would be enough time for us to get all the stuff together and send out invitations, and we knew toddlers were fickle, so we waited until his answer was actually consistent. He said he wanted a space party. So we went with a space party. We sent out space party invitations, bought planets and stars to hang from the ceiling and ordered a cake that was decorated like the planet Earth. We thought of some fun outer spacey things for kids to do and were really pleased with how things were coming together.

And then, about four days before the party, he said he wanted a Paw Patrol birthday party. And he said this over and over and over again, and I just sort of muttered every time, thinking "nononononononononononononononono." That, and "F- you Nickelodeon," who advertises their Paw Patrol party crap during all the episodes we've dvred. So, when it came to decorate, I was a little concerned.

 I shouldn't have been. We had a bunch of decorations up when he woke up the morning of the party, and I could hear him taking Daddy around and showing him the stars and the planets. It was totally fine. And he was stoked to help decorate when I gave him all the space toys I'd rounded up the day before.
Yup, the Daleks came. They don't get invited to many parties.
This astronaut is investigating the Trix treats I made, which looked awesomely otherworldly. They were also completely disgusting. Ah well...
R2 was invited, of course.
The nice photography studio down the street saved us this box! Austin wouldn't let me make it into a space ship, insisting it was a train.
A space train ;)
We made Austin's room into another world with a black light and some fun accessories...
Water beads, fluorescent Hot Wheels and submersible LEDs

We have an awesome bakery to do the cake. I did the rainbow though.

I am so glad I've been doing these big cards! Some of the kids were able to actually sign this one, so it's cool to compare the one from last year to now :)
The stash of presents under the table did not go unnoticed ;)

Pretty proud I've done cascarones at almost every birthday! These were meteors...
It's full of stars!

Meteor shower!

The aftermath
Sophie is still not quite clear on the concept.

These were our favors... I wrapped little toys and stickers in layers of crepe paper until they were roundish, then gave them tinsel rings. I got the idea here:
We also gave out astronaut ice cream.
Of course I did enough for Sophie and Austin to have one too.
That's a lot of crepe paper.
Space geckos (in memoriam)
Post party sugar coma

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baby Halloween Costume Tips for Lazy/Crafty Moms

This is the first costume I ever made for Austin. And here it is, on MSN Canada! He's famous! Now I feel qualified to blog about costume tips! And fear not, these costumes were pretty darn cheap and don't require much in the way of skill. I don't even have a sewing machine. Here's how I made the costumes for Austin's first two Halloweens out of 2 yards of the same cheap, fake fur.

So, first costume is for newborns to 3 months, depending on how active your child is. Austin is 1 month and 1 week old in these pictures. Obviously there are some things that make this age unique, for one, he didn't move much more than the average stuffed animal. This meant I didn't have to worry about the costume getting yanked off or having feet sturdy enough for walking. These are made from cardboard I cut out and colored with Sharpie:

I folded the fabric over and sewed it to the cardboard with a heavy gauge needle to give it some dimension and a more finished look. The fabric actually wraps around the edge of the feet slightly and leaves the claws exposed. Here are his completed Yeti claws:

You will also need a way to get at the diaper easily and since little bitty babies aren't very coordinated or strong, you don't have to worry about making it hard for him to wiggle out of. The legs are basically leg warmers with attached feet so you don't have to remove any part of the costume to change him. You can actually see this in the video of us dressing him here. There was a hole on the inside ankle of each leg that allowed me to reach up and pull his feet through. Here's how we did it...

Select an outfit you or your child hate or have stained beyond repair. Build the costume over it. This saves a ton of time trying to measure a wriggling kid. It also saves you from having to line the costume, in case, like me, you bought some fake fur at the fabric store that seems like it would be intolerably itchy.

Use paper grocery bags to cut patterns. The paper is nice and sturdy and holds up well for pinning.

It also makes good ears. I cut these out of brown paper bags and stitched the fabric to them, and then stitched them on the headpiece. The headpiece was just two half rounds sewn together on top, then lined with a piece of an old pair of pantyhose.

His second Halloween he was a little bit bigger (obviously) and much more opinionated.

Owls are a hoot, they said

 This costume is pretty similar to the first one I made. I used an old onesie again for the base, stitching the owl pattern together and then stitching its shoulders to the shoulders of the onesie that went inside. He wore babylegs on his calves.

The dreaded, man-eating land owl

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Little Post About A Sophaloaf

I have meant to post about Sophie for a long time. I wrote that post about Austin and his interests and ideas, but when I started to write about Sophie, I sort of got hung up. She just changes all the time! So every time I tried to start this post, it'd be wrong, like a day later. But she deserves a post, so here it goes... because I do not want to hear about this later from her therapist.

She's super cute.

She walks like a champ. She even runs and kicks!

She sings when she's going to sleep. "Ni Ni See See." She also likes to lay down randomly during the day and pretend she's singing herself to sleep.

Occasionally we watch "My Cat From Hell." This is only relevant because Jackson Galaxy discusses the difference between "Bush Cats" who hide on the ground and "Tree Cats" who need to be up on shelves or whatever. Sophie is a tree toddler. Also, Austin thought the guy who came to do the contract for some work we had done on the attic was Jackson Galaxy. And later, he thought the guy in the hazmat suit who came to remove the old insulation was an astronaut.

STOP. STOP. This post is about Sophie!!

There are less flattering things I could share... like the fact she beats us up when she's going to bed every night. And then laughs hysterically. She also likes to poke you in the eye, while she says, "eye!"

She is utterly fearless. She steps into pools, off edges of play structures. Unless you're a friendly person who wants to say "hi." Then she buries her face in the nearest parent. Weirdly, she is not afraid of our chickens, even though one has pecked her almost every single day we've all been out together.

tree toddler
we do this every time we go to breakfast

business business business... numbers...

I also am starting to get opportunities to take her on her own adventures... While Austin goes to preschool, she gets to explore the city.

But I think her favorite times are still with her brother <3