I’m doing something new in blog world here – linking up with another blog. I’ve been following Foto Friday for a while now through my friend’s blog at Growth Chart Moments. Each week there’s a new theme for the pictures that people post and this week’s theme is “water”. When I saw that I was excited because our 2 year old son’s love for water has exploded this summer!! He loves the pool and the lake!!! (Which we love too!)
We recently returned from a family vacation at Douglas Lake and we had a blast! Benjamin learned to float and had a wonder time jumping off the back of the boat! I have lots of favorite pictures from our Tennessee vacation but I’ve highlighted just a couple.
I love this picture because of the excitement in Ben’s face. He loved swimming around and, different from previous trips to the lake, he didn’t care if there was an adult swimming close by.
Here’s another favorite – an action shot of him jumping off the back of the boat.
I love this photo because it caught many of the water droplets from the splash that hit my face! (Which of course I didn’t see first hand since my eyes were closed.)
Be sure to visit La-La’s Home Daycare to see the other fun water pictures that were posted this week.
What a fantastic week!!! Ben and I were off school for Spring Break and Aaron joined us. We’ve spent time together as a family going many fun places around the area. We’ve gone to the pool, COSI, Columbus Zoo, Slate Run Historical Farm, and AHA museum in Lancaster. Pictures are coming to the gallery soon but in the mean time, be sure to check out the videos of each of our trips found in the vimeo link on the side tab.
Of course, we started the week off by celebrating Ben’s second birthday with my family. He’s had lots of fun playing with his new “scoop” (aka – excavator) and bulldozer. We will finish the week off with another birthday celebration on Sunday with Aaron’s family. (Ben will share the party with his cousin Averie and grandma.)
Ben’s vocabulary changes daily. He loves copying our words. He can spell his name and count to 10 with some consistency, still skipping 9 though. It’s amazing how he’s grown in two years.
Tonight at dinner Ben was eating an English Muffin and kept pointing and grunting toward the table. I kept asking him what he wanted and he kept pointing and grunting (toward the stick of butter). I asked him again what he wanted and added “use your words”. Without missing a beat, the wise guy said “buuuttter”. His face was very intense and his word was very clear!! Aaron and I both cracked up laughing because he’s never said the word butter before. For some reason, it really struck my funny bone. So there I was, at the dinner table, buttering Ben’s toast and laughing so hard that tears began streaming down my face.
I guess I should expect stuff like this because his verbal skills are changing daily. I think he’s forming paragraphs in his dreams at night. Keep working buddy because you are amazing!!
So, I guess I’ve been neglectful on the blogging side of life. But that’s what happens as life happens.
Summer is officially over and school has begun. Ben and I are working through the fourth week of school. (Almost 1 whole month with a new group of kiddos!! WOW!) I’ve been trying some new things in my classroom this year, including an interactive whiteboard. Basically, it is a giant computer monitor. So, once I get the correct software going, I can write on the board and save everything I write to my computer. The kids think it’s really cool to watch the text “magically” appear on my computer. I can also create really cool projects that have words hidden in different places on the screen. The whole experience has been a lot of fun. (Ben thinks it’s fun too!!! He loves to grab the pen and click on the computer icons on the board.) The board is one of the first things he goes to everyday in the room.
As a family, we’ve been able to enjoy crazy times together. Days filled with laughter, excitement, squealing, tears, and joy. Ben is beginning to explore his independence more everyday!! He loves to climb the stairs on his own, get up and down from adult chairs, and explore anything he can find. He gets really excited when he sees watermelon, horses, dogs, planes, geese, buses, and yes, still squirrels.
Be sure to check out our newest pictures in the photo gallery. We recently visited the fair with grandma and grandpa, as well as Aunt Becky, Aunt Michele, Uncle Bill, along with cousins Cam, Chris, & Caleb. We also picked apples at our local orchard. Ben loved eating his freshly picked apple, as mom and dad did the harvesting. And of course, we have the ’round the house pictures and backyard pictures, which have some “senior picture” poses woven throughout.
I haven’t counted how many weeks of summer break have gone by but I do know that August is just around the corner. So, I thought I’d take a chance “midway” through the summer to blog about some recent events. As you may have noticed from previous blogs, I have put the sewing machine to good use this summer. I completed a blanket/quilt for Ben just a few minutes ago. I learn a couple of things from this project;
1. I’ve never managed that much material at one time (about 5 yards).
2. Therefore, I had to help the sewing machine by pushing and pulling the material a little more than normal.
3. I used my resources wisely. At one point I had the blanket laying on the kitchen floor because I needed a straight edge. The tile floor has some pretty useful straight lines!
4. I think my finished product may be bigger than my son! (I wanted it to last a while and I think it will but wow.)
The whole summer has not been sewing. I’ve also spent some time reading, completing college class work, and preparing things for my classroom this fall. (Of course most of that has been during nap time.)
When Benjamin hasn’t been napping, we’ve stayed busy in the backyard on the swing set, walking the neighborhood, visiting the pool, riding bikes, visiting the zoo, going to the library, playing with friends, and running errands. Ben had a chance to entertain his grandparents for a couple of days while Aaron and I went to Myrtle Beach. We had a wonderful time and the grandparents had a good time too. Even though they were sad to see Ben leave, I’m sure they were thankful for the chance to slow down. I know Ben kept them on their toes!!!
In the last three weeks, Ben has had 5 new teeth emerge!! He acts like a little beaver and gnaws on everything!!! He enjoys watching and studying everything to figure out how it works. I think he’s going to be mechanical. I’m sure it won’t be long before he starts taking things apart. He has figured out how to walk backwards. Many times he will combine his walking backwards with dancing. It’s the cutest thing ever!!!
Be sure to check out our many summer photos in our photo gallery!
This summer has challenged me to try (and learn) new things. I have been motivated to try out my sewing skills again. After reading my friend Amanda’s blog and seeing her try things with her new sewing machine, I decided to get mine out of the basement. In my extra time, I’ve read many craft blogs and gotten some creative juices from them as well.
Over the last eight years, I have used my sewing machine to hem pants, fix seams, and make curtains. Nothing too challenging but I decided to experiment. So far this summer, I have made almost 2 dozen baby bibs and a neck pillow for Ben. During the bib endeavor, I broke my first needle. I froze and thought “well, what do I do now”. (I’m not sure I’ve ever broken a needle on a sewing machine before. However, if I have, I do know that my mom was there to change it for me.) Of course I figured out what to do, got the needle changed quickly and kept sewing.
As a result of all the bibs I’ve made, I’ve decided to sell some of them. Which brings me to my new endeavor, selling things on a website called Etsy. (It’s a website that has been created to sell only homemade and vintage items.) I spent a large portion of Monday morning organizing all the information I needed to establish an account in order to sell. I have listed only 4 bibs at this time, 1 of each pattern I have created, but I have a total of 13 bibs I would like to sell. So I now have my business hat on . . . time for publicity. Here’s the link to my shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/craftEmom If you know of anyone that would be interested in buying any of the bibs, feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to work something out.
All of my small sewing projects have allowed me to remember why I like the hobby. I have really enjoyed my time at the sewing machine. (Some days I have to establish my priorities in order to make sure my class work gets done also. ) My next project may not be so small, a quilt/blanket for Ben, but I know that I will enjoy making it. And hopefully, it will turn out well!!
June is almost over and I have found myself feeling ambitious and crafty. When Ben was born, we received a couple of homemade bibs from one of Aaron’s coworkers. After using them, they seemed to be very absorbent and larger than most bibs you can get at the store. So I decided to use them as a pattern and make some bibs for Ben. Ben and I went to the store and bought fabric. (Notice I couldn’t just buy a couple, I had to buy enough variety of cute fabric!)
During Ben’s nap, I created my first bib using scrap material I already had. I thought the creation was a little small (compared to the original bib) and I realized it wasn’t symmetrical. So, I created a pattern. I know, I was suppose to do that first but I really thought, “ah, this is no problem.”
Over the last two weeks, I have made six bibs and only used 1 pattern of material that I purchased. (I have lots of bibs left to make this summer!! )
Here’s my handsome model showing off one of my bib’s before a meal!
Then yesterday on the way home from church, I had another crafty idea . . . an infant car seat pillow. Ben had fallen asleep in the car and his poor head was tilted forward in the car seat. We had an adult neck pillow that I kept trying to wedge around his head/neck for support but it wasn’t quite doing the job. So this morning, I used some left over material and created a pillow.
I used the bib pattern to determine the neck opening. Then shortened the space, added some additional fabric in the back for some height, then sewed it.
Here’s the finished product. Seems like it should do the job!!
And a summer project blog wouldn’t be complete without talking about our outdoor projects. We spent half the day Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday in the backyard constructing a play set. We bought a box from Lowe’s with all the hardware and play components (except the slide).
Then we purchased all the lumber. We spent about 1 hour cutting lumber, then about 5 hours constructing the main frame. Yesterday, we put on the enclosures, including the tarp, and put together the rock wall.
We would like to add a platform/step area so Ben is able to access the slide a little more independently. But here’s the project to date.
And that’s what has been keeping us busy. As if climbing up and down the stairs after a one year old wasn’t enough. Happy summer!!!
Summer vacation officially began this week. Ben and I have done things around the house as well as the community. We started off the week with grocery shopping. (It’s amazing how empty the store is when you are there on a weekday morning. It was nice!!!) Then Jack and Amanda stopped by to visit for a short while. Wednesday we went to the library for infant story time. Ben seemed to enjoy it. He sat in my lap for the first 20 minutes or so just taking everything in. Then the toys came out and he slowly started interacting with the other babies. While we were there, I signed Ben up for the summer reading program. Guess he’s taking this thing serious . . . . he was really interested in reading “What to Expected the Toddler Years” as a bedtime story the other night.
On Thursday, we met Aaron at the lake and had a chance to explore the beach! Ben was hesitant of the water at first but eventually he adjusted to the idea. He walked around and played in the sand for a while also.
Here was his first water experience of 2010. . . .
This was after he fell down.
And, here he is at Alum Creek . . .
Thankfully he adjusted better to the lake water than the backyard water. Now we just need to keep going on a regular basis so he gets use to it!! Be sure to check out more pictures in our photo gallery of both of these experiences.
This week Ben has also figured out that he can go down the stairs on his own. (Thanks Jack!!) So Ben and I have spent a couple of hours over the course of four days on the stairs, me sitting – ready to catch him – and him climbing happily up and down the steps. Oh, the little joys of life.
I know I’ve used this space regularly to update and brag about Benjamin and the milestones he is accomplishing. However, it’s almost June which means it’s time to harvest strawberries (and lots of them). We decided to only do strawberries and tomatoes in our garden this year. So we purchased some new strawberry plants a couple weeks ago in an effort to expand our current patch. (We’ve been told that most strawberry plants only last 3 to 4 years with a good crop, so we weren’t sure what to expect this summer. . . . summer number 4 for our “old” plants.)
We’ve picked 2 pints of strawberries in 3 days, and there are still a ton of berries left on the plants. Guess we have a little “Farmtown” going on. Anybody want to come harvest our strawberry fields?
Ben’s now walking independently!! Within the last three weeks, he has become more adventurous while walking. He has even gotten comfortable walking around on less forgiving surfaces such as the patio and the sidewalk. He’ll walk just about anywhere. He really seems to enjoy stopping before he gets to an object. Many times he will just stand there and look around, then reach forward to the table, couch, or person that he was walking toward. It’s almost like he’s saying “wow, I did this alone”.
His social personality has really began to shine as he’s been walking more. At school, he will walk back and forth between people. Once anyone applauds his accomplishment, he continues with great enthusiasm. When he arrives at his destination, he will stop and look toward the “audience” and smile anxiously awaiting the applause. Sometimes, he bounces up and down during the applause. And other times he will even applaud for himself!!
Here are a couple of brief videos from his walking adventures over the last week.
He’s also become very interested in opening and shutting doors. My mom gave us a used Radio Flyer wagon last month that had an opening for a door. Aaron found some scrap wood in the garage and made a door for the wagon. (Of course as an engineer who is a father concerned about safety, he had to make sure the door not only opened and shut but that it also latches. So he used an extra gate latch and installed it on the wagon with the door.) Ben LOVES playing with the door, walking around the wagon and climbing in and out of the wagon too. Last night he screamed bloody murder when we had to put it away in order to go to sleep. He cried for about 2 minutes after I took him inside. (Oh yeah, in addition to his social personality developing, his temperament is also developing.) I’m so glad he’s exploring the world, but geesh kid, do you really have to let the entire block know you are upset?? Anyway, I’ll leave you will one more video, his fascination with the Radio Flyer wagon door.