Ribbon Streamers

One of the things the occupational therapists are working on with Eli is motor planning (basically thinking about and carrying out a specific body motion.) Because of his Sensory Processing Disorder he has trouble seeing a certain motion and mimicking it. Many of the signs he uses are approximations of the actual sign… and sometimes not so very approximate. He does stick to his version though and I am able to understand him, another person who knows baby signs though probably wouldn’t recognize many of his signs.

So to work on this skill,  one activity is to play with ribbon streamers. I don’t know if there is another name for these, it’s just the best one I could come up with. They are just lengths of ribbons attached to a handle.

He holds one and I have another. I try to get him to imitate me swinging it from side to side, up and down, around and around, etc. Add some music and dancing and a mini party can be had!

Of course hitting the wall and other things with them is also great fun.

Want to make some yourself? It’s cheap, quick and easy!

I started with two scraps from an old pair of pants. I didn’t measure… I just cut them the length I wanted the handle loop to be and wide enough to fold over a few times to give the handles some stiffness. I chose to use the existing seams to add extra weight.

I folded the raw edges in and folded them again to get the width I wanted and pressed them with an iron.

I stitched down the length of each handle.

This was a perfect project for the $1 box of ribbon I had picked up long ago at Michael’s. I had two of these boxes. Each ribbon is 18″ long which isn’t really even enough for wrapping most presents, yet just right for these ribbon streamers.

I unrolled all of the ribbon spools and sandwiched the ribbons between the two ends of the folded over handle. This is a quick and dirty project… finishing before the end of naptime took higher priority to craftsmanship, so the handle ends are just raw edged.

I then sewed the ribbon into place with three  lines of back and forth stitching. The first handle went relatively smoothly.

The second which used fabric with the outer seam of the pant leg, not so much. Besides the six layers of ribbon, each side of the handle was by this point at least six layers of heavy material thick. I should have clued in that this would be a problem when I broke the first needle.

But no, I had to keep going with a new needle that promptly broke as well…

after being driven through the bobbin case! Ahem…

I managed to hand sew the rest of the handle, not easy let me tell you. We will see how long it lasts.

For now they are working just fine. A therapeutic toy for only $2 (not counting the replacement sewing machine needles!)

Update:

I have now finished a couple sets of these streamers to put in my Etsy shop Folk Haven Creations.If there is continued interest I will make more. As you can see the ribbon streamers for sale are not the quick and dirty version shown in the first part of this post.

I’m quite pleased with how the handles turned out on these (and with the fact that I didn’t break any more needles!) I used a pair of jeans that are part spandex so they are a bit stretchy and softer to the touch.

These streamers are also longer, measuring 28″ long from the top of the handle to the ends of the ribbons.

I was featured!

Here’s where I am linking up.

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,

Elmo Shirt

Eli loves Elmo.

Elmo

Image via Wikipedia

Elmo’s name was one of his first 5 words.

I think he loves Cookie Monster more. (Don’t tell Elmo.) He loves pretending to be Cookie Monster shoveling imaginary cookies in his mouth while making “nom nom nom” noises.

But the only plain t-shirt in his size in the house was Cookie Monster blue… not the best background for an appliqued Cookie Monster.

So Elmo it is. The red comes from a dollar store wool blazer that I felted in the wash. (It is amazing what you can find at a dollar store sometimes!) The other fabrics are all from old t-shirts. (You may recognize that orange, Aunt Sylvia.) Heat ‘n’ Bond and blanket stitch and there you have it…

One happy little boy.

Not that he would produce any semblance of a “happy” face while I was taking pictures. I gave up after I shot about 50, feeling very thankful for digital photography and not needing to invest a ton of time and money to confirm my suspicion that there wasn’t a single smile in the lot.  But at least you can see how serious he is about Elmo …and pushing buttons.

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Owl Pillow

I’ve been seeing a lot of owl-themed projects out there lately. Is it any wonder? I mean, let’s face it, there’s just something cute about owls in a way that isn’t so for any other bird of prey.

After adding the owl patch to Eli’s knee-pleat pants I didn’t quite have the owl quite out of my system. I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to continue using up the wool blanket I had accidentally felted and the remains of an old sweater.

There’s really not a whole lot to say about this one. It’s cushy and very huggable and it makes me smile.

I was featured!

Here’s Where I am linking up.

pillowpalooza link party

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Goodbye Kiana

On Sunday we had to say good bye to Kiana, the last of the three cats that I had had for many years.  That morning I noticed her abdomen had become hard and round.  At the vet’s clinic they took an x-ray and found that it was her body cavity that was holding the fluid, putting tremendous pressure on her organs. The vet couldn’t say why without running about $700 of diagnostic tests, but she said that any of the possibilities were not very treatable in a cat almost 15 years old.

Eli received a visit from his Aunt Jacki so that both my husband and I could go to the clinic to say goodbye. I am so thankful we were able to do it together.

Kiana came to us via the city pound back when I lived in Northern California and was living with my brother. He was actually the one who picked her out, being beguiled by her beauty. I reluctantly left behind the sweet but ordinary orange tabby I’d been in favor of.

Initially she was a wild little thing who didn’t want to be petted, not because she was afraid (she feared NOTHING) but because she felt being stroked was beneath her. If I touched her she’d glare at me and immediately get to work washing the spot with which I’d come into contact. She was also very rough and I was constantly scratched up from her many ambushes. I’m afraid if I had known somebody with a farm she may have become a barn cat, but I didn’t and we had made a commitment to her when we took her, so she stayed.

Kiana loved gazing at the Christmas tree.

Then my brother took a trip to Japan and I was hit with the worse case of bronchitis ever. I was flat on my back on the couch for three days straight. Kiana changed overnight. She insisted on sitting for hours on my chest watching my face intently. I got better, of course, and our relationship was forever changed. Not only was she my cat, but I was HER person.

I wish I had pictures of her during her kittenhood. I’m sure I do somewhere, but that was before the days of digital photography and I have moved countless times since then. We knew she was going to be large because she had the longest tail… longer than the length of the rest of her body. She had a thing for shoes. We had a Bible Study once a week at our home and Kiana would go down the row of visitors’ shoes lined up in the vestibule pushing her little head deep inside each one, inhale audibly, then stand there quivering in ecstasy  for a moment before moving on to the next shoe. If she chose to do this during the prayer time it was all my brother and I could do to keep our composure!

She traveled with me by car when I moved back to Illinois, and as she was taking medication at the time I took her with me on a road trip to New York state to visit a friend. A few years later she would drive with my husband and I from Illinois to Southern California with the other two cats, camping along the way. (An adventure, to be sure, but I’m not sure I’d ever recommend camping with multiple cats to anyone.)

I met my husband while living in the Chicago suburbs. Kiana had always been a one woman cat, but the first day he came over to visit at my apartment she immediately came out and threw herself across his feet. I had already been pretty convinced that he was “the one”, but her reaction pretty much sealed the deal as far as I was concerned. At the time we were having some trouble with one of the other cats jockeying for dominance and therefore attacking her whenever she dared to use the facilities, so Kiana went to live with my future husband for those months before we married. She was VERY happy with the arrangement and I still got to see her daily.

The mind meld.

The last couple of years have been difficult ones for this sweet cat. When Eli was born I no longer had time to spend with her. As an infant Eli was very high-need and demanded to be held almost constantly. On the rare occasions that he wasn’t on me, I was so touched out that the last thing I wanted to do was cuddle. Then as Eli became mobile he decided that Kiana was AWESOME. The last year she has lived in the closet or had a screeching toddler running pell mell after her through the house. Amazingly she adjusted so much better than I ever would have hoped she would. It helped that my husband still spent quality time with her every morning before he went to work. She never acted jealous or aggressive toward Eli. Even though he tormented her, when he would fall asleep she would often creep over and kiss his ankle before cuddling up next to him for a brief while.

Lately she had been showing signs of kitty dementia. She would walk around at night yowling and nothing my husband would get up and do for her seemed to appease her. I admit I’ve gotten horribly frustrated with her, especially the week in October when my husband was  on a business trip. Eli wasn’t sleeping much at all as we were still figuring out about his reaction to the allergy medication and he was a bit distraught that Daddy was gone. To have him finally, blessedly, asleep only to have her start yowling and hurling herself against the bedroom door, waking him up again… poor Kiana spent most nights that week shut in a bathroom.

The night before she passed I was up during the middle of the night and came out to the living room where I was able to spend some time cuddling with her. I’m so glad I woke up and we had that time together. We miss you, Kiana.

The Results Are In… (on food allergies)

Today we after repeatedly having to reschedule the appointments for various reasons, we finally  had Eli’s skin test done with the allergist.

Many months ago without thinking I gave Eli a piece of my granola bar, forgetting that it contained peanuts which I want to withhold until he is 5 years old. He developed a few hives on his neck within about 10 minutes of eating it. Ugh…! I figured I’d keep an eye on that, but since I didn’t plan to be giving him peanuts any time soon it would be a long while before it would be an issue.

Fast forward to December. We brought home some Vietnamese takeout and I had forgotten to specify no peanuts when placing the order by phone. I made sure none of the peanuts made it’s way onto Eli’s plate, but he did have some rice noodles that had touched peanuts. (Not my smartest moment, but there you have it.) Twenty minutes after eating I notice a hive on his shoulder. Oh boy… here we go.

As soon as we were back in town after the holidays I told the pediatrician who gave us a prescription for the Epi-pen and a referral to have the skin test done.

I’ve been so nervous, waiting (and dreading) the appointment and the resulting verdict. In the meantime I did some reading on food allergies, which didn’t do much to give me any peace of mind, but did begin educating me on the topic. I’ve demonstrated the use of the Epi-pen to anyone working in the church nursery. You know, heaven forbid, just in case… I’d wake up in the middle of the night acutely aware of the bag of peanut M&M’s, the jar of snacking peanuts, and the peanut butter lurking in the house like an evil presence just waiting for some moment of faltering vigilance to pounce upon my son.

So today was the day…

The Mantoux skin test consists of an intraderm...

and glory of glories, there is NO peanut allergy!!

I can’t describe the level of relief I feel.

The doctor couldn’t tell us why he broke out in hives. He did say how to deal with it if it happens again, and when it would warrant a re-visit to his office.

Interestingly, there was also no dairy allergy. It seems his rashes and gastrointestinal discomfort at minute exposures to cow’s milk are actually a food sensitivity. It is still something we will need to keep out of Eli’s diet, so nothing will change in practice, but we don’t have to worry that his reaction will ever be life-threatening!

(On a side note, there aren’t even any seasonal allergies. He has Vasomotor Rhinitis which has nothing to do with allergies at all. For at least a year now I thought I’d totally given Eli the short end of the sticks in the genetic department as far as allergies are concerned. So glad he doesn’t take after good ol’ mom in this aspect. We’ll always have the tea!)

While the reading on food allergies I’ve done over the past month or so was responsible for some intensified anxiety on my part, it also made me aware of the fear, isolation and stress families that are dealing with food allergies live with on a daily basis. I have the utmost respect for those parents. I am so thankful not to rank among them!

I learned that now that I know that what Eli has is not a milk allergy I need to label it correctly when speaking with others. It’s tempting to use the word allergy. People understand it and I don’t have to do a lot of explaining. I’ve called it an allergy for a long time now, believing that that was what it was, so there’s the issue of not seeming like I’m inconsistent. I don’t want people thinking “Oh, it’s not an allergy, so it doesn’t really matter if I give him this piece of candy, or goldfish cracker. He really wants it and it won’t really hurt him.” (No, he won’t end up in the hospital but he will have a rash for about 2 weeks and be fussy and unable to sleep for a couple of days due to gastrointestinal upset.) But if I label this to others as an allergy, and people learn that his reaction isn’t all that bad, they might treat the next person’s allergy less seriously too, and for that person it could be life threatening.

I will never complain or question if an organization(school or otherwise) Eli is involved with in the future has strict rules regarding not bringing certain food items. What a small thing to ask if it means another family will be able to let their allergic child participate in community without fear of dying on a daily basis! And if these mothers ever seem strident or pushy… well, shouldn’t they? Who wouldn’t if there were such a real and serious threat to the well-being and even the life of their child? Nobody should be mocked or ostracized for protecting their child.

And with that I will step off my soap box. And I’ll keep thanking God for the wonderful news I received today. Because but for the grace of God there go I.

Two Crows on a Log Cabin

I love ravens and crows.

They are incredibly intelligent birds, forming close relationships within their flock (or “murder” as a flock of crows is called.) I made this quilt in 2004-2005 while living in Illinois. There was a West Nile Virus epidemic at the time in that region. I remember coming across a dying crow while out for a walk in my neighborhood. Although I got close to it it was too ill to try to fly away. (I knew better than to try to save it and didn’t try to touch it. West Nile also makes people ill.) Even though I was right there his buddy stayed close by. Crow populations were decimated during that epidemic because when one crow would become ill it’s family members would bring it food and try to feed it thus becoming infected themselves. Sad, but touching as well.

As I made this quilt I did a lot of reading about these often maligned birds. I found their sense of humor and the lengths they will go for a good practical joke amazing. I read a story of a rescued bird that was living with people amusing itself by mimicking the sound of the ice cream truck, causing all of the neighborhood children to come rushing out to the street. Or another that about ran some chickens to death by exhaustion by mimicking the sound of the farmer’s wife calling them to come get their feed over and over again. There were many more stories but these are the two I remember.

When we moved to California I was stunned by the numbers of crows here. Every evening  during certain seasons they stream by in huge masses that fill the sky in each direction as far as you can see. This continues on and off though out the evening until sunset. We’ve joked that there are multiple  murders in our neighborhood every evening!

Many crows in a dark tree at New Orleans Squar...

Image via Wikipedia

The silhouettes of crows and branches in this quilt were my first experiment with felted wool. I bought a long wool dress coat at the thrift store and shrunk it in the laundry. I embroidered some wing details and the feet clutching the branches, but in black on black it is a bit hard to see.

This was also my initiation into the world of the log cabin block. I spent hours experimenting with different layouts… so versatile. When I hit upon this arrangement it reminded me of a sunset and led me to the idea of the appliques of crows and branches.

This quilt has a permanent home on the wall above our bed. I think it is one of my all time favorite creations.

I was featured!

Artful Rising

 

 

 

 

Here’s Where I am linking up.

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic,

Whatever Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & MeHappy Hour ProjectsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and NonsenseOne Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,  Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes,

Petite HermineMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

{aka}/ designGet Outta My Head PleaseMad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou,

The Gunny SackSew Can Do, Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Letter to Eli, 23 Months

Dear Eli,

What a month this has been!

In mid-December you were given a developmental screening. We were expecting it to show a speech delay but were shocked by the degree of delay they say you have. The good thing is that it qualifies you for some free services in addition to the therapy that the insurance has approved. We have full confidence you will do just fine in the speech department given time, and the extra help is certainly welcome. Already you are showing improvement. At the time of the screening you weren’t saying much verbally other than “Mama” (when crying) and a couple of words you would repeat if asked to. Now you are saying “Mama” all the time and have added to that more, sopa, agua, dog, tea, Dada, ball, go, apple, Elmo, in, ‘Acki (Aunt Jacki) and a couple others that I just can’t think of right now. As of yet you’ve only had 2 speech therapy sessions, so I think a big part of it is just that you are becoming more ready to speak.

What we didn’t realize before the screening was that some of your behaviors aren’t just you being Eli, but rather indicate a Sensory Processing Disorder. For you it is mainly the vestibular system that is affected, although there are other non-motion things going on with you as well.

This actually helps to explain a lot… especially about why you are ALWAYS moving. As it has been explained to me you don’t have a sense of where your body is located in space unless you are receiving the stimulation of movement. Ironically, for your body to feel at rest it has to be moving. It explains why when you were a little baby you couldn’t sleep unless you were in the swing, and later why you would start rolling across the bed like a little tumbleweed waking up on your hands and knees crying 3 or 4 times every night. (We are thankful you don’t do that anymore.)

You beg to take a (cold) bath at least a couple of times a day. Once is usually the limit. I don't look forward to the day when you make the connection between getting dirty and bathing. I shudder to think of what you will do then. 🙂

Other ways you are affected are that you only want to be bathed in cold water. We’ve slowly gotten you to the point where you will tolerate it being luke warm. You also aren’t tolerating a lot of different textures of food, and often end up coughing when you try to drink fluids or when eating small grains. The swallow study you had done this past month showed that your esophagus works fine, so the problem has been attributed to the Sensory Processing Disorder.  In addition to the group and individual speech therapy you’ll be receiving you will also have group and individual occupational therapy. We are all of the sudden very busy, but I’m so glad that there is help available for you.

Adding the final touches to Mama's crudely drawn sidewalk pig.

You continue to love music, instruments and performances. You love to hear the sound of a crowd cheering and applauding. Sometimes when you are in a fussy mood it helps for us to turn on a game show in the background because when you here the applause you usually can’t help yourself but to cheer and applaud along.

You have had an on-going love affair with your daddy’s old guitar for many months now. The headstock is now completely shattered from all of the times you have dropped it on the floor. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of guitar for a little guy. It has been held together with duct tape, but the few remaining strings are becoming less and less strum-able.

Thankfully my Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Dave sent you a new, toddler-sized guitar. The day it arrived you spent much of the day carrying it around in a big bear hug when you weren’t strumming it. I caught you kissing it a time or two as well. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get a non-blurry picture of you with it yet.

You also are drawn to the microphones and drum equipment at church. It is so cute to see you in your element happily exploring these things after service. Less cute is our inevitably loud exit as no amount of time with your beloved instruments is ever enough. Your howls and shrieks of frustrated disappointment are most likely heard at least a block away.

Here you are pointing inside your cup, exclaiming delightedly "TEA!"

Your love of tea continues to grow, much to my delight. You like to play tea party, in which you serve me pretend cup after cup of hot(!) tea, poured with all sorts of burbling water sound effects. In return, I am expected to share any cup of my (real) tea with you. I pour a little in a small cup and you impatiently wait for it to cool. This practice has led to a great improvement in your ability to drink from a cup without choking. The tea we have at home is all caffeine free but when we are out I like to get an occasional soy chai latte. I order it weak and you enjoy drinking the cold last half inch in the bottom of the cup so much that I figure whatever small amount of caffeine there is won’t kill you. The looks we get from other people are really something though, as it seems like I am giving my toddler coffee! This appearance is then only underscored by your normal extremely active behavior! (For the record I’ve never noticed any change in behavior after you’ve enjoyed the last of my tea.)

Riding on the firetruck at the park.

There are so many things you enjoy doing these days, but going to Barnes & Noble takes the cake! Now if we even drive on the street that glorious store is located on you begin frantically signing “book” long before the store is even in sight. At night your daddy and I like to wind down by watching a bit of Masterpiece Theater. He always mutes the B&N commercial at the beginning to prevent you from getting the idea that you have to go there RIGHT NOW. They have now removed the Lego table, but there are so many other things you love to do there I’m not sure you have really even noticed.

You had to test drive EVERY nook! You were so careful to replace each one carefully on the display holder without me even having to say anything. I was amazed (and hovered just the same.).

You usually make a bee line for the Music and DVD section immediately upon entering the store, (although today you were momentarily distracted by those wonderful nooks.) As soon as it is in sight you break into a canter, chirping “Elmo!”, Elmo!” Once inside the music section you gravitate to the DVDs looking for the Baby Einstein and Sesame Street displays.

These DVDs are then taken one by one to the scanner to be scanned. This is very serious work.

With each satisfying beep you abandon  that DVD and look for another to scan.You are actually pretty good about returning them to the place you found them, but you sometimes need a little encouragement. The sales people who work in that section  now recognize you and even seem to enjoy your visits.

Leave it to you to find the guitar!

Then it’s off to the children’s section, which, after all, is where Elmo lives.

You especially like the books in the vehicle area that have all sorts of sound effect buttons on them.

At some point it is time to go to the cafe, and as Daddy is usually your shadow at Barnes & Noble, you find Mama there with a cup of delicious tea and hopefully a coconut macaroon! In fact, the best way to get you to leave the children’s section sans tantrum is to suggest, “Eli, do you want some tea?”

Mmmmm... TEA!

Best of all, Barnes & Noble is a place where we occasionally meet up with people who love you!

Yes, Barnes & Nobel is truly your idea of heaven on earth!

I can’t wait to see what this last month of your second year will bring. I love you so very, very very much!

Mama

Greeting Cards with Repurposed Leather

What do you do with the leather on an old broken recliner chair?

Sometimes you sew up some  slippers. And I’m sure most of you can think of many other creative uses for recycled leather.

I had a lot of fun using it to make blank greeting cards.

The coffee and tea cards sold pretty well at a local coffee shop.

This one on the repurposed book page background may have been my favorite.

Here I experimented with painting on leather with acrylic.

The antlers are cut from the underside of the same leather.

I made many more cards than the one’s shown here and still had a lot of leather left over!

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & MeHappy Hour ProjectsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and NonsenseOne Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,  Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes,

Petite HermineMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

{aka}/ designGet Outta My Head PleaseMad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou,

The Gunny SackSew Can Do, Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic