Paleo Breakfast Bread

In my search for gluten-free recipes, I came across this recipe for Paleo Breakfast Bread.

I had previously not heard of the Paeolithic diet, but since adherents don’t believe in eating grain any Paleo recipe will also be gluten-free. This amazing bread is made of almond butter, eggs, honey, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and a touch of stevia. It ends up having the moist consistency of gingerbread cake. Which makes me thing that with the addition of a few spices maybe it could be gingerbread cake. My husband thought they were brownies, even after he had eaten a couple. Yep, they are that good!

We first made this bread on Monday. I say “we” because Eli and I did it together. He also helped by cutting the bananas for the fruit salad. You should have seen how proud he was of his accomplishment when it came out of the oven and the all three of us sat down together for breakfast! Eli and I will be spending a lot more time together in the kitchen from here on out.

We made it according to the recipe that time, but this morning Eli and I made up a second batch. One of Eli’s speech therapists has also recently gone gluten-free and I thought it would be nice if he could give some of this bread to her tomorrow. She has tree nut allergies though, so the almond butter was replaced by sunflower seed butter. Other than being a bit darker in color it tastes pretty much the same. Maybe if I did a side by side taste test there would be a more noticeable difference, but one would have to refrain from eating ALL of the first batch before making the second. I don’t foresee that happening around here.

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Easiest No-Sew Bibs

If you want to make adorable bibs for your little nosher here is a great tutorial I found at Sewingdork.blogspot.com. I mean look at ’em, what’s not to love?!

Unfortunately, I’m a slacker when it comes to sewing what is destined to be blackberry, sunflower seed butter and tomato sauce besmirched.  While I might let Eli eat in store- bought clothing when we are out of clean bibs, if he is wearing a mama-made item that day, at meal time he will suddenly find himself playing for the skins team.

This has been happening fairly frequently as with only 3 people in our household, he runs out of bibs between loads of laundry being washed.

Enter the t-shirt bonanza of 2010.

A  local t-shirt printing company advertised on Freecycle that they had a misprint order of 3 boxes of t-shirts to give away. I was just beginning to sew with knit material so I claimed one of the boxes. Oh my goodness, but I found myself awash in black t-shirts as the box contains I-don’t-know-how-many shirts… 50? 70? I don’t want to take them out of their tightly packed state just to count them and then not be able to store them again as neatly afterwards. All I know is that the box was quite heavy! Seriously, if you live locally (Orange County, CA)  and would like to share in the bonanza please contact me. If I were to endeavor to use all this fabric Eli would be quickly labeled “Goth” even at the tender age of 2.

Since I don’t use the front decal part of the shirt when harvesting fabric, using it for a bib makes perfect sense.

So here’s my tutorial for other people with an abundance of old t-shirts itching for a new purpose. As an added benefit you’ll find your dresser drawers easier to close! (Tell me I’m not the only lazy bum unmotivated person when it comes to articles of clothing destined for destruction.)

1. Cut a rectangle out of an existing unloved t-shirt long enough to cover the belly and a bit of the lap of your future fastidious diner. Include the neck band. Make as many as necessary to cover all meals between loads of laundry. (Save the rest of the fabric from the shirts for other projects. (Time investment: approximately 45 seconds. Use the rest of naptime to sew that pair of Treasure Pocket Pants or the Charlie Tunic you’ve been itching to make.)

2. Soil.

3. Wash.

4. Repeat.

Now if you want both sewing time dedicated to clothing you’ll be proud to see your little one wearing in public, and cute bibs as well (I admit, my bibs are way down there down there at the ugly end of the attractiveness spectrum), here are some wonderful bibs I found on Etsy:

Baby Bibs, Set of 2, Organic, Circa 52 Woodland Friends and Cotton Fleece

from Sir Bubbadoo. Really hard to beat a woodland theme if your shooting for cuteness.

Gender Neutral Baby Bib - Lime Green Giraffes and Chenille

from The Posh Pea Boutique. We like just about anything giraffe around here!

organic baby bib (white elephant)

From Down Home Amy. Love the quilting and the whimsical elephant!

So if you also find yourself short on bibs, go forth and cut, sew or buy!

Thanks for the visit!

Karen

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Related articles

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

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

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

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

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything 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 Mama2805Jembellish

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Hashi Stool Face Lift

Remember this… one of the most versatile toys ever that can be created in your very own living room from discarded cardboard?

No? Go here to learn to make one of your very own (and also a bit more about why you might want to)!

Yes? Great. Then you also remember that I was not a fan of the brown bunny decorative paper it was covered with.

Eli and I went to the library this week and on the cart outside was this book for sale for a quarter. Pretty damaged but full of delightful vintage illustrations.

Eli did not help me with the events to follow as I don’t want him getting the idea that it is a good idea to take scissors to books! This was a naptime project if there ever was one.

Who Killed Cock Robin? Really?

I like the illustrations on these pages, but definitely not something I’d deem appropriate for any small child. Basically it outlines the murder of a robin by a sparrow and the disposal of his mortal remains. For those as uninitiated as I was, here is a little sampling:

“Who caught his blood?

I, said the Fish,

With my little dish,

I caught his blood.”

So… Moving on.

The Owl and the Pussy Cat

Since this toy can be used in two different orientations I decorated one side right-side up and the other upside-down. Which is which depends upon if it is being used as a bridge or a rocker.

The other side received three different short nursery rhymes: Baa Baa Black Sheep, Jack Be Nimble, and Mary Had A Little Lamb.

I like it a lot more now. That’s all I got for ya today. Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

It’s a Bridge… It’s a Rocker… It’s a Stool!

I’ve taken a break from sewing over the past week, but it’s been for a good cause. I found this tutorial for creating a great new toy from discarded cardboard. It’s a stool, no… it’s a chair, no… it’s a bridge, no… it’s a rocker, no… it’s a mountain… What Eli and I can both agree on is it is a very versatile toy/piece of kiddie furniture.

I had pinned the tutorial for the Hashi Stool a little while back, and when neighbors set out two HUGE boxes from their new set of patio furniture I knew it was time! One of the boxes is waiting to be transformed into a playhouse of sorts, and the part of the other that isn’t now a Hashi Stool will perhaps become a painted playmat for cars and trains. (We’ll see how motivated I am for the follow through on that one.)

The slideshow tutorial can be found over at The Cardboard Collective. A printable pattern is also provided. It’s a blog full of fun, cute and things to make from discarded cardboard, written by Amber who is currently living in Tokyo with her family. I highly recommend her blog and look forward to trying more of her projects in the future. This link will take you to their project gallery. Go on… have some fun and keep just a bit more cardboard out of the landfill or recycling center!

Tracing the pattern onto cardboard. I enjoyed how the pdf pattern we printed off had been originally drawn onto a Japanese newspaper.

I asked my brother what the word “hashi” means. It is a Japanese word meaning both chopsticks and bridge. I think in this instance the reference must be a bridge as it would be most difficult to eat much of anything with this contraption.

Eli enjoyed squeezing glue out of the bottle…

…almost as much as he enjoyed spreading it.

This was the first project I’ve ever done WITH Eli, although admittedly most of the action took place during naptimes. I like that he now feel like he had a part in it’s creation. I look forward to many more such experiences with him.

I really like how Amber decorated her Hashi Stool by attaching discarded retro album covers she found to the sides.

Eli helped spread the glue for the paper on the side as well.

In the absence of such a windfall of decorative-goodness I settled for children’s wrapping paper. The little brown bunnies are a little too cutesy for my taste for this project, truth be told, but I wanted to use what I had on hand. (I also just wanted to finish this project already and get back to some sewing!) As it used only a bit and the roll came from the 99 Cent Store I think I can still consider this basically a free project. (Well, I guess I did buy glue, but we still have plenty left of that as well.) If I happen upon paper I like better in the future I’ll just cover this current layer of decoration up!

Showing off how it can rock… he rocks ON it plenty, just not when Mama has the camera out!

Then he decided ‘Raffe can demonstrate the rocking feature.

Tentatively climbing up. When we initially made it too narrow it tipped over on him, so now he’s a bit wary. We have since made it wider and it is very stable.

A little more confident climbing on it if Mama does it with him. This thing is sturdy and can hold a lot of weight.

It makes a great tunnel…

…although this truck is too big. Good opportunity to work on that concept.

This car fits though!

Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

This was featured!

Too Much Time On My Hands

Here’s where I am linking up.

Sunday:

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

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

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

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything 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 Mama2805Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Shamelessly Lazy Toddler Jeans

I came into possession of this pair of adult jeans with a busted out seat. Not a whole lot could be done to restore them, but I liked the pocket design and the wear pattern of the denim. I decided to see if I could make a pair of pants for Eli with them without first creating a freezer paper pattern. I figured if I truly botched the experiment I was only out a pair of pants destined for disposal anyway.

First I took a pair of Eli’s current pants and folded them in half showing the back pocket. I laid this on the sacrificial donor jeans and traced around them with my trusty soap sliver.

I then added a seam allowance… here I would remind you to refer to the title of this post… no measuring, I just moved over a bit and marked a new line. I also extended the length quite a bit for good measure.

After cutting this piece out I flipped it over upside down onto the other leg, traced around it and cut it out.

I repeated the process with the front side of the pants. Refold current well-fitting pants to front side, place, trace, added seam allowance, cut, flip to other side, repeat tracing and cutting.

Now I sewed the front and back pieces of the pant legs together. They didn’t match up too well at the bottom, but I had included enough fabric down there that in the end it just wouldn’t matter.

I chose brown thread to match the brown trim on the pockets but found after I top stitched the side seams the I didn’t have enough thread for the rest of the project. Why didn’t I run out for more thread, or redo the top stitching with other thread? How soon you for get the title of this post!

The pockets from the original jeans were then pinned in place on the side of the pant legs. These were then sewn on following the wear lines left by the original thread. I realized here I was glad to have run out of the brown thread; the natural color is much nicer!

Sew up the inside seam of the pant leg. In your rush don’t forget to sew on the second pocket first. Being lazy (or at least distracted and forgetful, a.k.a. sleep deprived) can result in double the work. Hello seam ripper!

Turn one leg inside out and insert one leg into the other so that the right sides are touching each other.

Trim the legs so they are even. I lined up one of the guide lines of the ruler with the side seam to get a straight across cut.

I grabbed another pair of Eli’s pants to find the length. I matched up the four corners point of the crotch seam and then marked where the leg ended on the new pair of pants. See, no tiresome measuring!

This is the point where I appear to have forgotten to take pictures. (See what happens when you choose to learn from a lazy person? You have no one to blame but yourself!)

Ahem… Anyway, I turned the pant legs inside out and then turned up the leg until the soap mark appeared at the very bottom edge. Then I tucked the raw edge in so that it appeared that it had been turned up and then turned up again. This way there is enough material that as Eli grows I can take these out and lower the hem a bit. That and I wasn’t made to measure. Then I sewed around making sure I caught the raw edge on the inside. The second leg was then sewn to match the first.

Now onto the waistband. I use 1″ elastic. In this case it was elastic I salvaged from an old pair of shorts some time ago which meant I spent nothing on these jeans! I cut the waistband strip out of fabric from an old dress… 3″ wide and I got the length from the width of the top of the pants doubled and with 1/2″ added for seam allowance.

This is the one time that being exact with the seam allowance mattered as these fabrics don’t have much stretch and need to match up to be sewn together. I’m loving this handy-dandy tool I bought during my quilting days and recently rediscovered.

Once joined fold the loop in half by bringing the top edge down to meet the bottom edge leaving the seam allowances on the inside.

Since I did no math or measurements in the beginning I now had to adjust the height of the pants with the added waistband. The original height of the fabric went up to the top of the waistband of the pair of pants I traced onto the blue jeans, but I had added no extra fabric for folding over and inserting elastic into as I knew I’d be adding this type of a waistband. I decided to trim off the inch that would be the new added waistband, but leave 1/2″ for seam allowance where they would be sewn together. (In the end, the pants don’t quite rise as much as I think they should. In an effort to avoid old man pants I ended up with something closer to Joey Fusco, Jr.pants… well, not quite THAT bad, but next time I think I will not trim and just add the waistband to the existing height of fabric.)

Thankfully, the diaper underneath rises higher than the back of the pants. Don’t want my boy learning that it’s normal to feel a breeze that low when you bend over!

Once again I forgot to get pictures for a brief interval of time in which a fair amount ws accomplished. In my post on Knee-Pleat Pants I have this part well described and photographed if the following steps leave you feeling befuddled.

Pin the folded ring of fabric around the top of the pants with the folded edge down. Sew all the way around. Zigzag or serge the raw edges. Top stitch just below the waistband.

Open up the inside seam of the waistband to pass through the elastic.

Attach something to the elastic to allow you to easily pass it through the waistband. My usual trusty diaper pin was no where to be found so I used this key chain thingy instead.

Overlap the ends of the elastic by about 1″ and sew together. Check first to make sure the elastic isn’t twisted  inside the waistband. Sew up the back seam of the waistband and the Shamelessly Lazy Toddler Jeans are finished!

He finally wore himself out chasing his wagon down the hill and then pushing it back up. I didn’t ask him to lie down on the sidewalk, but when he did I was able to get some not-so-blurry photos.

It lasted for a moment.

And then the moment was over.

The final analysis? I’m pretty happy with the way these turned out. I’m very happy with how easy and quickly they came together. Oh, and you can’t forget that delightful quality of being free! Next time I will make the pants have a higher rise at the waist and be a bit less full in the front. Neither of these are super big problems with this pair of pants though, especially as his shirts generally cover both imperfections. He’s getting plenty of wear out of them already!

Thanks for reading!

Karen

I’ve been featured!

Etcetorize

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

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

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

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

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ 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 CreationsAnything 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 Mama2805Jembellish

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Hello And Goodbye Shirt

This shirt I made for Eli last year. I’m glad it will fit him this summer. It is the first shirt I ever made and I was feeling pretty intimidated by the idea of adding sleeves at the time.

The images are just Clorox bleach gel pen drawn on black knit material. I attached them with Heat & Bond and then stitched around them with thread that matched the fabric of the collar and around the arms.

The picture on the back of the shirt I copied from a drawing a four year old neighbor had made for me.

Once Eli starts making representational drawings I think I will have quite a bit of fun turning his designs into shirts! (I also like this idea of turning children’s drawings into softies.)

Thanks for reading!

Karen

I was featured!

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

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

Threading My Way

Monday:

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

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ 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 CreationsAnything 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 Mama2805Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Baby Einstein Shirt

Eli has long loved Baby Einstein. He signs (his version of the word) “glasses” when he wants to see it. He inspects the DVD for the Baby Einstein logo before approving it for insertion into the DVD player, often exclaiming “Oh, oh, oh!” when said logo is located. Actually he is now quite a bit less addicted than he was a few months ago, for which I am glad. I should have made this shirt much earlier, but it’s made now and I think he’ll get plenty of enjoyment from it.

The Baby Einstein face I copied freehand onto freezer paper and then carefully cut out using small embroidery scissors. If I do this again I’m going to get myself an exacto knife!

The freezer paper stencil was then ironed onto knit fabric. Then I applied the fabric paint over the stencil.

In my haste to get as much done before Eli woke from his nap I removed the stencil while a few areas of paint were still a bit damp. Baby Einstein now has an extra freckle, dimple or perhaps a zit.  I’m sure it will bother me much more than it will bother Eli.

I traced around a bowl placed over the image with a sliver of soap.

I didn’t like the placement the first time. That’s the beauty of using the soap sliver… the line where I goofed just becomes extra clean after the wash.

I trimmed around on the soap line.

I then added a circle of Heat ‘n’ Bond to the back that was slightly smaller than the fabric. This way I didn’t have to sew through the Heat ‘n’ Bond when I attached it to the shirt with embroidery thread.

In making this shirt I learned experientially about the way the same pattern in different fabrics can fit differently. I made the pattern by tracing a 4T shirt that fits Eli well. When I used it to make the giraffe shirt (with a much heavier knit material) it came out fine in the length but is a bit tight around the chest when putting it on or taking it off. I also had to cut the neck hole of that shirt larger to accommodate his big noggin. The same pattern used in this shirt made with recycled T-shirts ends up being a bit big on Eli all around. That’s fine with me because I know he won’t be growing out of it any time soon.

While on the giraffe shirt I had to cut the neck hole bigger, on this shirt the neck hole was too big right from the beginning. I used the neck ribbing from an adult medium t-shirt with no adjustments.

I hope to find a basic t-shirt pattern that will work well for Eli that comes in various sizes soon. Ottobre has been suggested to me as a good place to look. Any suggestions as to which particular Ottobre edition I should purchase for this?

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up.

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 BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-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 Junkiethe space between,

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,

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, Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Letter to Eli, 26 Months

Dear Eli, This past month has been a tough one for us, although I am not sure how aware of that you have been. Your grandmother has begun slipping beneath the final waves of dementia and has gone into hospice care. As she becomes more and more unresponsive she still takes enjoyment from you. Even when nothing else seems to get through to her, a hug and a kiss from you, or even seeing your picture will bring out a smile.

Grandma and Uncle Kevin watching you play.

While this has of course been quite difficult for me, for you it has meant that Uncle Kevin and Aunt Misa have come from Japan to visit.

“More dizzy!” you said. Again, and again, and again. Poor Uncle Kevin ended up quite motion sick!

We have all been enjoying their presence here with us, and you have taken to your Aunt Misa like a little bear cub to honey. You can’t seem to get enough of her. When they are here you are constantly playing with her, hugging her, climbing on her, demanding one game and then another.

Enjoying the Elmo sushi Aunt Misa made you.

She likewise has taken to you as well. She and Uncle Kevin have watched you on a number of occasions this past month, allowing your father and I more “date night” opportunities than we’ve had since you were born.

I think this practice with being able to separate from us a bit more frequently has been helpful in getting you ready to re-enter the Thursday group therapy program. When we had tried having you participate there a couple of months age, while I went into the parent education meeting it was a disaster. You were beside yourself during the hour we were apart and for days afterwards were extra clingy. You even had night terrors that night. Last Thursday though we gave it a try again for the last half hour of the program. You did fantastic! No tears, and you enjoyed and participated in the activities. You were very excited to tell me all about getting to use the alligator puppet during circle time when I came back for you. I was so proud of you!

Wearing a helmet as you try out your 2 wheeled “Footcycle”.

You have also been doing a lot of things you were previously afraid of or adverse to up until now. You are now enjoying a variety of swings. You are eating almost normally. You are even willing to wear a bicycle helmet now! It seems like almost everyday you surprise me by doing something I wouldn’t have imagined you doing just a month ago.

Your obsessions with guitars and working like Daddy are neither new, nor are they showing any sign of diminishing.

What is new this month is your attachment to playing with your wooden slice and bake cookie set. You never tire of the humor of pretending the cookie just off of the cookie sheet is hot and about to burn you!

Also new is your attachment to your stuffed giraffe. You have periods when ‘Raff has to do everything with you. Books must be held so he gets the best view and you bob his head along to the words of the story. His hoof must be used to push buttons on remote controls or to hold any pencil or crayon. It is most distressing to you if anything happens without ‘Raff’s participation when you are in this mode.

Technology AND live music… it just doesn’t get any better than that!

Your father and I spent a delightful Saturday at the beach with you earlier this past month. I hope we can do a lot more of that throughout the summer months. You serenaded us in the car for 20 minutes on the way home singing an Eli original goodbye song to the beach.

Even in the midst of many stresses our family is experiencing right now you manage to bring so much joy to us everyday. Thank you for delighting, inspiring and loving on us in this way that is so uniquely yours.

I love you so very, very, very much!

Mama

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo here are some photos taken in Tijuana. On a stage set up in the street, a regional folk dance from each Mexican state, complete with typical costume was being performed on the day we happened to decide to cross the border for a quick visit. Mexico has 31 different states and a federal district so this was no short performance. We only caught a bit of it before moving on and I didn’t take notes as to from which regions  the dancers in these photos hailed, but I loved seeing the traditional costumes, and of course, the dancing.

Back when I was teaching in the Spanish-bilingual program we used to have so much fun with Cinco de Mayo. Mothers would come in to teach the Mexican Hat Dance to any student that wanted to give up their lunch recess to learn it starting a couple of weeks before the big day. Children from the general ed program were also invited to join in. My classroom was bursting with happy, excited children and I knew better than to plan on getting any grading or lesson planning accomplished in my room that month.

On the big day the kids would perform at an assembly. The history behind the day would be recounted by a child, and others would share songs and poems. Back in the classroom we would eat lunch, as the kids proudly showed off their mother’s culinary skills in a classroom pot luck.

Loving the colors!

Aztec dancing.

My your Cinco de Mayo be likewise full of friends, something to celebrate, good food and the laughter of children!

Thanks for reading.

Karen

This is a quick read well worth your time. Enjoy!