Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Did you have some yummy turkey? Well, we didn't. We had something more traditional to us, the hot pot. We used to hot pot all the time with close friends, but then, slowly, everyone moved away or started family, so the party style totally changed. That's why yesterday I made a mistake, put too much base sauce in, and made the dipping sauce also too salty. My friends were so nice, didn't say anything about it, but I felt pretty bad. But that's just for a second, once the babies started playing, you forget everything else. Little caterpillar really enjoyed the company, chased YY around the room wanted to play with him. YY is older, but much smaller, he was a little bit shy, and afraid of my girl. I heard that babies can understand each other, they have their own language, and I think it's true. YY and little caterpillar was 'talking' to each other throughout the entire party, and he tried to mimic whatever my little caterpillar was doing. They got into a 'fight' over a cookie, YY almost got bitten by my girl. But they forgot about it almost immediately, and played so hard, both skipped their afternoon nap. My girl kept calling YY's name even after they left. Well, that only means one thing, more playdate with YY.

Hope you all had a great thanksgiving. We sure did. I am truely thankful for my perfect little girl, even though she bites =). I am thankful for my parents, raised me in a loving environment, so now I can do the same for my daughter. I am thankful for my mom, stayed here with me for 6 months, took care of me for the 3 months I was bed resting at the end of the pregnancy, and took care of my and the little caterpillar for 3 more months. I am thankful for my sister and my friends, who gave me lots of gifts and tons of hand-me-downs, so we saved lots of money during the first year. I am so happy to be a mom to a sweet little girl, giving me such a great opportunity to craft. I have been dreaming about sewing beautiful dresses and making all kinds of girly accessories for my girl(s) for years. This is a dream came true. So, I am truely thankful!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ready For Big Girl Bed?

OK, not this kind of bed. Her room is too small. But in the future if my little girl wants to be a princess, mommy will build her the best castle in the world. I am talking about a toddler bed like these! How cute is this room? And check out this slide show. Love them.

My original plan was to let her skip toddler bed, and move on to a twin size bed directly. But I am changing my mind the other night. Little caterpillar goes to bed pretty late, later than all my friends' babies. We have dinner around 7pm, her bath time is around 8pm, then after that, she will play for a while, normally 'reads' lots of her books, or flip through some big scrapbooks. We try to put her to bed around 9pm, she normally fall asleep soon after finishing her bottle. The other night, I was helping her reading her favorite books, now she has to be the one turn the pages, points to something and I will explain. Anyway, we were on the floor reading, all of a sudden, she got up, walked to her crib, sucking her thumb, looking really tired. She hugged her crib while staring at me, like she was saying "mommy, I am tired, ready to go to bed. Could you pls put me in there?" Ohhh, my little girl is growing up. I picked her up, and put her in the crib, no more fighting or screaming, she quietly stood by the railing, pointed to her bottle. She knows how to say bottle, but when she is tired, she won't say a word. I grabbed the bottle, and told her to lie down, she looked at me, and turned around and lay down, then opened her little mouth. My girl is definitely growing up. I was overwhelmed, and almost want to pick her up and kiss her. But I had to respect her as a big girl now. Sad, but proud at the same time!
The next morning, I told Stubborn that we need to get her a toddler bed, so she can crawl in and out easily. Then where can we hang her Choo Choo Train organizer thing? She loves that thing, squeezes the cheeks and the nose all the time, take her toys out of the pockets and put them back. I don't want to change her environment so dramatically at this early stage. Then I thought about altering this crib. I can remove the front railing, drill new holes on the frame to lower the mattress even more. And if necessary, I can add an extra 2 by 2 at front, of course stained the same color. This could work. Well, I will need to do this on weekend, with really bad weather. Yes, I can do it. I am still looking for a perfect little dresser or bookshelf thing to replace the changing station, and I have been working on a tiny set of table and chairs. Her room will go through some major transformation soon. My girl is really growing up!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toddler Safe Christmas

Last night when we got home from work, we saw our next door neighbor put their Xmas lights on the porch! Darnit! They did it first! Well, we live in a townhouse, sharing the front porch with this young family. Sometimes, it feels like a competation, who has better holiday decorations, who starts decorate earlier. I am the one doing all these, and Stubborn is the one competing with the neighbors!? Then he will complaint I am wasting energy, and won't let me light them up! What's that all about? Complicated man!

Anyway, that got me thinking about our indoor holiday decor. We have been using a fake white christmas tree for years, I love the white background, like plain paper, I can choose whatever color theme I like at the moment. And at 6 feet tall, it's perfect size for our small living room. Last year we used my Norfolk Pine tree, simply because we don't have enough space to set up another tree with all the baby toys and my plants. But this year, I gave away my Norfolk pine and some bigger houseplants to accommodate the ever growing toy collections. It's my fault, I cannot stop buying 'new' ones for her. I know, she is spoiled, but she is such a good girl, I want to give her everything. So now I have to get very creative and make it beautiful without a tree and toddler safe as well. Little caterpillar is running around the house nonstop, pinching my plants, picking up soil or little rocks from the pots, pulling curtains, pushing toys and small furniture around. If I have a tree in the playroom, aka living room, all wrapped up with sparkling lights and shiny glass ornaments, it's a disaster waiting to happen. That's when I got the big light bulb moment. Maybe I can cut out a tree shape in those carton box material, paint it green, tape it to the wall, and make tons of paper or felt ornaments. Oh oh, I can put those velcro tape on them, so I can hold her up high and she can stick the ornaments on the tree! Or I can make more smaller tree and make the whole living room looking like a forest! I can still use my favorite glass ornaments, just hang them from the ceiling instead, so she can only look at them, no grabbing means no breaking. Loving it! OK, what kind of ornaments I can make, that's simple but lots of fun?

I love several projects from my latest issue of Family Circle. One is the felt circle garland, like this one but only in red, aqua and white! I have to remember to take picture of that page and show it to you here later. Update: found the slideshow on Family Circle website, with links to detailed instructions. Lovely!

They also made felt poinsettia flowers in white and red! Very simple, but striking when you group them on the wall! Again, I have to show you that picture later.

They make a felt covered wreath, with that poinsettia flower too, again, simple colors in the most pleasing way. And how about a paper wreath like this one? Thank you so much to the red thread for sharing this wonderful tutorial.

I also found this slide show. Like the name, they are all very vibrant and refreshing. I might pick some of those ideas to go with mine.

These paper ornaments from How About Orange looks very elegant, yet so easy to make. Best thing is I can use up some of my scrapbook paper collections.

How about these paper hearts from Reese Dixon? I can make these for Xmas, or make some red ones for Valentine's Day.

Well, these could be the best table top trees ever! I have some white and pink little buckets, I can change the nursery decor to a white and pink winter wonderland! Too much? I am a little carried away.

Oh, these cute little stockings from Rikrak has been on my to make list forever, maybe this year I should give it a try.

What is your holiday theme this year? How do you keep both your kids and house safe during the happiest and busiest time of the year?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Boston Harbor Cruise

Not this past Sat, the one before that, I know, I am a bad blogger, so late on telling my stories. Well, better late than never. The weather was perfect, warm and bright sunshine, so Stubborn and I decided to take little Caterpillar to the New England Aquarium. I have been holding back on this for a while, because I worry she might be afraid of the darkness. Then she started showing strong interests in the sharks and whales on TV, well, it's time! When we got to the Boston Harbor area, it was sooo pleasant that we didn't want to just go inside.

That's when we saw the ticket center.
Hmmm, maybe we should go see whales instead, Stubborn said. But guess it's not the season, there were no whale watching cruises. So, we just grabbed a couple of tickets, and jumped on the Harbor Cruise! It was little Caterpillar's first time on a boat ever! She was very excited, checking out the cruise, the chair, and chatting with strangers!

When we just left the harbor, the wind was strong and cold. Since we didn't prepare for this, I just brought her a very thin coat. Stubborn took off his own coat and wrapped it tightly on his little girl! What a wonderful daddy! Little caterpillar was fascinated by the water, spent more of the time staring down.

What a great view! Looking back at Boston, it's such a different feeling than driving through it. The whole city looks so calm, you cannot feel any of those daily stress, traffic, you cannot even hear any of that noise!

Then we stopped at the navy yard at Charlestown, visited the USS Constitution Museum, got on board the "old ironsides".

Little Caterpillar had way too much fun up on the USS Constitution battleship. She 'petted' the big black cannons, checked out the ropes, and almost climbed everything you can find. If we didn't stop her, she probably can climb up to the front tip of the ship. The deck is very slippery, she kept falling down. Being a 'bad' mother as I am, I was laughing and enjoying the moment, instead of rushing over and helping her. Well, she won't let me help anyway. She loved playing with the cannons so much, made such a scene when we told her it's time to go. Well, at least she is cute, everyone loved her even when she was very unreasonable.

OK, we have to take a break here. This post is getting too long. I will tell you the rest of our day tomorrow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Orchid Updates

Even though I ignored my plants the whole summer, they are still doing OK. Now there are 2 orchids in full bloom, and 4 more ready to bloom, and 3 more just shooting out spikes! We will have another colorful winter this year, that is if little Caterpillar doesn't get to them first.

Miltassia Dark Star, two more buds opened! The details are simply amazing!
My lovely Hawaii! 4 spikes and 3-5 flowers each! What a show!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No More Biting, Maybe?

Little caterpillar's way of showing her love and affection for anyone, including all her stuffed animal friends, is to bite right on the nose! Yeah, real bite! And she HAS TEETH! When she bites down, she uses all her strength, and you can see her little body shaking a bit, then she will give you a evil grin and TEAR! She thinks the scream you make is very funny! And when I bite her a little bit, I am not going to really bite my own baby, she just laugh! She actually enjoy it! Weird girl!

But recently, she started wrapping her little arms around your neck, put her little face against yours, and hug you really tight! Ohhh, that feeling is to die for! It felt like warm spring came out from the bottom of my heart, and quickly flow through my veins to all parts of my body! I just want to cease that moment forever. So far, we haven't get a chance to snap a picture of it, but if we do get it one day, it will definitely get framed and up on the wall. Anyway. This morning, little caterpillar woke up happy again, wanted to get out of her crib and play with her animals and read her books. She dragged simba and nala (both bigger than her) to my bed and asked me to hug them. Then it was her "WongWong" (little black and white cocker spaniel puppy) and "ZhuZhu" (pink pig puppet). She love these two the most now. I asked her to give them a kiss, and to my surprise, she gave them the most sweet smile, rubbed her face on them and hugged them! WHAT!? NO MORE BITING? I was so excited! No more teeth marks for mommy? I have been waiting for this day, like forever! Cannot wait to tell Stubborn and the nanny!

My little girl is growing up!