Cousin Craze

I started this post about a week and a half ago at my sister’s house. I never finished it because hours later, Deborah and I were making a midnight trip to the ER to check on some early contractions. Needless to say, the week did not go as we had planned and we spent most of our time after that trying to recover. Deborah more so than me, obviously…

This week I’m staying with my sister Deborah (below), who is very pregnant, and her twins, Ty and Micah, who are equal parts sweet and lively. We’re going to be doing a few baby projects* while I’m here, but in the meantime, we’ve just been wrangling hooligans and trying to keep the avalanche of toys from killing us all.

*The projects were not completed, boo, and as I was leaving we discovered a glitch in one of the pieces. Hopefully Deborah will feel well enough to complete them soon and post some pix!

On the first day, I got to snuggle sweet baby Isaac, my brothers son. He is the most precious baby in all the land, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child as consistently happy as he is. I rarely get to see him, so I was really excited that our visits overlapped.
Dex was EXTREMELY excited to be with our family!
The colors in the picture below are off, but it was the only time I could get Dexter to look at me for a picture. I’m not really sure he likes to be photographed. He only enjoyed the snapshot above because Uncle Ian was the photographer and allowed him to get within lens-biting distance.
It’s so lovely when the cousins take a break from harassing each other (or Ty and Micah get a break from being harassed by Dexter). Ty and Dex spent a fair amount of time Magna Doodling together…
…while sweet Micah played with animals by himself.
This child has the sweetest, most squishable-kissable cheeks!
Dexter is working with Magna Doodle intensity.
The boys fought over played with a lot of cars.
Below we have Hoarding Action Ty*.
*Hoarding Action Micah and Hoarding Action Dexter sold separately.
Dexter feigns patience while Ty plays. Yeah, save your thumb-sucking and sparkly eyes, buddy, I’m not buying it.
Things got a little crazy when the balloon fight started. But at least they were all laughing at the same time…

I love cousins.

The Chronology of Croup Week

Last week is just a blur. This was the sickest Dexter has ever been, and it was pretty rough. My husband and I talked about how it was like doing the newborn stage all over again, because Dexter would wake up every half hour or so, coughing and panicking until I could comfort him and give him a drink of water. He slept all night with us for the first time ever, because it was easier to just hold him and a sippy cup of water than to fumble around like a zombie in the dark.

I have mental snapshots of events, but not a great recollection of what really happened. As I was going through my phone, I realized I had actual snapshots of events, mostly the nice parts (I don’t need pictures to remember the hard parts, those memories are pretty clear!!), and I was surprised by how much occurred in just a week. (Spoiler: A lot of these pictures involve food.)

Day 1

We had a wonderful family day at the aquarium, followed by supper at Jet’s Pizza. Super yummy pizza, as evidenced in the 3rd picture: Dex was dismayed, nay, horrified that Alex was putting the pizza away.

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Playing with action figures at Jet’s has become a family ritual. In the middle picture you can see Dexter’s guy performing pirouettes on some pizza crust.

At some point Dexty asked for some cupcakes. And so Alex decided to surprise us by taking us to Gigi’s Cupcakes. I seriously am not a fan of cake, but this was amaaaazing. Mine was Wedding Cake. The only reason I took a break from inhaling it is because I had to send a picture to my poor sister, who loves cupcakes. Sorry, Deb!!

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Little did we know, in a few hours Dex would wake up barking with croup.

Day 2

This not-too-bad day included making some no bake cookies. They look deceptively good. Trust me, they were weird.

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I started some soft pants for Dex using the basic pants pattern from Made. Poor Dex got worse soon after I started these, so they still aren’t finished. (Oh, and also because I start more projects later…)

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Day 3

The week included lots of lots of blankets, lots of snuggling, and  LOTS of tv. Poor Dex didn’t even feel like sitting up most of the time. Without pictures, my timeline is a little fuzzy. This may be the same night we took him to an urgent care clinic and were there for 4.5 hours. It was awful, he was feverish and crying to go home almost the entire time.

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Day 4

I tried out my Grandma Ona’s tuna fish patty recipe. They were so good, and one of the few things, besides croutons and dried berries, that I could get Dexter to eat. Of course, it was during a rare period of playfulness, so he had to be a sting ray and I had to feed him pieces of tuna fish patty like raw shrimp. (This is not completely random, we get to do this at the aquarium.)

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Day 5

By this point, Dexter and I were pretty much joined at the hip. We slept together, we ate together (or I ate and begged him to try), and we watched Scared Shrekless 30 times together.

We were settling down for a nap and he asked me to take a picture of us napping together.

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Day 6

The child still felt awful. Here he is with his bowl of croutons and 2 of his 5 or more cups. I offered him all sorts of drinks out of different types of cups to see what would entice him. He really appreciated getting to drink from mugs from my collection.

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A little while later, he was feeling ok, and asked for some play-doh. And I absolutely made him some play-doh.  I was so exhausted I just looked online for a no-cook recipe, and I actually really like the one we made. I’ll link that another day, because I made some changes. It was so easy that this is probably the play-doh I’ll make from now on!

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I stayed awake during one of his naps to get just a little bit of time to myself, where I could do something enjoyable and watch something besides Scared Shrekless. So I worked on matching up some squares for my postage stamp quilt.

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Day 7

I didn’t take any pictures on Friday, and I honestly could not account for anything that happened. Like I said, everything is a blur. I’m sure it involved a lot of blankets, a lot of snuggling, and A LOT of tv.

Day 8

Alex was finally off work. Through the week, Alex had to work, while I took care of Dex. Then Alex would get a short break, and then usually had to go back for conference calls. Then we were both up all night with Dex. But this wonderful Saturday, he took over completely, and he gave me the ENTIRE day to craft.

I worked on  a dress for myself until I realized I didn’t have all the fabric I needed. Boo. After that I started a quilt. There is a reason I decided to push all my other projects to the side and work on this. I’ll write about that another time.

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I thought it was kind of neat that I used up a bunch of nearly empty spools of thread. But that’s probably only neat to me. 

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Day 9

Dex was finally acting like himself!! He ate, he played!! I am one of those people who loses perspective and starts to believe that whatever is happening at the time is what my life will be like forever. So, I was certain that the cloud of sickness would never lift. But it did!

At this point, Alex and I looked around, and realized that our entire house was trashed. I’m not kidding, it looked like a family of hoarders invited a punk rock band to come and destroy their home.

So this was Get-It-Together day. Not just basic cleaning, we went all out and started decluttering as well.

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 Day 10

Today is pretty great. Dexter is playing and eating and drinking. He lost over 5lbs, which I obsessed over for days. But he is doing quite well now. Our biggest problem is that he is kind of a punk right now from getting his way for days. He definitely milked it, telling us, “I have a sickness!!”

He’s still enjoying that play-doh. And while he was working with it, he told me, in his stuffy little voice, “It’s impordant to make sings!!” I couldn’t agree more, baby :).

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2011

So I didn’t quite make last year’s goals. But I still think I did great!

1. Lose 20 lbs: I lost 6.8. I am not mad about this! I lost almost 7 lbs, that’s awesome!

2. Read 52 books: I read 26, unless I forgot to write any down. I intentionally let myself slide on this because I realized early on that sometimes reading that much caused me to ignore other things. So I feel really good about the choice to ease up.

3. Make a dress or shirt for each woman in my family: I knew this was a big one, and I actually did not make a single garment for any of them. But I did manage to make several things for myself and Dexter, do those count???

Other things I accomplished this year:

I made TONS of crafts. TONS. I wanted to do a special photo post where I showed off everything I made. However, that turned out to be a nearly impossible task. You will not be seeing that post.

My sister and I participated in Santa’s Workshop. That was such a great experience! We got to share our crafts with the public, we bonded over common interests, and we got paid to do it. Sweet!

We moved to a new city. This is not my favorite accomplishment of 2010, and I’m still adjusting, but it was great that my husband found a new job after being laid-off.

2011 goals:

1. Lose 15 lbs.

If I make this goal, I will have completed the 20 I wanted to lose. But even if I only lose 5 by the end of the year, I’m going to be pumped! I am actively working toward this goal already, so I have a bit of a head start.

2. Work out at least 10 min everyday (except if I’m sick).

I’ve already been doing this for over 2 weeks! I actually started the day of my 30th birthday, and I’m trying to keep up that commitment. I know 10 min sounds really wimpy, but it means I don’t cut myself any slack. I *can* move with purpose for 10 minutes. Most days it’s 20 or 30 min of activity.

3. Read 24 books.

I’m certain I can match 2010’s progress. 2 books a month isn’t unreasonable, and if I really want to read more I can!

4. Commit to 2 weeks of my Secret 2011 Goal:

I’ll blog about this attempt later. It’s one of those things that I will not talk about until I either do it and succeed or fail and try to be the first to make fun of myself.

5. Unofficial Goal: Blog more frequently.

I’m not going to set a timeline, but I do want to blog more. It was hard this winter because I was too busy to really document everything.

I don’t plan to make any crafty goals this year. I already have a backlog of orders I’m trying to get through, so there is no way I intend to put more things on my plate. I’m really pleased with my progress last year, so I’m basically just going to try to keep up that pace!

Break and Sneak Peek

My precious nephew Ty is in a children’s hospital right now. He’d been having fevers, and when his temp spiked to over 106 he started having seizures. Long story short, he is in the hospital and they’re still trying to figure out what’s going on. He does seem to be doing better overall, but it’s still going to take time. Any prayers for him, my sister and brother-in-law, and Ty’s twin brother, Micah, would be greatly appreciated. Deborah and Ian are so stressed out and worried about Ty and missing Micah very badly 😦 Please pray that little Ty will recover very soon and that they will all be reunited 🙂

That being said, I’ve been devoting much of my attention to keeping people updated on what’s going on, so I am doing zero crafting or blogging… well, with this exception 🙂 So a temporary break is in order. I hope that by the end of the week things will normalize!

But last week I had a LOT going on, craftwise. I’ve put together a few tutorials for hoodies, worked on lots of dolls, reworked my training pants… Here are a few things you have to look forward to:

hoodie 1

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bib 1

Darling Dexter

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This kid has been an absolute ray of sunshine during this time! I wasn’t sure what it would be like to be alone with him for 24 hours everyday for whole a whole week. But it’s been great. He keeps me entertained and he’s been giving me lots of snuggles. It’s been easier not to think about the negative aspects of moving because I’ve been so caught up in all the new things he’s learning.

His favorite thing this week? These hand-me-down flip-flops! I put them on him one day when he was trying to wear my flip-flops, and he’s been totally attached since. He just stares at them and chuckles 🙂 Of course, I do too, look at those chubby feet 🙂

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I love his face 🙂 Even when it’s dirty. And I love how focused he gets on things.

I was also really excited to find some blocks in our storage unit. I’d bought them for a little boy I used to babysit. Dex loves them. He calls them “Bah!”… but then again, he calls most things “Bah!”

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Dexter, Art Vandal

In the process of moving, we’ve decided to let go of a lot of our possessions. Tonight I was going through my paintings, deciding what I could price to sell, and taking pictures. My 14 month old, Dexter, was being quite rambunctious. Why didn’t I just wait til he was in bed, you may say. Why, indeed.

To distract him, I gave him crayons. I thought to myself, “What a clever mommy I am! This will keep him from grabbing my paintings!”

A specific painting I photographed was one everyone seemed to love. It’s an appropriation of American Gothic I did in college. I call it American Urban.

Not five minutes after taking this picture:IMG_5413

I turn to discover that my dear Dexter is enthusiastically adding his own touch to the painting:IMG_5429

I gasped and exclaimed a long “Nooooooooooooooooo!”, with wide-eyed disbelief.

And then I started laughing. What can you do? Dexter knew I wasn’t happy, he had a concerned look. He probably figured the laughing was a precursor to a complete mental breakdown. So I squatted down to get a better look and he leaned in and kissed me lol.

All is forgiven, but he’s been relocated to the highchair to complete the rest of his studio time. IMG_5444

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Hopefully the crayon will come off my painting. If not, anyone wanna buy and Rebekah-Dexter collaboration??

When Life Interferes With My Crafting…

Things have been crazy for us lately. My husband was recently laid off. Then he, fortunately, found a job. Unfortunately, it’s 3 hours away. So we’re moving in less than a month. He’s actually going without me at first and I’m staying here to take care of things while he works.

Then, this week he ended up in the ER for mystery stomach pains. Two potential diagnoses were toss out, so he will have to go to a specialist, when he can find time between moving and starting a new job.

This has not let me much time to consider crafting. I did get to sew today on my sister’s quilt. I also made two dresses for one of Dexter’s little buddies, but I can’t post pictures until after I give them to her.

I suppose I just wanted to post an update 🙂

The end.