Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

I love holidays.  I enjoy pretty much all of the big ones, but I have to say that Christmas is my favorite.  I love watching Christmas movies (Elf is my favorite), drinking hot chocolate, wrapping presents, decorating the house, and putting up the Christmas tree.  This year Christmas is even more exciting because it is Jude’s first Christmas and I’m really looking forward to going all out.  Except there is one problem- having an almost 10 month old who crawls, is about to walk, and still puts everything in his mouth makes having a Christmas tree just about the biggest safety hazard you can think of.   I brainstormed ways we could still have one- we could put in the kitchen with is gated off, I could find a way to put it up somewhere really high, we could put it outside on the front porch, etc.  But nothing seemed like it would really work or be practical.  So this year instead of a real Christmas tree we made a felt Christmas tree!

This was such a fun, cheap, easy project.  As far as supplies we used:
2 yards of green felt to make the tree (On sale ended up being about $8 total)
10-15 multicolored pieces of felt for the ornaments (4 pieces for $.50 total about $8)
Tacky Glue to stick it all together (already had)
4 Nails to put the whole thing up (already had)
Masking Tape (already had)
Sharp scissors (already had)
Total cost about $16!

First I took the two yards of green felt and folded it in half length wise.  I wanted to cut what was now the large rectangle diagonally so I took some masking tape and used it to make a straight line to guide my cutting.  Then we just nailed the big green tree to the wall.  Now, we nailed ours because I know Jude will tug on it and I didn’t want him to pull it off the wall/end up with a push pin in his mouth etc, but if you had older kids then you could totally use push pins or those doubled sided sticky tab things.

The ornaments were a ton of fun to make.  Our awesome friends Rex and Tara came over to help us make them and they turned out so great.  I love them all.  All we did was cut out the shapes we wanted to make and used tacky glue to stick them together.  Then we just put them on the tree.  The cool thing about felt is that it sticks to its self, so all of the ornaments are just sticking to the tree with no glue or Velcro or anything like that.  So Jude can decorate or undecorate the tree as much as he’d like.  We did glue the string of lights directly to the tree so that way he wouldn’t mess them up.  We also put all of the more complicated ornaments up higher where he couldn’t reach and all of the single piece ones down low.  So far Jude really loves pulling the ornaments down, but he doesn’t get that he can put them back yet.  Maybe next year.
And now, the big reveal!

I think in this last picture with Jude you can get a sense of the scale of the tree, it’s really big!  It ended up being about 6ft tall, which is great for us, but you could easily make one smaller or whatever size you like!  That’s another thing I love about this project, it is so easy to customize to what you need.  If you arn’t that artistic just make really simple ornaments, or if you have older kids, get them to craft with you.  You could cut out the shapes in advance and have smaller kids glue them together if they arn’t ready to handle sharp scissors yet.  And we arn’t religious so our tree isn’t full of symbolism, but you could totally go that way too with this.  Or have all of the ornaments match the color scheme of your house/living room or whatever.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my new project and be sure to tell me if you end up making one too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Food and the Dude, Plus Thanksgiving Photos

We had such a great Thanksgiving.  It was just about perfect in every way and I’m so glad it was Jude’s first Thanksgiving.  We stayed at home and S’s mom came into town to celebrate with us along with all of our dearest friends.  All together I think we had about 8 people and SO MUCH FOOD!  I made an almost 20 lb turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, funeral potatoes (my favorite), sweet potatoes, cranberries, roasted brussel sprouts, and an eggnog pumpkin pie with home made whipped cream, and friends brought deviled eggs, more mashed potatoes, dressing, broccoli cheese rice casserole, green bean casserole, and so many tasty bottles of wine.  It was truly an epic feast.  And Jude totally got down on some food, though he liked the cranberries the best I think.  Some great family photos we took that day:

 Jude covered in his Thanksgiving dinner

Just a small portion of the food we had- not everything would fit on the table!

Speaking of food, things with getting Jude to eat more “real” food have gotten much better.  After looking into Baby Led Weaning and reading all of your very helpful comments we made a plan to make sure everyday we were feeding Jude three times a day on a regular schedule when we knew he would be hungry.  And we have also tried to make at least 60% of his meals things he can pick up and feed to himself.  I guess the other big thing is that we decided to not stress about what he liked or didn’t like and how much food he is actually eating versus just spitting it out or throwing it to the floor and to just get into the habit of feeding him.  Which sounds much easier than it is, between bottle times, nap times and mommy forgetfulness, it is hard to keep much of a schedule.  But we have just been going with the flow and so far it is going great.  He seems to be eating so much more and loves making a mess and feeding himself.  He also LOVES blueberries cut in half (which I totally didn’t realize that blueberries arn’t purple/blue in the middle but rather a pinkish white, does everyone know that?) along with yogurt and a few other newer flavors.  He is still a bit weird about eating meat, even if he is feeding it to himself, but I think that will come with time.

Hope everyone else had a great holiday (or just a great week if you live somewhere other than the US). I’m excited later this week to share a blog about a craft project we did today that turned out awesome- a felt Christmas tree for Jude!  More details to come!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is our little 42 weeks dude.  I’ll post tomorrow with updates on his new and improved eating along with some family photos and Thanksgiving photos!  So thankful for my family, my friends, and of course all of you in blog land that have supported our journey!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Dude Who Doesn’t Like Food

At Jude’s 9 month appointment our pediatrician gave us the go ahead to start giving Jude a much bigger variety of foods and wants us to start weening down how much formula he eats.  The goal is that by one year he is mostly eating “real food”.  And of course over the last 4 or 5 months we have been giving Jude all sorts of different purees along with a few finger foods (rice puffs mostly), most of which he has tolerated/liked.  But now, he has grown to hate them.  He doesn’t mind most fruit purees and likes a few veggie ones, but he just won’t eat very much of them.  Sometimes he won’t eat the purees at all, and now that we are trying things with more texture like cottage cheese and things like that, he just spits them out.  And he pretty much freaks out if you try to feed him anything warm and pureed (he drinks his bottles cold out of the fridge, so he isn’t used to anything being warm).

So we have been trying more “finger foods” and if he can feed it to himself he is far more likely to not spit it out.  And you would think with his mouth full of teeth that he’d be getting the chewing thing down by now, but you would be wrong.  He mostly likes to cram things in his mouth and then like a chipmunk hold it all in his cheeks to spit out a later time.  He likes Cheerios, cut up cheese quesadillas, chopped up fruit, and sometimes cut up bits of cheese.

It just seems like I don’t know what to feed him.  At this point he should be getting three “meals" a day and snacks but it just isn’t happening.  Its frustrating to make him things that he refuses to eat.  The pediatrician suggested cutting back his formula a bit so that he is hungry when we feed him and so we have gone from 32oz a day to 28oz a day, and he does seem hungrier, but it isn’t really resulting in him eating more food.  So, any suggestions?  What sort of stuff do you feed your baby?

And a bit late, his 41 weeks photo along with some photos we took for our Christmas card this year.  And speaking of Christmas, I’m really really excited to participate this year in the

2012 Annual Holiday Craft Exchange.  


Sunday, November 4, 2012

9 Months and Growing

Little dude turned 9 months this week, wow.  He has his 9 month check up tomorrow, so I’m not sure yet of his “stats”, but these days he is looking long long long!  In addition to his rampant crawling, he loves nothing more than to stand holding on to a dresser, night stand, book shelf, etc and yank off everything within his reach.  Jude still loves to eat fuzz off the floor and yesterday he got into our dirty clothes pile and bit the button off a pair of pants.  Thanks Jude.  I discovered a new skill he has last night, if you make clicking nosies with your tongue he will make them back at you!  It is so cute.  Pointless, but cute.

We are experimenting with pushing his bedtime back these last few weeks, for several reasons:
1.  We are tired of getting up between 5:15-5:45 everyday.  Too early!
2. Daylight savings
3. S got a new job!  She starts the week after Thanksgiving.  And with this new job comes a Monday-Friday 8-5 sort of schedule.  We have really enjoyed the very random schedule that she has had up til now, working some days and some evenings and a day off every 3-4 days.  But with her new schedule she wouldn’t get to see much of Jude during the week if he kept going to bed at 6:30ish, so we are pushing it back.

So now his bedtime is 7:30 and we are working on pushing it to 8:00.  So far it has gone well, he seems to like staying up later and is slowly starting to wake up later as well.  Last night we managed to get him to stay up till 8, so today when he woke up later than usual daylight savings isn’t messing with his schedule too much.  But, he has started waking up randomly in the night, sometimes really hungry, sometimes just really needy.  We are going to try to go back to some of our sleep training to get him away from this new trend.

And I’m a little late in posting it, but here is his 39 weeks picture!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Halloween and other photos

The littlest lion

First time at the park

With Aunt Lulu as Frida

Higher mommy!

With his other mommy