parenting is craziness. even after nine months, i feel like i'm totally winging it. and i don't think that that feeling will go away any time soon. i have learned though, that a large part of maintaining one's sanity centers around distracting the small one. and what's more distracting to one still mastering the pincer grasp than the ubiquitous puff cereal? i cannot give margot more than three or so at once though. if i do, she will take them by the fistful and cram them all into her mouth at the same time. this, then, does not keep her distracted for long, which defeats the purpose of puffs (because we all know we don't feed them puffs for their nutritional value). i believe though, that i have now brilliantly solved the puff distribution problem.

it's a bit hard to tell from the picture, but it's a small tupperware with a hole about the size of a puff cut out in the lid (the fourth picture probably shows it best). it combines two of margot's favorite things--eating puffs and shaking noisy things. we refer to it as her 'shake shake'.

the process goes something like this. margot shakes the container excitedly, unaware as puffs fall around her.

taking a break from the tiring shaking, she makes a discovery. ho, a puff!

flinging the 'shake shake' aside, she masterfully picks up the puff and crams it into her mouth.

this process then repeats until it's empty or she gets bored and moves on to new adventures. this may be one of my proudest parenting moments. it feels a bit like the enrichment activities they do at the zoo--like giving the gorillas pumpkins or the tigers paper mache easter eggs. here, margot is learning about cause and effect while giving mom some much needed time to do something like wash the dishes, or comb her hair, or write this blog.

so, go ahead, make your own and fill it with anything that is tasty and makes a satisfying noise when shaken. any other great ideas out there for small one distractions?


wild and wonderful.

it's been a couple of months since my last making clothes for margot post and, as it's no longer pants season, it's time for some summery fun around here. 

i would like to say that the inspiration for this shirt came from the hours we've spent driving through west virginia recently. and perhaps subconsciously it did. but this shirt really came about because this morning, in picking out margot's cloths for today, i came across this plain t-shirt, and plain t-shirts don't last too long in my house.

so, at eight o'clock this morning, while margot was tearing through the house like a crazy person, chasing the kitties in her walker, i was drinking coffee and making this quick shirt. i just sketched out the design, positioned it inside the shirt, and traced it onto the shirt with a pink fabric marker. easy peasy. 

and i think the phrase 'wild and wonderful' suits miss margot quite well. point proven by the fifty or so photos i took and the only four presentable-ish ones that came out. this kid!

if you want to make your own t-shirt, you can get the design here. this should be sized for about a nine month old shirt, but could easily be sized up or down. i kind of want one now too.


stuffed kitty.

i've been on a bit of a stuffed animal making kick lately. this latest kitty creation was made for a special someone's fifth birthday.

i've been having a lot of fun working through the creation process with these stuffed animals. since i make up my own designs and patterns, there tends to be a lot of improvisation and rework and oh-crap moments in getting from start to finish. maybe one day i'll do better at documenting what a hot mess the intermediate phases are. but for now, i just have the finished product to share.

i used a quilting cotton for the body, felt for the facial features, and made a sweet little mustard bow using this pattern. she was named lemon, which i think is a pretty swell name for a kitty. the only critique that i got was that she should be smiling. almost five year olds are the toughest critics.

if enough people are interested in making a kitty of their own, i may be persuaded to try and muddle my way through writing up the pattern. just leave a comment with your kindest plea. be warned though, i've never done it before and cannot guarantee coherence.