And Then He Turned Three

Three years ago today, we welcomed this cute bundle of warm cries & bright eyes into our life.

Sam as Newborn ~ Bubblegum Sass

The days were long, but the weeks flew by as we kept our Sammy safe, happy, and loved.

Sam at One Year Old ~ Bubblegum Sass

We rediscovered the world around us through the eyes and mind of a toddler;
frustrating at times, but also fascinating.

Sam at Two Years Old ~ Bubblegum Sass

We’ve tried to keep up with this boy of ours, who is always changing and challenging us. This parenthood journey has been the greatest learning curve I have ever found myself on. His smiles still make it worth it though.

Sam at Three Years Old ~ Bubblegum Sass

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMMY!!

Button-spiration

These were just too cute to share! Plus I’m starting to need some more big bibs for baby boy as he attempts to master the spoon by himself. These use printed cotton and terry fabric, bias tape, and buttons. Pretty simple, modern design, but super functional and think of all the wonderful colour combinations you can put together. Check out the full tutorial by de rerum natura (the original site is in French, but the Google translation is fairly decent).

Baby bibs with buttons

Twelve whole months (and a bit)

Sam eating icingIn other words, one whole YEAR! We did it! We managed to keep our little baby boy alive for an entire year (with the much needed help of family, friends and God himself along the way). Phew!

We finally got him officially measured at the doctor’s office last week. Sam weighs 25lbs and is about 33″ long! A tall fellow indeed! He recently shot up in height and has lost a bit of weight and baby rolls now that he’s crawling non-stop.

Yes, crawling! Everywhere. All the time. Keeping us extra busy, baby proofing and preventing big accidents (the little ones happen about five times a day & that’s ok). He’s also showing interest in trying stairs and pulling himself up into a standing position against furniture. Current fav thing is being chased around the living room, as long as you’re crawling too.

Sam and daddy eating icingHis eating frustrations have improved slightly. We try to give him lots of finger food options at each meal and snack time. He’s getting much better at feeding himself. We’re also starting to experiment with drinking from a cup. Not a sippy cup, just a little regular cup. We recently discovered that he loves yogurt fruit smoothies & happily drinks them from his cup. Oh and he’s just started using a straw.

Sam loves eating pork chops and some ground beef dishes (meat loaf, chili). Yogurt is still at the top of the food list though. He’s finally getting into eating cheese, which he likes shredded, and raisins. He pretty much wants to try anything that you put in your own mouth. Needless to say, it makes you think a lot about what you’re eating.

Current fav activity is sorting. Sam has been doing this for months actually, but it’s definitely a part of the daily routine Icing lipsnow. He sorts the videos, books, sketchbooks, his box of greeting cards, the laundry basket full of diapers, and his kleenex box full of fabric scraps. Give him a pile of “things” and he enjoys picking up each item and sorting them into new piles.

He finally has a book he’s in love with that isn’t cat themed! The current ultimate fav book is Moo, Moo Brown Cow! Have You Any Milk? by Phillis Gershator. He still enjoys his kitty books though. We recently discovered a series by Sam Llyod featuring a cat named Mr. Pusskins.

Sam’s enjoyment of Taylor Swift has continued to dominate his music selection these days. Marcus has even starting watching Taylor Swift music videos with Sam while I take my evening shower. So cute. Other entertainment has come in the form of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with Sam sucking on his blankiedaddy and Vampire Diaries with mommy. It’s become a bit of a late afternoon tradition. Quiet cuddles on the couch together while we veg a bit.

The need for an afternoon couch veg session came about last month, when Sam started only napping for 20-30min in the afternoon, followed by 15-30min of intense screaming. Nothing we did could calm him down or get him back to sleep. On a whim and out of complete frustration (I’d just totally given up one day), I sat down on the couch with screaming Sam in my arms and turned on the television. He settled down in about 30 seconds and sat quietly, snuggled in my arms. So now we sit together and watch a little something after nap time (he doesn’t do the scream fest much anymore, but still seems to enjoy the cuddle time).

Naps continue to be a bit chaotic right now. We’re pretty sure Sam eating in kitchenhe’s starting the transition to one nap a day. Unfortunately, his longest & best nap is in the morning, which makes for some long days. Here’s hoping that over time we can get his nap time to fall a bit more mid-day.

(With this one year milestone reached, I’m afraid I might disappoint some folks by saying that I won’t be continuing with the monthly Sam updates. Periodic updates are sure to follow, and photos from time to time. Thanks for reading along and watching Sam grow & develop over the past twelve months. It has been a pleasure to share it all with you here, my virtual baby book.)

A year like no other

Sarah and Sam with embroidery hoop
Photo courtesy of Scott Frank
Of course, no year is really like any other. How could it be? Life keeps changing and we keep changing with it. Even if we don’t want to, life has a way of changing us.

Let’s see… this year we had our first baby, cared for & protected that precious little life, and along the way, been constantly changed by every experience that being a parent brings. I feel like I would barely recognize the person I was and the way we lived life before Sam was born. I’m still in there, that crafty, creative, smart, common sense woman who likes to organize & sort, sew & crochet. The big difference is where I put my energy, love, dedication and every waking thought.

I’ve let some things go because compared to Sam, they don’t matter nearly as much. The house isn’t so clean & organized these days. Paper work & filing are stacking up. It will get done one day. I don’t make & list as much new product in my Etsy shop. Craft show applications were ignored entirely this year. I do less visiting with friends. Christmas cards & letters weren’t sent. Craft projects are small & quick and I readily acknowledge & abandon ones that will not realistically get done. Cooking is simple. Lots of things are frozen, to be thawed for even easier dinners a few weeks down the road. Time to shave my legs and paint my nails? Only on super rare and special occasions. A bath? Don’t even remember the last time that happened.

Expectations. That’s the second biggest thing I’ve had to let go of. I think every parent faces that. For us, trying to keep things simple has been the key in dealing with letting go of expectations. You can only do so much in one day, plain & simple. That bit of rest you get at night, isn’t worth sacrificing so that the kitchen will be clean or the laundry folded.

The biggest thing I’ve had to let go of is planning, scheduling, having things be somewhat predictable, and regular. As soon as you think that you & baby have established some sort of routine, he changes, then your life has to change with it. As soon as you think that you can rely on some behavior or schedule, everything falls apart. It’s not all bad and it’s not all good, certainly, but the greatest challenge in being a parent has been learning to be crazy flexible and patient with the whole process. I still have my moments, where I rage inside against the new change, big or small. Sam and I get frustrated with each other during these times and then somehow, you just have to keep on trucking forward. I’m not a perfect parent, far from it. I look at friends in great wonder sometimes at just how they have the patience, love, & positivity, that feels lacking in me. I’m pretty sure, though, that every parent has their moments.

Would I go back to the way things were before baby? Absolutely not. One look into that chubby, smiling face, with big eyes longing to discover the world, is the only reminder you need of why you will accept, perhaps even embrace, all the change & transformation.

This post was supposed to be a year in review. What we accomplished, how it compared to others, the ups & downs. It’s not the post I set out to write, but it certainly encompasses our entire year. What did I do this year? I became a mom.

Button-spiration

Bubblegum Sass button salt dough ornamentsI’ve really been trying hard to do more of the crafts I wanted to complete for Christmas this year. Yesterday afternoon, I managed to complete these salt dough ornaments (with boy in the Baby Hawk because he refused to nap). They aren’t as perfect as I want them to be, but they’ll have to do as a first attempt at salt dough. Of course, I got the idea from Pinterest (where else?!) and I actually used two tutorials for my inspiration. The first was from the Make It Give It blog and the second was from the Intimate Weddings blog (they used the salt dough to make wedding favors).

I loved the idea of using rubber stamps & ink to decorate the ornaments! Simple and yet it can make a traditional craft slightly more sophisticated. Of course, I immediately envisioned buttons stamped on these ornaments and since I don’t actually own a rubber button stamp (shame on me), I first had to set about making some stamps. Luckily, that was an easy fix! I glued some buttons onto old wine corks, which I’ve kept around for exactly that purpose. Easy-peasy, right?

Bubblegum Sass DIY button stamps

Next, I mixed up the dough, using the following recipe (Please Note – in the future I will cut this recipe in half and make two separate batches of dough) :

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water

I rolled the dough out to about 1/4″ thick (perhaps even slightly thinner, which I might regret). Then I inked & stamped the designs and used cookie cutters to cut the shapes. I used a straw to make the hole for hanging the ornaments. Then gently placed each one onto a cookie sheet and baked in the oven at 200 degrees for about 5.5 hours. Most tutorials recommend between 4-6 hours. I just pulled them out before I went to bed.

They are pretty darn cute! But I do have a few things I will attempt differently next time. Here’s my tips on this project:

  • DO have all your stamps & inks & cookie cutters out and ready to go. The dough starts to dry quickly, so you want to do a lot of prep before you even mix the dough.
  • DO make sure you have plenty of time to dry them in the oven. These aren’t going to be done baking in a couple of hours.
  • DON’T mix the dough recipe that I have listed on the blog. Cut it in half and make two separate batches of dough. The dough starts to dry quickly (especially in our Alberta climate).
  • DON’T try re-rolling the dough to use the left over bits. I think this is one reason why some of my ornaments have cracks. They are so much more pretty when they are nice & smooth.
  • DON’T get too frustrated if some aren’t quite perfect. You can always make up more. Even though they take a while to bake, keep in mind that the dough itself is very inexpensive & easy to make.

Bubblegum Sass salt dough ornament

I would definitely like to make more of these as tags for gifts throughout the year. Love the way they look with names stamped on them! Sam’s first Christmas ornament. I hope he likes buttons as much as his mama…

Treasury love

Thought I would share one of the treasuries I put together recently. Haven’t had a chance to do too many lately, but squeeze one in here & there when I can. I’m really enjoying the feel of this treasury in particular. Looking forward to sharing Christmas morning with my little family this year.

Eleven whole months

Ok, seriously, we’re only one month from the big 1st birthday celebration!! C-r-a-z-y!

Sam laughing at 11 months oldI have no idea where this little man is at with his height & weight these days. He definitely just finished a growth spurt because for about five days he was a bottom-less pit for food.

One more tooth popped through on the bottom and there seems to be some more teething going on right now.

He is now officially a bookworm. He spends more time with books than he does with toys & has now started to “read” a bit on his own. Very adorable.

Sam is trying to master page turning, but we still have some ripping accidents with the picture books. Board books really do serve a purpose for babies of a certain age.

He is definitely in charge of choosing which books to read these days. Simply read the title out loud and he will let youSam smiling at 11 months old know if he wants that particular book or not.

And seriously, his favorite books are always the cat books. Since last month, we’ve gone to the library twice and both times come away with a new cat book. Each time, the cat book becomes the beloved fav that we read a dozen times a day. The first of these was Kitty Up! by Elizabeth Wojtusik. The second was & still remains I Like Cats by Patricia Hubbell.

The most exciting thing around here these days has been watching Sam CRAWL. Yes, he can crawl, a bit anyway. He just started forward crawling at the end of last week and goes through little spurts of it & then forgets that he can.

Besides the crazy five days of eating everything offered to him, eat & feeding have been a bit frustrating. I think he’s just finally ready to be more in charge of feeding himself Sam watching snow at 11 months oldand we’re going through the awkward stage where he hasn’t figured out quite how to do that. We’re introducing lots of finger foods now that he finally has teeth to chew with & the desire to feed himself. Yay, for lots of mess!

OMgosh! I almost forgot THE most important part of this month!! Sam now takes all of his naps in his crib! I was getting more & more nervous having him napping in our bed or on the couch. We attempted naps in the crib back in the summer, but Sam wasn’t ready then and it totally started screwing up his night-time sleep, so we didn’t push it. I had a feeling though, that he was finally ready for this change. It went so smoothly, a tiny bit of crying, but nothing like before. And now that he knows the routine, he seems happy to take naps in his crib. Big step for baby boy, and a huge relief for this mama (I actually get to craft while he naps now)!Pensive Sam at 11 months old

And could he be more like his father?! Sam loves the cold air, fresh breezes, snow falling on his face. Take him outside and his face lights up with a big smile, even in the cold. Oh our winter baby! We really DO need to get a sled so we can go tromping around in the snow.

Only two more weeks till little man gets to celebrate his 1st Christmas! Can’t wait!

Little hands making rainbows

Last month, while Sam was teething and in need of some serious distraction, I decided to try out some finger painting with him. I’d seen random ideas for doing finger painting with babies on Pinterest and opted for the plastic bag method (as trying to clean up a teething, grumpy baby would only lead to more rage).

Baby finger painting suppliesI used a large freezer bag, some acrylic paint left from my art school days, packing tape and a piece of board intended for an artist palette. I wanted to be able to place it on the floor, so that Sam could get “into it” a bit more than making him sit up at a table.

Baby finger painting prepI squeezed some paint into the freezer bag (next time I will use more paint so it’s easier for him to squish it around). Then closed the bag up nice & tight and taped it down to the board.

Baby finger paintingThen I plopped it down on the floor in front of him. He wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. I showed him how the colours squished & moved around. Eventually he got interested in touching each colour and was soon squishing a bit on his own.

Baby finger painting 2(Getting more into it)

Baby finger painting 3(I love his chubby little hands!)

Baby finger painting 4

Overall it was a nice activity. Quick set-up and clean-up (just pulled the bag off the board and tossed the bag into the garbage). No mess on the baby (I recommend you ensure that baby’s nails are clipped short to avoid ripping holes in the bag). And lots of fun to watch him explore. We will be doing more of this soon, for sure.

Ten whole months (and a bit)

Sam playing with toysThis post is a bit late. And my iPad keeps losing all my previous attempts to write this, so it will be brief. Sam has been sick again. I came down with his cold, just when he was finally feeling better. Hubby’s work schedule has changed over the past couple weeks. Four days off, which is wonderful, but the three days a week he does work, are very loooong days (we’re all still adjusting to that). Needless to say, things have felt hectic, chaotic, a little isolating, and now there’s lots of catching up to do.

A few weeks ago, Sam weighed 24.5 lbs.

He’s still growing, still getting taller.

His one little tooth that started popping through last month, quickly turned into five and now six (he’s quite ambitious).

Sam with Doctor Meow bookLoving his new toothy smile.

His new fav book is Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency by Sam Llyod (I’m sensing a cat theme, since his last fav book was this).

Story time takes up a good chunk of our days. He’s quite content and very insistent that you read, re-read and read again the same few books.

Some of his evening time is now filled with helping mama & papa with laundry. We tip the basket over, sort diapers, play with clothes pins (he’s fascinated with them) and ride in the basket.

When all else fails, hold a grumpy, crying, sick baby up to the window so he can watch the snow fall. Silence and smiles ensue. Ahhhhh…

Sam with Big Red Barn bookA clean sewing room creates a safe & interesting place for baby to play while mama attempts to do a little crafting (especially since I’ve had orders come in).

A clean sewing room is saving mama’s sanity these days.

A super special, soft, silky blanket with satin binding is saving Sam’s sanity these days. It’s his new fav thing and he can’t sleep without it now. My baby boy has an official blankie!

Still no forward crawling, although he can go backwards a bit.

He can pull himself up into a sitting position from the ground.

He tries to climb into my lap and loves to grab onto my pant legs while I’m standing.

Sam with The Snowy Day bookWe’re realizing just how much of a cuddle bug our little boy is, and enjoying every minute of it.

We’re enjoying the musical stylings of Taylor Swift these days, thanks to a special friend (you know who you are!). Sam likes to bob his head along and thinks it’s amusing when mama dances.

His fav foods these days include yogurt, liver wurst, arrowroot cookies, Annie’s pasta, cheese, and pepperoni sticks.

Three surprising new things he seems to enjoy are my curried chicken in coconut sauce, curried carrot & ham soup, and grits.

Loving his new Padraig Cottage booties (made in Canada)! Thanks for turning on us to them, Lisa! We went with the most colourful pair we could find, of course. Rainbows for my baby!!

And I’m sure there’s just so much more that happens each day that I miss, or take for granted. All the different ways he plays, explores, sleeps, and communicates. Things are changing so quickly. Feels like that’s the way it has been since we welcomed him into the world. And there doesn’t seem to be any sign of that slowing. Getting very excited for his first Christmas, and then his first birthday in January! First birthday?!?! Crazy!