Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Musical Child

Max has been a real joy lately. It's been so much fun to be around him and he's a really funny kid. Like funny as in he understands and induces humor just to see you smile and share a laugh. I love that about him. He's a polite little kid and says "thanks" without being prompted when given something. He's also using his words to communicate thoughts and feelings and opinions which just blows me over every time. Of course those thoughts, feelings, and opinions are short (one to three words) but nonetheless his intent is there.

Everyday there's a new story or event that happens that makes me love him even more. Here's two from today.

Max has done so excellent in his big boy bed, he only needs reminded of his place in bed at nap time and we were down to one reminder today. But this is what I love. When he wakes up in the morning he'll play in his room for a while before he'll want out. This morning and then after his nap today when he's decided he wants out he politely knocks on the door and then crawls back into bed to wait for me to come get him.

Last night Adam got out my cello for a community dinner he's in a skit for this week. Max fell in love with it as soon as he saw it. Since he's not allowed to play with that Adam got down a guitar that had been given to us and we've been letting Max "play" it. He sings along and plays and gets up and dances and claps for himself when he's done. My little musical child. He makes my heart so happy.
He's also been concerned with hat wearing these days. He will often just wear a hat around the house for hours, but I laughed so much when I saw him walking around like this with two hats on. He will often also bring me hats to wear.

The Boys are Here in Two Ways

One Way
My awesome little nephews were born on February 15th and they are getting to go home today. I'm so excited to be Jaxson and Landon's Auntie!

Two Way

This weekend Adam's dad is yet again coming to work on our house. He's bringing along a family friend and they are tackling the last upstairs room and turning it into something a little more suitable for crafting/guests. Because this :

Is just not cutting it.

Both of these ways, has led me to start calling February "Project Finishing Month" I want to get started on new stuff for this baby girl, but by and large I'm trying to withhold and finish all the things I've wanted to get done so far and haven't.

That means lots of knitting, some things being hung on the walls (finally!) some framing of pictures, lots of throwing junk away, quite a bit of organizing, and a little creativity. Don't get me wrong, I'm cheating here and there, like the buying of lavender bins at Target yesterday (they were on sale and count as organizing right?) and online shopping to finish off the bedding set (again sale, how could I pass it up?).

But I'm trying to stay committed but I'm starting to have major pregnancy brain and can't concentrate on anything longer than 30 seconds. In fact during the writing of this post I've stopped three times to do other things.

I'm scheduling to head back to Ohio with Max for a week or so this coming week, so I should have some good things about the trouble we get into there. I got to get me some baby love from those nephews and little Linleigh too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We are thrilled to announce that we will have a little girl in June! We (mostly I) are so excited for purple and pink and all the sweet things that come along with a little girl. Everything looked wonderful on the sonogram and she was an active little thing being sassy at the doctor when he would push at all on my stomach she would kick the sono wand.

Looks like I have some shopping to do!

I have been spending a lot of time reorganizing and clearing things out of the house. I'll have some clever things and some new pictures to show over the next couple of weeks. Including how I'm turning a blue boys nursery into a great place for a little girl.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Such a big boy!

I know that this is one of those parenting things where there's no right or wrong answer. But it's such a milestone, at least I think so.

We converted Max's crib today into the toddler bed. It wasn't nearly as complicated for Adam to do as I thought it would be. We knew we wanted him to be to this point before the baby got here, but just weren't sure when to do it. Lately he's been completely upset when he drops a book or his stuffed animals out of the crib so we decided on a whim today to just go ahead and do it.

He was so excited that Daddy had tools out he watched the entire conversion process and then ran over and climbed right in to jump on his bed by himself. He was absolutely thrilled. Until it was bedtime.

He was quite upset when it was time to go to bed. We decided we would do our routine like we normally do, sing a song together and then tuck him in and just leave. We didn't know if it would work. And it didn't at first. We heard him whining and then heard the doorknob wiggle a little (he can't open his door, it's an old antique one that takes a good grip). But after two minutes we heard nothing. I couldn't resist peeking in (I always wake him up with the old door thing) and he was fast asleep in his bed. He woke for a few seconds when I snapped the picture, but it was a risk I had to take.

So here's my big guy. All growed up in his big boy bed. It means a lot to me that he's sleeping with the first baby blanket I ever crocheted. Way back in 2006. Way before we even thought of having kids.

Poor kid with a complex...

I make Max model a lot of the things I make, even the girly things. Somehow he knows. Yesterday I made his hat and he's barely taken it off. Last night I made a girly hat for a friend of ours and this morning just wanted him to try it on to make sure it would fit the 2 year old. He was not happy about it at all, its like he knew or something.
but nonetheless, I absolutely love the hat and it's perfect for this sweet little girl whose birthday is just around Valentine's Day. I've got the pattern already saved waiting to make the newborn version if in fact we are having a girl.
We go to the doctor on Monday to find out the sex of the baby and to ensure some of it's healthiness.I'm anxious to get busy with specific plans for this little one, lots of knitting, rearranging, sorting through boxes stacked upstairs, and buying (if it's a girl).

Oh and the names, which of course will be held close to the chest until baby is here. But we've pretty much agreed on a boys name and have a pretty short list of the girls. That is my favorite part after all. It's all about being clever and sentimental and original. All important things for me. 

And I don't know how I forgot about this little sweet thing, but I finished a little blanket for Peebo at home point last week. It's organic cotton and oh so bright and pretty gender neutral even though it has blue. At least I think so I guess. The cotton, colors, and open pattern are why I thought it would be a great summer baby blanket.

It's a little asymmetrical because I had started another pattern that I didn't like as much and had already cut pieces, but I guess that just makes me like this even more because it's just a little different. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Our recent adventures...

Here are some of our most recent adventures.

eating cookies

running around naked, but not quite

making a new hat

I love crocheting kids hats, they are quick, easy, stretchy, and who doesn't love a new hat. Max has been wearing it around since I finished it about a half hour ago, it took me about two hours off and on to make. This is made from Nashua Handknits yarn of some sort that was given to me. I love the color repeat. I almost didn't make it in this because the out side was a little too purple-y to be boyish but I love the red, blue and green I found on the inside. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The best way to use a toy box

We use an antique shipping trunk as a toy box/coffee table in the living room, we also use one as a side table, have one upstairs as extra linen storage and have three or four downstairs in the basement waiting for good uses. I apparently have a trunk problem. But that's besides point.

This is how Max wanted to spend some time this morning. He first put the basket of books in then climbed in after them.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Menu Planning 101

I was surprised by the responses on my Facebook about my monthly menu planning endeavor. It's so funny that I know so many people who do this and so many that don't for whatever reason. I've decided to list the reasons why I do and give some resources for those who'd like to give it a try because really it's made a complete difference in the harmony here in the Kipp household.

I should explain that I used to not menu plan, that I have occasionally monthly menu planned, that now I regularly weekly menu plan, and I want to get back to monthly menu planning on a regular basis. 

Reason why I LOVE! Menu Planning
1. It really does save us tons of money, and by tons I mean some.
2. I never have to worry about "What's for dinner?"
3. I know there's always something to eat in the house
4. I waste less food and use surprisingly more fresh foods
5. It keeps us from having the same things all the time, over and over.
6. Adam can cook too if I need him to
7. I love that there's flexibility with it
8. I don't wander around the grocery store with a glazed over, glassy expression anymore

An explanation of how I menu plan:
On Sunday Afternoon during nap time I sit down with a pad of paper (or a chart that I've made a lot like some of the ones in the resources below) and will ask Adam what he would like for dinner that week. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth for us to come up with 5-6 meals sometimes they roll right off our tongues. Sometimes I don't even ask him, I know what I want. We reasonably do 5-6 meals because I never cook on Sundays and honestly we eat out way too much and will probably eat out once during the week sometime.

I take that list and make my grocery shopping list from it.

Note: Sometimes I work the other way and check out the sales flier and decide on meals based off that. Sometime I also look in my freezer and decide on meals based on what's in there too. It just depends on how lazy I am honestly.

At this point I then add all the "others" to my list: things for lunch, toilet paper, milk and other essentials, snacks, etc.

Lastly, since I'm a coupon user, I pull all the possible coupons I will use.

As I'm typing this is seems like a lot and I'll be honest sometimes it takes me a while, like 40 minutes, other times it will literally take me 10 minutes.

If I am planning for a month I try to be a little more creative. First I divide our favorites between the 4 weeks. And then here's where I get out my cookbooks. My favorite cookbook is a three ring binder filled with plastic page inserts that I stick any recipe I get from the women at church, print off the internet, or rip from a magazine. I have them separated by category (breakfast, main dish, dessert, etc) and I try to make quite a few new things. Doing this, I also rediscover many old favorites that have gotten out of rotation.

When making the grocery list for the month I try to get all the canned/boxed and frozen things I'll need for the entire month. It makes the weekly shopping that much easier. So I'll buy all the chicken broth, pasta, canned tomatoes, and frozen meatballs, etc. that I'll need.

Putting it into action
Here's how I make it work for me. I take a look every day at what's left for the week, and I'll pick what sounds good. So I don't plan each day at the beginning of the week. I know I have 5 meals and 5 days and choose each day what sounds good. Some people do it for each day, but sometimes I just don't feel like having what's for Monday on Monday or it's just not going to fit into my schedule. The flexibility in that is what makes it so much easier for me. I try to each week have at least one meal that Adam can prepare in case he should have to or want to and try to have varying degrees of difficulty for meals through the week. One from scratch, one in the crockpot, one from boxes or cans or the freezer, etc. Lastly, it's important in our house but may not be in some, that we try not to have the same type of thing more than once or twice a week. So three-four nights of Italian food won't fly at my place.

This is just the bare bones of how I accomplish my meal plan. It's taken trial and error to make it work for us. I hope that one of you might try it out and let me know how it works for you!

I'm an Organizing Junkie does Meal Planning Monday (I used to post those here, but got out of the habit)
A great article more in depth on how to meal plan
My favorite recipe website - Allrecipes.com
Printable Charts foir Meal Planning (I actually still use the second one down)

If you are a menu planner and have other great resources leave them in the comments for us! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Twenty weeks in a beret.

This week I'm 20 weeks along, which is hard to believe. But nonetheless all signs are pointing towards the baby. The heartburn, the growing belly, the back pains, the tiny fluttery movements, the crazy dreams, my obsessive need to wash the kitchen curtains. All the signs are there. I've made a mock up of the completed nursery in my notebook and left out the gender particulars. I never did finish the nursery for Max, and he never really seemed to care. That's boys for ya.

I cast on for my beret on Saturday and finished it on Sunday, blocked it yesterday (Monday) and wore it today. How's that for starting, completing, and putting a project to use. It called to be blocked (stretched) over a pie plate. Adam thought that was awesome. I had just enough yarn and changed the pattern just a teensy bit. The particulars are on my ravelry projects page.