Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back....

December, 2008:
Late summer, early autumn 065
Such a little tiny bit of hair (that we were so excited about!), baby cheeks and diapers in the background that are now destined for a different little bum.

november, misc, december 092
A jacket, too big then, and too small now

Late summer, early autumn 100
The thumb in the mouth has remained constant, though :)

And then, this sweet girl, just this morning.... grown up so much already:
watching the snow
Watching the magic of falling snow

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Glimpses of Christmas

I'll share more pictures of the days leading up to Christmas soon.... The baby landed me on complete bed rest the last two weeks and I didn't have an easy way of getting pics onto Pete's laptop to post. But.... I'm nearly full term now and off bed rest, so there are a lot of catch up posts to do!

We had a wonderful Christmas---- it was very much a magical time for Aurora.


A new use for a Sled

Mamas and Daughters

More pics to be found here

Friday, December 11, 2009

Advent Day Nine

Cranberry and Popcorn Garland!

A note about the lately sparse Advent posting: Santa really needs to bring some more memory for this old computer!!!! The computer has been acting up and so slow lately that I've dreaded getting on to post... because it seems that everything just takes so, so long right now. Hopefully this is something that can be fixed soon. I've also decided that really only the Advent activities and outings are post worthy, so I've left out the days that Aurora has just found a small suprise in her Advent cone... Christmas window clings, lip balm, her scarf etc....

So, anyway, our Garland: took way longer than I expected! I need to make more still for the rest of the tree. It's also much more beautiful on the tree than I had expected, so I'm thinking this is something that will become a tradition for us. I was surprised at how well Aurora did with the needle... she had a few pokes, but then quickly learned herself how to hold it more carefully and take her time. She did many, many cranberries all by herself!

Advent Catch Up

Snowflakes and St Nicholas Day!!

The snowflakes went better thank I had expected. Aurora's really into cutting with scissors right now, so I knew she'd enjoy it, but wasn't sure how much she'd actually be able to do. I had a few pieces of already folded paper, with a few preliminary cuts in them, and her scissors waiting for her in her Advent Cone for the day. She did really well.... as you can see from the flurry of snowflakes adorning our door!

St. Nicholas Day was very excitedly celebrated here for the first time last weekend. I used this very simple story to introduce him to Aurora and also painted a little peg person to look like St. Nicholas (which, I'm finding I never took a picture of!) to find the morning in her Advent cone the morning of St. Nicholas Eve. That evening, she set out her shoe with some carrots for St. Nick's horse and a note for St. Nicholas. She was very set in her mind that she needed to place her shoe at the kitchen door, and then St. Nicholas would move it to outside her bedroom door when he came. The note details these instructions for the good Saint. She also drew a picture of a fishing pole for him ;)
The next morning she found that St. Nicholas had come and left her a beautiful note on rainbow paper, a small bag of chocolate coins and a special ornament for the tree. She thought the coins were quarters for the laundry and was shocked (then delighted) when I showed her they were actually chocolate. Her special ornament for this year were ballet slippers to commemorate her first trip to the ballet.

Friday, December 4, 2009

We interrupt Advent.....

to bring you some breaking news:

He's a published author!!

(ahem, available now at Amazon)

Yesterday, we got a couple advanced copies of the book Pete's been working on with a Professor at Cornell for quite some time now. So very, very exciting!!!

We Are So Proud of You, Pete!!!!!!

Advent, Day Three

Downtown Tree Lighting!

Lots of fun and a very magical moment for Aurora when finally lit the tree.... I wasn't able to capture it with the camera, but her expression was priceless.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent, Day Two

Hot Chocolate and Christmas Stories before bed!

This equals one happy girl. Extra fancy hot chocolate with crushed candy canes and whipped cream and her first time hearing The Polar Express. Aurora was saying something about trains in her sleep last night... I think the book had quite an impact on her!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent, Day One

Planting Paperwhites!!

Aurora was thrilled to take down the first cone and find the bulbs inside... she loves to garden. Hopefully, we'll have some blooms for Christmas....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving and the Ballet

Just a quick recap of Thanksgiving.... we had the great pleasure of celebrating with our friends the Shorters, who live in our building. Maddie and Aurora are such, such good friends (and we like Clay, Jessica and Ian, too!).... so, of course, it was an awesome time. We had lots of delicious foods, wonderful pie and great company. After dinner, the girls played and Pete and I tried our hand at playing the Nintendo Wii for the first time.... it was a lot of fun! (kinda makes me wish we had a TV). Oh, and Aurora actuallly ate the Turkey this year!!! Success!
Then on Sunday we were off to the Ballet. The New England Ballet does this wonderful preformance for Littles called the Sugar Plum Party. It was a shortened preformance of The Nutcracker, (minus the scary rat army, but still with all the beautifully costumed dancers), a picture with a ballerina, a craft and refreshments. I very highly reccomend it for next year for anybody local. It was really, really well done. The ballerinas even came down to help the children with their craft project.

Aurora outside the theatre with the crown she made.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Our Advent celebration begins tomorrow!! Aurora is super excited. It's looking to be a very, very busy month.... let's just hope this little guys stays inside me until after Christmas;)
We'll be adding some new celebrations this time around.... St. Nicholas Day, Santa Lucia, and Epiphany/Three Kings Day... but to start is our Advent Calendar which Aurora and I made out of cones of Christmas scrapbooking paper we had on hand. 24 cones pinned in two rows along the wall.... each cone will hold a small surprise or project or outing to do together.

Leftover scraps from the cones became refrigerator tangrams.... which have gotten much use already.

And, despite it still really only being Autumn, we started setting up our Winter Nature Table today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Martinmas Lanterns

Aurora enjoyed this so much! Martinmas will now have a permanent place on our holiday calendar, I believe. And it has inspired me to to take a closer look at some of the lesser known/celebrated holidays and festivals- next up would be Santa Lucia in December.

working on her lantern (she loved the gluestick!)

a very, very happy girl

out for our lantern walk

back home, the lantern aglow on our Nature Table

St. Martin was a noble military officer who sliced his cloak in half and gave one half to a freezing beggar. He later dreamed that the beggar had been Christ, or a messenger of Christ, and was moved to give up his Military career for a life of peace and service, in God's name.

Next year, I plan to have Aurora help me gather up her warm winter clothes that she's outgrown and help me deliver them to shelter or donation center. Another way people celebrate is by having a meal in which each person has a roll or muffin that they then slice in half and offer half to the person sitting next to them.... we'll plan to do this, too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday and Martinmas

Happy Martinmas everyone! This is the first year we will be celebrating.... Aurora and I will be making a lantern this afternoon (she is very excited about this) and then joining some special friends for a twilight Lantern walk. I'll make sure to share the pics tomorrow.

I'll be sharing some of the stories/poems with her and following the lantern tutorial found over at Our Little Nature Nest.

Yesterday, Rory and I went to Ikea after preschool for lunch and to pick up a package of tealights for our lantern making. You should have seen my little shopper- she took the task of picking out the perfect candle very seriously and carefully sniffed each and every candle Ikea sells. It took quite a while, but she finally decided on some berry scented tea lights. Since she is so very excited about the candles, I think we will also make a table lantern of a glass jar with tissue paper glued on to have on our dining table.

And.... the incessant knitting continues (hmm... could I be nesting?!)

I've got a sweet little baby gift on the needles now for a little guy who should be making his appearance any day now (not mine!).... but since his parents occasionally check this blog--- no pics right now....

But Aurora's sweater shirt vest thing is done- and she loves it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween and Knitting

Halloween first... not too many pictures's surprisingly (or maybe not so) difficult to get a three year old to stay in one place long enough for pics on Halloween. But, I did get one of her helping to carve the pumpkin:

And one with Maddie next to the jack-o-lantern just as they were about to set off trick-or-treating. Aurora was Minnie Mouse and Maddie was a beautiful princess. Rory, as you can see, was more interested in trying to rip open some candy than look at the camera.... oh, well.

And, now knitting.... I finished two hats for the babe... both with the pattern from Rory's hat... I love this pattern, it offers such great coverage around the ears and back of neck. This one was done in Malabrigo Merino in Continental and was left over from a hat I made for myself, but have yet to photograph....
and this one was done with NaturallyCaron Spa, one strand each of Ocean Spray and Green Sheen held double. The yarn is an acrylic/bamboo blend, mostly acrylic though. I don't usually like to knit with that much plastic content, but the yarn was there in my stash, pretty, soft and my fingers were needing something to knit... I made this one without the loop on the top, to see how'd it look.... I prefer the loop, I think
All this knitting for the baby has finally got Aurora interested in me knitting for her- This is my current WIP- the Girl's Cap Sleeved Shirt which is also being knit in the same bamboo yarn as above, should be easy to wash at least. I've finished more since the pic, but probably still have a good 2-3 inches to go before it's done.
~Sorry about the horrible picture... Rory's not even all in the frame- but at least she's smiling for once~

Friday, October 30, 2009

Corn Cob Montessori

Oh wow, was this a huge hit!!! Removing the kernels from a cob of Indian Corn, one by one. The idea for this actually came from this great book, which is Waldorf Inspired.... but lends itself so nicely to both schools of thought. The first time I put this out for Aurora, she sat and worked for nearly 45mins and finished the whole cob! I've left the activity out, and she's gone back to it several times.... and carried the kernels off for all kinds of other activities too: cooking in the play kitchen, filling various containers, putting some into two duplo blocks to make 'maracas' (loved that one!), several have also made their way to the nature table.

I have many other activities planned to expand on this (hopefully we'll get to at least some of them before we lose steam- things have been moving pretty slowly around here):

~grinding the cobs together to make dust.... then using her little sweeper set to work on sweeping skills

~ using the mortar and pestal to grind some up. I don't think we'll get them fine enough to use in baking, but I plan to print out cultural pictures of stone grinding corn and then using some store bought masa to make corn tortillas.

~putting some in rice and then using a slotted spoon to sift them out and transfer to a bowl

~ soaking some overnight then using a blunt tapestry needle to string them into bracelets.

Any other ideas??

@ the pumpkin patch

We had absolutely beautiful fall weather for our trip to the pumpkin patch last weekend! Aurora was just getting over being sick and cooped up for several days and was so, so happy to finally be outside again. Oh, that's a ladybug on her finger in the last pic- possibly the highlight of the trip for her.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Update

So, my uterus has been a happenin' place, as of late. Our little guy is doing pretty well... We had a fetal echocardiogram done on him because he was high risk for heart issues due to the cystic hygroma he had earlier (which you can read about in this post). Little guy does have a small pinhole between two ventricals of his heart... this is called Ventricular Septal Defect and is the most common congenital heart defect, affecting 1-3% of every 1,000 births. We will be meeting with a Pediatric Cardiologist, but, to our understanding, what this means is basically that for now he'll just be watched. It doesn't change how or where I birth (phew!), but he'll have an echocardiogram done after birth and regularly after that. Hopefully, this will close up on its own, even before birth, or not too long after. My understanding is, that unless it is causing problems, surgery won't be needed.... but it's always a possibility too.

We were thrilled to get a couple of 3D shots of him during the ultrasound!! He looks like his Daddy!

At 27 weeks, he is measuring well at 2lbs 4 oz, which puts him at the 59th %tile- yay!

The other baby news is that I spent yesterday afternoon hooked up to monitors and having tests done because I wasn't feeling *quite right* and pretty sure I was having contractions. Turns out I have what is called Uterine Irritablility, which basically means I'm having frequent, but mild, contractions (lots of fun). My cervix appears to be fully closed and long which is a very good sign, and I had a fetal fibronectin test done, which is supposed to kinda predict whether I was likely to go into labor in the next two weeks, and that was negative-- which is a hugely good thing. So, now, I'm on kind of a partial bedrest.... I can still take Aurora to school and stuff, but for the most part I have to really take it easy... I was told I needed to really reduce my activity level, which I kinda felt like I wasn't doing much as it was~~ but it's better than full on bedrest, which I really hope to avoid. Because Aurora was early, I was already at higher risk for a preterm delivery, and this certaily bumps that risk up. But, like I said, having the fetal fibronectin come back negative is a great sign... and I'm really determined to keep this little guy in as long as possible... so send us lots of 'calm uterus' vibes please!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009