Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Encyclopedia of Sewing

Oh my goodness. The anticipation. I wish I could just go buy it but for those of you who can, follow the link below. The NEW:

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z (Hardcover)



 I know so exciting. I am hoping that Jason takes this very big hint and gets it for my birthday. If you order it now from Amazon it's almost $15.00 off. Totally worth it!! I have the first Encyclopedia that she put out and it's just to die for! 



Weekend Away in Port Townsend

 As some of you know, Jason and I went away for the weekend, to Port Townsend. We dropped Tesla off at Grandma's house at about 9:00 am and got up to Edmonds to catch the ferry to Port Townsend a little late and ended up having to wait for the next one at 10:45. Not to bad. I remember waiting in line for the ferry when I was little and it seemed like it took HOURS! I'm sure I'm exaggerating but during the summer it can take quite a long time.

We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast by the name of the Blue Gull Inn. The owners John and Renee were lovely. The B&B was decorated beautifully. Our room the Angel Room was very comfortable, and had a private bath with a jacuzzi tub. Oh yeah. I had a nice long hot soak in there and finished a book finally too! The breakfast was amazing. They served a Pecan French Toast, with slices of ham, and deviled eggs. I don't eat mayo or mustard but Jason tells me that the eggs were delicious. 

When we got into town on Saturday we had lunch at Fin's Coastal Cuisine. The menu was a bit lacking, with a high amount of Seafood, and not a lot of choices for those of us, that just go to seafood restaurants because they love their husbands but wouldn't actually touch seafood with a ten foot poll.  That being said, my steak sandwich was delicious and the garlic fries were to die for. Jason had a salmon sandwich that he claims was excellent. (To each his own.)

After lunch we spent the time walking around and browsing in some of the stores. There is a wide variety of art available in Port Townsend, and most very affordable. We enjoyed the Gallery 9 which had a some really beautiful paintings, jewlery, carvings, and so much more. One of my favorite peices were these cloisonne pendants, by Linda Lundell. Absolutely stunning pieces and so much work goes into each one. I'm sure they are worth every penny. We just didn't have enough pennies for them, this time.

After our nice walk around town we checked in at the Inn and had a lovely nap. Ahh the things you can do, when Grandma is baby sitting. Then we headed up to Fort Worden to walk around.

While we were there we stopped in at ArtFest which is a 4 day creative artists retreat. It was fantastic, and I wish I could afford to do it sometime.  I love all the mixed media art, that they were showing. That is just up my alley. We then drop up to the point and had a nice walk on the beach, and the old forts. It was so pretty and was just what we needed to be hungry for dinner!

Dinner at the Public House was so good. I ordered the Maple Glazed Pork Chops, with a Gorgonzola topping  and Asparagus and Potatoes. The meat was perfectly cooked, the combination of the Maple and the Gorgonzola was perfection. I would highly recommend it. The restaurant was very family friendly, with paper table clothes and crayons. There was a little boy sitting across from us that was Tesla's age and was doing all the same things that Tesla does. It was so cute! Made us miss her and remember why we don't go out to eat with her anymore.

We got back to the Inn around 8, took baths, read and slept all night. We didn't even notice the windstorm that apparently woke others up. As Jason put it, the wind was a lot quieter than our 14 month old teething, beautiful daughter.

After breakfast on Sunday we walked around the town some more. We managed to find the jar opener I have been wanting. It's by Zyliss, it's called the Strongboy 2. We own the Strongboy 1, but right after we got it, it was discontinued in the US. You see that loop at the top of the jar opener, well know it's made with a flexible meshy material, but back then it was made with something that resembled sheet metal. At the same store, Jason also bought a beautiful pair of earrings for me, for our anniversary. I'm so fortunate to have such a great husband!

When we got back to my mom's later that afternoon Tesla ran to the door, okay window to greet us. It was so cool to have her so excited to see us. She had a great time with Grandma. They went to the park, the pool and colored. I think we'll definitely have to have a repeat, but perhaps a staycation next time!

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    Sears pictures from Grandma's Visit

    We just received the pictures from Grandma's visit back from Sears. We had intended to just get Tesla and Grandma captured but just before we left, we decided to include Jason. So if you wonder, Anne, why aren't you in them, I can answer you there was just not enough time. I would have had to do my hair, and it's a complete disaster these days so it was either get everyone else ready and out the door or me alone. Next time maybe we'll get everyone.

    This dress was given to Tesla from our friends Greg and Chris for Christmas. It's so cute. I love Chris's taste in clothes. We have another hand me down from her that is velour and looks like the bag Anne from Anne of Green Gables carried with her when she went to meet the Cuthberts for the first time. I love it!

    The photographer could do nothing to make Tesla not smile. I swear as soon as she said smile she was on it. Grandma and Tesla look fantastic in this picture. I think she'll be really happy to receive it!

    Lastly my handsome husband joins the mix. This is really a great photo of the three of them. Next time, we'll do Pop pop, Grandma, Tesla, Papa and I. I can just envision it now.

    Now on to the complaint. Sears is very tricky about their photo department. They lure you in with a package that's just 7.99 then they say well each additional sheet is 19.99 unless you don't want to do the package in which case it's just 7.99 each sheet. We ended up spending 43.00, which is not bad overall but totally annoying. Lastly, and I know they do this to everyone because I saw them do it to two other people picking up their pictures. They say, oh the lab "accidently" printed out a few more sheets. You can buy all of them for 25.00 if you want. I'm glad I saw that they did this to everyone because I think it's just sleazy. They could say hey, we have more pictures if you want to buy them. But no, they say it was an accident, even though the sheets that were printed were completely different then what we ordered, and they changed the effects on them. They are not fooling anyone!!!

    But for the price they did a nice job, and we will go there again.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Monday, March 22, 2010


    The cousins came over this weekend and spent the night Saturday night. Tesla has so much fun with her cousins. She learned how to blow kisses this weekend. It's so cute. She also has started kissing all her dolls. Although she doesn't do it to Papa. We're going to have to work on it with him. Perhaps it's the beard.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    First Pony Tail

    Tesla's hair is officially long enough to be in her eyes. Here's the first attempt to get it out. She kept it in no problem all day. I like it. What do you think?

    Grandma's Visit!

    We had a wonderful visit with Grandma! She came to visit on Thursday and stayed until Monday. It was so nice to see her and spend time together. We had a busy weekend. On Friday we went to the Seattle Aquarium. It was Tesla's first time. It was so much fun to point out all the different sea animals. She enjoyed sticking her hands in the tide pools but could just barely reach. I managed to lift her up enough so that she could put her whole hand in. When she learns the meaning of gentle we'll be able to touch the different animals.

    The ring of jelly fish was really interesting. The jelly fish just swam in a large plastic tube, it was like a hamster wheel for jellyfish. Tesla enjoyed  watching them but most likely just enjoyed playing on the tube. There was a super cute little boy that was just sitting on the floor next to it until Tesla came along and started trying to climb it. His mom said they'd been there for a few minutes. Way to go Tesla, make those boys jump!

    Later that day we went to Pike Place Market and walked around. I managed to pick up a few new cookie cutters and Grandma bought a beautiful bouquet for just $5.00! Pays to get to the market just as they are closing!

    The next day we spent with my mom to the mix, and visited Whidby Island. We had lunch at the Langley Cafe, a Mediterranean restaurant on Langleys main shopping street. It was very good. It was fun to go in all the little stores. I came away with a super cute pair of socks, but I seemed to be the only one interested in shopping that day so we left the island early. On the way home we stopped at Orvis. Orvis is one of Grandma Myra's favorite stores and she managed to find a few things that would be good additions to her wardrobe!

    Sunday we went to Sears and had pictures taken. Of course the deal was for $7.99 but I managed to spend just under $50.00. We were initially going to do photos of just Grandma Myra and Tesla but then decided to add Jason into the mix and some of just Tesla. When these decisions were being made there was not enough time for me to get ready to be in the pictures too. So next time we'll get the whole family. We won't get those photo's for a couple of weeks but they turned out very well and I'll scan and post them as soon as I can.

    Monday, Grandma Myra was the biggest help! She let me run errands and she stayed in the car! It was amazing!!! I ran three times as many errands as normal, just fantastic. I also went to the Fedex Kinko's and was able to get one of Tesla's posters laminated. It's a poster of Scientists for her room, which of course includes a picture of Nikola Tesla. We also had lunch at Molbak's. They have a very nice little cafe in their garden, and it's such a nice feeling. Highly recommend it.

    So then Grandma left, and now Tesla sits and listens to her book that Grandma Myra recorded for her and looks around the room for her. We had such a great visit, we hope that she can return soon and spend more than a couple of days with us. Pop pop better visit too!!!

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Laundrey Time!

    I couldn't help it. I just couldn't help it, I had to take a picture and a video before helping her out. Thank goodness the camera was close by otherwise I probably would have had a real screaming baby on my hands. I was sitting right next to where she is when this happened, I was just looking through a toddler song book when all of sudden I heard the screaming. I then laughed hysterically, got up grabbed the camera and took a couple of pictures and a video. The video wouldn't upload, but it's very cute.

    She actually emerged, smiling, but I did move the hamper back into it' proper location.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Baby -o?

    Recently checked out the book What'll I do with the Baby-o? Baby-o was created for people who create programs for toddlers and babies. Generally one hour programs, specifically Librarians, Early Childhood Educators, Teachers in the Child Mother Goose Program, and it says parents who want to learn fun and beneficial ways to play with their babies. In the beginning of the book it had a lot of interesting information about creating groups and how babies learn and grow. At the end of the book there are examples of one hour programs to do with groups. (The librarian at our library must have taken a look at this because I think the program is right out of here.) In the middle there are all kinds of songs and rhymes, broken down into categories like Hello Songs, Bouncing Rhymes, Tickling Rhymes and so on. I would recommend this book, either check it out at your local library or buy it. It's got a lot of great finger plays and instructions on how to do them. It's a little to much educational info for me, since I am not going to create a one hour program to do in front of a group of toddlers and parents, but I did write down a lot of the songs and rhymes. Now I just need to organize all of my materials so that I can spend an hour with Tesla that is more cohesive and less random with me sorting through my papers. She tends to like to rip, eat and walk around with them.


    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    New Furnace!!!

    Today we are getting a new furnace! I am so excited. Not only has it been failing often but it takes a lot of Jason's time to get it working again. So instead of working on that he can do other things. Which is great because I feel bad asking him to do anything after he comes home from work because we're both tired.

    We are getting a Coleman Furnace, it's 97% efficient. We'll receive a tax credit of $1500 and then a rebate from our tax company for $250 so after all that it's a no brainer. I wonder if that picture is what it really looks like, it seems so compact.

    We're also having them install a cabinet just in case we want to get AC in the future. It's about $175.00 extra but if we do want that installed it'll save about a days worth of labor and that would cost more than that. Apparently they have to pull the furnace out in order to install it. Gosh maybe we'll have a mild summer and they'll be flooded with AC's and we can pick one up from them on a good deal. That would be great! AC is not nessecary here. Sure it got hot here last year, but it doesn't usually do that, so I'm not to worried.

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    Schedules Work!

    So I am not super rigid, I promise. But I do think that having a schedule and the consistency is really good for Tesla. For the last couple of weeks I have started only running errands twice a week. I've chosen Tuesday and Thursday but we can do other days too but I will try and never run the errands two days in a row. I think it's really good for Tesla to be home, learning, what I can teach her and playing with the toys that she has here. She responds well to Blanket Time! and to reading, music and other play time. She also allows me to do the chores that I need to do, like clean up the kitchen put the clothes away and so on. I am completely okay with changing the schedule around though and running an errand here and there on a non-scheduled errand day, but I have to tell you that when I was running out every day Tesla was not a happy camper to get in and out of the car seat, in and out of the cart and no play time for her. The other upside is that I think hard about where I need to go and I don't end up spending to much money, or buying things frivolously, and I do love to shop so it would be easy to do that.

    Anyway this week we started going to the library. We went on Thursday to pick up some books that I had on hold and asked about story time. The library has the story time broken down to really specific age groups. On Thursday there was the 6-12 month age group and the instructor asked us if we wanted to join in and after explaining that Tesla was to old, she said that if she acted up we could always leave. Which was great, because then I got to see the younger age group which Tesla is too young for. The 12-24 month age group was the following day. So I had to break my rule of not going out two days in a row and we went again. It was so worth it!

    The class was pretty big, maybe 20 mom's and their children, and the instructor was phenomenal. She starts off with a hello song and then sings a few songs that involve sign language and other movement, then reads a book, repeats singing, reads another book and then it's time to get props involved. She handed out ribbons that the kids could swing back and forth, and then it was play and socialize time. It was so much fun.

    At the end of the class she did the bubble machine and Tesla loved it. So I went by the local drug store and picked up a bubble maker to play with.

    When we got home Tesla wanted to stay outside, so we played in the yard, I blew bubbles and she slid down the slide a few times.

    PHOTOS: First picture is of Tesla "playing" with her attachable chair for the table. Second Picture is of Tesla playing with a double bag of paint. It's supposed to be like painting but much less messy. Third, forth and fifth pics need no explanation.

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Blanket Time

    I have been educating myself about raising kids from various sources, blogs, books, websites and friends. Everyone has a different opinion on what is right and what is WRONG. I think you really need to sort through all the different messages received and figure out what best suits you and your style of parenting. But I do think it's important to educate yourself, especially as a stay at home mom, I have a few different jobs, one is keeping the house clean and organized, another is chef, and the most important is taking care of Tesla. So I read cookbooks, I read organizing books, why not read about parenting? I've ordered by the name of The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos, I am really looking forward to reading it. I ordered it from the library because it's quite pricey but if it's really good, we'll go ahead and purchase it. It's for teachers but should have at least one interesting point in it.

    One of the blogs that I've been reading The Lazy Organizer mentioned that she had read that Michelle Duggar from the famed 20 Kids and Counting! TV show on TLC does Blanket Training.  Basically you just put a blanket on the floor set the kid down with a toy and have them play there for a certain amount of time, that way you can get a couple of other things done while they are in a "safe" place, and the kid is occupied. Well I really like this idea because I think it really focuses theirs and your attention to an activity. When Tesla is playing her attention is often all over the place. She'll play with one toy then the next then the next but never really sits and plays with one for a long period of time. 

    The way that I'm going to use the time for now is to focus both of our attentions on an activity. Either sing a song, learning a new skill or playing with a toy. By doing it with both of us it also means that I stop everything else and sit on the floor with her and just play. Now don't get me wrong I play with her throughout the day all the time, but often I'll get up and put something away, or start dinner or something else distracting. But as long as the blanket is out, we'll be playing. 

    She loves the singing and clapping that we do. Often times she walks away and leaves alone, but I get up and say "Blanket Time!" in a cheerful voice and sit her back down. It's all a matter of habits. Eventually I'm hoping she'll understand and pull the blanket out herself. I know lower my expectations.