When Babies Become Toddlers

I woke up this morning fairly early & Harmon kept sleeping which is not like him–he seems to “know” when I wake up & bolt awake, too.  I was at the kitchen sink & realized I had a load of wet laundry waiting since yesterday afternoon that needed moving to the dryer. But before I could head toward the laundry room it dawned on me–Harmon loves to help move wet laundry to the dryer, so I better wait until he wakes up.Babies really stay babies for a crazy short period of time, don’t they?  Kind of hurts your heart when you dwell on it.

Bye, Mama!  Laundry’s done & I’m movin’ on!  More toddler tasks await!

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Nope, nope, nope

This is not winter.  I have begun wearing a giant pair of sweats over my normal pants whenever I leave the house for school drop-off/pick-up (buses are no longer running on the rural roads due to mud) and homeschool co-op runs in order to avoid mud-caked/flecked/speckled/soaked pants.  This is not winter.  I’m tired of mud.


This is not a well baby.  He’s got a wicked viral infection and hasn’t slept for more than 20 minutes at a time for 3 days running now.  This nap lasted a whopping 5 minutes.  Brian is sick, too.  I’m very tired.

I’m praying for snow & good health.  And frozen solid ground.  And a nice hot cup of coffee (I ran out yesterday).  ❤

Yarn Along (your Right-hand man is your BFF & more knit pants)

I am thoroughly enjoying the color combination (Quince & Co Frost, Delft, & Carrie’s Yellow) I chose for Harmon’s second pair of Balloon Baby Pants.  I was worried I made the stripes too narrow, but I think it’s looking good?  I inadvertently taught myself something new whilst taking this photo yesterday.  Tucked into the raccoon notebook is my scratch sheet for the pattern.  There’s dozens of M1Rs (make one right) and M1Ls (make one left) along the crotch seam of the pants & I have been mixing the rights up with the lefts a fair amount.  I finally jotted down “M1R BFF” for “make one right by picking up the strand with the left needle from back to front and then knitting through the front” & was constantly chanting to myself “back front front” (& still forgetting!).  Instead, going forward, I’m just going to remember my “RIGHT hand man is my BFF” & call it a day!

Not reading anything at the moment, but joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along just the same. 🙂

Walking (with June), Walking (in an ice storm), Walking (with Harmon!)


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June has been feeling very lost/left behind the last few months & it only seems to be worsening…our house is definitely a very, very busy place & Harmon takes up a lot of my time, while the older two seem to take up a lot of Brian’s time when he’s not working [read: unpaid Uber drver!].  We’ve both been making an effort to spend some solitary time with June.  Iowa (& most of the Central U.S.) was hit with an ice storm over the weekend/Monday.  Iowa got a lot of rain, too, & June loves walking in the rain/puddles.  I took just her outside yesterday [MLK Day, a no school day] for a hike & she loved it as predicted.  I don’t think she wanted to go back inside despite her wet feet.

img_81731Coralee & Merritt spent much of the day playing with Legos.

img_81751It was pretty bad out there…

img_81471…but June & I persevered!

img_81171First we followed our silly goose Ferdie making her way back to the coop over the extremely icy ground…

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img_81231Ooops!  Goose down!

img_81241She made it back inside the warm coop safely, I promise!

img_81271Our ridiculous cat-food-eating, sneaking-into-the-garage-constantly Speckled Sussex ‘May’ got herself trapped downhill from the coop & would not be caught (June tried!), so we just chased her under Brian’s parked, non-operational truck & she stayed dry under there for most of the afternoon.  By the way, if anyone is in need of a free Speckled Sussex hen (she doesn’t lay eggs anymore, however, she’s too old), I can hook you up anytime!  Please.

img_81321June wanted her picture taken by her “outside Christmas tree”–a juniper [aka Eastern redcedar] volunteer in the yard.

img_81291Lots of ice on this tree.

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img_81351Our Prairie Creek tributary was running loudly for mid-January in Iowa.

img_81371This is our yard.

img_81361Flash creek that runs off the bordering field, across our front yard & into Prairie Creek along our southern boundary.  June loveslovesloves it when the flash creek shows up.  Her outerwear was soaking wet from icy rain by this point.

img_81381Um, we’re not going anywhere.

img_81421We found a yellow wooly bear caterpillar crawling on the glacial erratic that sits near our northern boundary.  June is a caterpillar/butterfly fanatic & was quite surprised to see this caterpillar crawling up the side of the rock in an ice storm, in Iowa, in January.

img_81391S/he was moving at a pretty good pace up this rock.

img_81431We pulled the dry grass back from the underside of the rock & tucked her/him underneath.  Hopefully s/he goes back to hibernating.  One life cycle of this species [a Virginia tiger moth as an adult] spends the winter hibernating.

img_81601Our culvert was clogged with ice, but flowing just the same.

img_81591I thought the reflections rather lovely.

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img_81481Back inside Harmon has been spending the last several days WALKING, too!  He mostly walks now!

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Over the weekend he started carrying things around with him as he walked.  He’s getting more confident!

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Mostly he walks around in half circles before falling over…his navigational skills are not developed yet. 😉

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I’ve noticed in the past week when I set him down he no longer collapses his legs to immediately assume crawling, his legs are stiff now & he’s ready to walk.  He keeps his arms mostly tucked up near his armpits like he’s a T-rex with tiny non-operational arms, it makes us all chuckle.  His legs are very bowed as he walks.

My baby is making the transition to toddler…

ekjp82101He’s quite proud of his walking!

We’ve been walking a lot here in Iowa despite the ice, just much more nimbly.  Buses were on hard-surface routes only today so Merritt & June are missing school.  Fingers crossed for lots of ice melting to take place ASAP as I can’t seem to exit my house without slipping/falling.  Yesterday I landed in a big pile of Ferdie poo & bruised myself in several places…I sat there looking at the faux glacier growing/flowing around me & wondered where the winters of my youth have gone?  I’d like to take a quiet walk in a fresh snowfall one of these days.

~How’s winter by you?~

Yarn Along (duck booties & more balloon pants)

My needles have been busy this past week (not having my daycare child for the month of January has proven good for knitting, apparently).  I am currently in the knitting throes of a toddler sweater (not pictured) for Coralee’s homeschool teacher, the adorable pictured Baby Duck Booties for Harmon before his tiny feet finally decide to elongate (I completely forgot about my Quince & Co kit for these until I stumbled upon it cleaning out my closet), & a second pair of Balloon Baby Pants for Harmon in Quince & Co Chickadee in the colors Delft, Frost, & Carrie’s Yellow.  I’m planning the yellow for the band & cuffs and the Delft/Frost for stripes. I went with a size smaller needle this go-around & cast on less waist stitches than his Christmas pair.  The ribbed waist in that first pair is proving too loose on his non-existent belly.

I’m currently reading my dad’s manuscript for his first novel.  Isn’t that exciting????  He writes a monthly column for a Midwest hunting magazine & has had a short story or two published previously, but a whole novel is quite a feat!  Perhaps someday you will be able to find it on your local bookseller’s shelf. 🙂

Joining in with Ginny.

Harmon’s (& mama’s) Favorite Things :: 13 Months Edition

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Harmon turned 13 months a little over a week ago & these are his favorite things currently:

a) he still loves his vibrating/singing puppy lovey from Target

b) he lives in his Purl Lamb sweats collection–these are the best baby pants around!  No sagging, awesome designs, the website is always having sales/promos, & the fit is amazing.

c) he is not into stuffed animals much, but he does have a few he likes to hug & throw around, this knit hedgehog made by mama (pattern from Purl Soho) is one such stuffed animal

d) for some reason he LOVES the BluRay player remote & only this remote (we have to take the batteries out of it so he stops starting movies all the time)

e) his harmonica–he loveslovesloves to play for us

f) it’s hard to decipher what this is in the photo–it’s an old FFA-approved silicone (I think?) liquids bottle with two ice cubes stuffed (& stuck) inside–this has been his preferred teething object since forever & guess what?  Harmon has one tooth (on the bottom right) now with which to gnaw on it!

g) his favorite book to turn the pages & point at is Some BugsJune & I bought this for Harmon when we visited Colorado as a family last July while the older kids plus Brian were up in the mountains birding & we couldn’t stand the hotel any longer & it was like 100 degrees outside

h) pencils, this is a bad obsession that we do not foster

i) old My Little Pony combs from his mama’s childhood–he likes to comb his lovely locks with these

j) a wooden box with a small ladybug attached inside with wiggly legs–he enjoys opening & closing the lid mostly

k) golf balls

l) cloth diaper pins–also not an obsession we foster purposefully

m) the Christmas ornament that his godmother (Coralee) made him this year (see cute photos below)–he is absolutely enamored with this star for some reason & knows it is his & wants it out of the tree whenever he spots it

n) a collection of plastic sea stars based on real species of sea stars (or starfish) that I bought at least ten years ago during my student teaching days; he especially likes to find two that match & flip them over & over in his hands

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Harmon also loves to hang out with his older siblings…

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…and yells for them at the bottom of the stairs even when none of them are home!

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As a result the bottom step is his favorite place to sit.

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Christmas morning playing with his new ornament made by Coralee.  She made him an ornament last year, too, & hopes to continue doing so every year so someday when he’s a daddy (or just a hip bachelor with a Christmas tree), we can give him a set of classy ornaments!img_78441 img_78701

He actually is very very good about wearing hats of all kinds.img_80441

This is a mama-favorite this month.  My items from the Netherlands arrived!  I got an amazing deal (& free shipping) from Swearhouse designs on Black Friday on these three tees/onesies for baby & I could not be happier!  Soft, silky, unique, well-made-by-hand & in-house designed.  Check Alice’s website out here!img_80451 img_80111 img_80121 img_80301

This was my planned Christmas outfit for Harmon.  Wouldn’t it have been so sweet at the evening service?  Ok, I’m being silly, I know, but sometimes this is what gets a mama through…planning her baby’s outfit for church. 🙂

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Harmon is quickly becoming an expert harmonica player.  I should also have photographed his fleece vest from Patagonia in the ‘favorite things’ photo–he wears it all the time!  It is perfect for fall/winter/spring in Iowa, an extra layer without being too bulky in the carseat or too hot in our frigid house.  And Patagonia fits forever and ever & has an amazing return policy if you’re unhappy EVER for practically ANY reason.  I bought this owl vest on eBay shortly after he was born for (seriously) pennies plus shipping.

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He liks to feel his one tooth with his tongue & also has been eating Ella’s Little Nibblers a lot lately.  Not sure how healthy these are, but with one tooth it’s hard to find things he doesn’t choke on when he’s tired of fruits & vegetables & grainy toast (he still CANNOT have any dairy whatsoever without dire consequences in the gastro department).

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These are his favorite kinds of foods–a lot of soft vegetables & meat in liquid that mama can pop into his mouth.  This was chicken noodle soup made from our rooster Kurt von Trapp.

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He loves riding in the Tula…

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…& not to brag, but he LOVES his mama, all the time, wherever we are…he also loves to nurse.

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13 months is a fun time!

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Happy 13 Months, Harmon!

Yarn Along (FO Baby Balloon Pants!)

I finished weaving in the ends on Harmon’s “Christmas” pants (Balloon Baby Pants by Ingrid Aartun) on New Year’s Eve Day.  I was fairly disappointed in myself for missing my ‘deadline” by almost a week, but the shirt I ordered from the Netherlands to go with his pants still has not arrived so any disappointment I felt was short-lived.

Since finishing, Harmon has worn the pants every day & I’ve washed once & had to shave the pills once.  There have been A LOT of pills, too.  He’s still a crawling/scooting baby so his bum gets furry fast.  I used Quince & Co’s Chickadee Boreal for the main color & Belize for the cuffs because 1) I ran out of Boreal & 2) I thought the pants could use another color.  I am already planning a second pair in stripes…this could get addictive.  Photography of these pants was difficult owing to the squirmy baby, bad light, and the fact that dark green yarn does not capture well.  Sleeping 13-month-olds are easier to photograph, that’s for sure, than awake ones.

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img_79621Mom, I think you’ve tried this every which way & the photos are just going to look crummy, so give it up, okay?  Love, Harmon

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This is a wonderful pattern!  I love the tall waistband–helps keep his diaper up!  Highly recommend this pattern.  Joining in with Ginny!