Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Crafting

We had a wonderful Christmas at our house. Despite Elijah being sick the weekend before, and me half sick the day of, it was a great time. My mom helped me cook a delicious Swiss meal and everyone laughed at the amazing goofy gifts we exchanged.

I'm thankful it's over though. Back to regular routine for Eli and I. Which includes my usual sewing time. The weeks leading up to Christmas were busy ones for me and fraught with tension as I hurried to get gifts finished by the big day. Next year I definitely need to start earlier. Below are some of the projects I presented to those I love. (The links provided show where I got patterns or tutorials.)

A stuffed teddy bear for my nephew's birthday

Crocheted minion for a friend

Crocheted Hobbes for Eric 

Crocheted owl TP cover for goofy gift

Sewn purse for a friend

Rice bags for family members 
(by next year everyone will have gotten one from me)

Hot pads for mother-in-law and sister-in-law

Mug rug for my mother-in-law 
(yes, there is a story behind the skull fabric)

Fabric box, rice bag, and mug rug for Eric's co-worker

Denver Broncos colored afghan for friends

And, of course, while I was taking these pictures Eli had to get in on the fun and photobomb me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

To Keep the Family Happy

Here are some recent pictures of Elijah.

 Transformers in the tub

In his Christmas jammies

Pretending to be Daddy in his exercise shoes and bandana

Working hard at drawing


Lunching at McDonald's

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Transformers: Eli Style

People always told me that kids find a toy and become obsessed with it. I don't remember doing this as a child but Elijah proves the theory true.

He LOVES Transformers. The original and the more young kid-friendly Rescue Bots. He is constantly drawing and playing with his various Optimus Prime toys. 

(And of course requested to be Optimus for Halloween.)

He also thoroughly enjoys Legos. So why not combine his two loves?

He is very specific on how they transform. If you do it wrong he will let you know. Below is an example:

Above is plane mode. 

This is truck mode. 

And here is guy mode. 

Suffice to say, if Eli turns out to be a car designer, we will have the best vehicles in town. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Evolution of Drawing

For the first three and a half years of Elijah's life, there have been several times when I've worried about his development.

Ultimately, for no reason.

First the doctor was worried at his 18 month appointment that he wasn't talking/babbling enough. I worked with him for two months and he had dozens of spoken words and sign language. Now it's hard to get him to be quiet. Then I began to have concerns about his lack of climbing or desire to climb. Not long after he began to venture around playground equipment on his own. These days I have a hard time tracking him at the park because he's so busy having fun and climbing. 

Recently it has been worries about crayons and paper. Over the last couple months, Eli showed almost no interest in coloring or drawing (at home at least). About a week ago, he requested I draw him a Transformer. And then another. And another. AND another. Eric got in on the fun too.

(Eric's Heatwave on the left, my Bluestreak on the right*)

It was a daily activity with new and different characters requested. Finally we suggested we draw pictures for him and Eli could color them.

(Tweak from Octonauts on the left, Batman with handy helpers on the right)

While we were drawing for him, Eli would be next to us, observing (he's blue and red), critiquing (is that the best you can do?)**, and working on his own skills.

A couple days ago, he ceased asking us to draw him pictures and created his own.

(working on shapes, lines, colors)

Within a day or two, his drawings have become amazing. Especially for the short time he has been working on them.

(top is Eli's Optimus Prime, bottom is the original)

He has even outdone his mother. 

(that (yellow) person is better than any I drew for the first 25 years of my life)

I convinced him that all great artist's sign their work so Eli has been working on that as well.

(I had to remind myself to teach him to write it from left to right)

Suffice to say, I think we may have another Nies artist on our hands. 

(definitely right handed but you have to have those other colors at hand)

I love watching Eli draw, but this is my favorite family activity - cuddle time.

*Please note my artistic skills lie in more of a yarn and fabric direction than with crayons and paper.

**This line sprang from me finishing every picture with "That's the best I can do".

Monday, November 18, 2013

Welcome Back

It's been a long time since I've posted anything on here! While we have been very busy the last year, it has mostly been my procrastinating self that hasn't written anything. I'm going to try my hardest to start giving timely updates.

Elijah has been having a great year. He's growing so fast and turning into a wonderful boy. His days have been full of playing, swimming, crafting, and enjoying life. 

 Elijah Julian, age 3

 Assisting in Mothers' Day gifts

 Sleeping well (mostly) in his big boy bed

My life has mostly consisted of trying to keep up with Eli. Which is enormous fun and very tiring. When I find some time to myself, I've really been enjoying sewing and quilting.
 The quilt I made for our bed (7 months and 2000 2-inch squares later...)

 Eli's Optimus Prime Halloween costume I made (mask purchased - I'm not that good)

Eric is working hard at the office and at home. He and his dad built and installed our basement bookshelves. They did an outstanding job. We all vacationed in Denver in September, which included a Cardinals game.

 Ready to watch the Rockies beat the Cardinals (well, that's not what we were ready for, but it's what happened)

 The finished bookshelves, complete with books

 Another happy day in the Nies house