Friday, February 26, 2010


Max has 4 things known as Blockimals. If you want to know, he has the 4 that are pictured on the left there. For the uninitiated a Blockimal is a block that is painted with an animal face (and sometimes body) that can be opened to reveal the same animal inside it. Like little tardis animals they can contain not only themselves but also a suitable living environment.

When Max got his first Blockimal (the yellow duck) I thought it was really cute, I also thought it was really boring. This has been one of the toys that has caused me to rethink buying toys for babies. There are a lot of things that I think are boring that absolutely fascinate Max, like a thick strip of paper from a magazine cover - he can play with that for minutes at a time. In fact he's currently occupied by wrinkling up and trying to tear a single magazine page. While earlier today a few minutes peace was bought with a purple straw from a coffee place.

The critters inside are supposedly fun. The mouse and hen squeak when you press them, the duck sproings, and the pig clicks when you twist him. Max only notices they are in there when they are convenient as handles, but then he's still below the recommend age (9 months +) so maybe in another month he'll discover something new. He does like opening and closing them. He also seems to enjoy the struggle of pulling them out of his toy bin, although I've yet to see him succeed. Still he likes these a lot more than I expected.

So I'm wondering, what other "boring" toys I should be on the lookout for. More to the point, what should Max be asking Grandma for when his first birthday comes up? Or should I just get him a magazine subscription?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I’ve been faithfully knitting on my Hemlock Ring Blanket and finishing up socks that were cast on in 2008, but I needed something new. I wanted to knit something for Max, and I wanted it to be a quick project, and one that I could use stash yarn on.

I pulled down all my knitting books. I looked at socks, puppets, toys, and even pulled out the crochet book I have. I tried a couple options but nothing was working out, so I went to my bookmarked knitting projects and Grumpasaurus stuck out immediately (it’s one of Max’s nicknames*). The first day I was able to knit and stuff the body. The next day I knit and stuffed the tail, as well as made the arms and legs. Today I knit the spiney ridge on his back, and attached all the bobs and ends.

I am very pleased with the 3 day time frame to get this piece done. Frequently I get hung up on projects like this and dawdle because I'm not really sure how to do the sewing bits involved, especially embroidering the facial features. This time I just kept momentum and plowed through no matter that I felt very out of my element. The worst part for me was trying to embroider the face before he's stuffed and completely formed. I ended up going back and adding some stitching to his face after all was said and done because it was too hard to see his eyes and mouth. Since I was already doing that, I added some fanginess to his mouth instead of the straight line from the pattern because mine just didn't seem grumpy enough.

Now I just have to keep the cats from getting hold of him and ripping him apart before Max is old enough to play with him. This would be one of those toys that doesn't do anything and doesn't feel good in the mouth, so it will have no interest for Max at the moment.
Honestly I think I may have spent almost as much time figuring out what I wanted to work on as I did actually knitting this guy. I wish that I had better pics to post, but if I wait until daylight to get the camera and take them before writing this then it may never happen. Instead I will make use of my insomnia and iPhone and just be done with it.

*Like Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, Max is Snugglesaurus and Grumpasaur. Although mostly he's just Booga.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sit Tight

We're still rockin' along over here. Max is at once becoming slightly more independent and more needy all at the same time. He's got sitting down pat now. I don't think that he's fallen over in the last 2 days at all. This means that sometimes he can play by himself for a bit, I don't have to hold him up or sit behind him for him to lean on. On the other hand it is not permissible for me to leave the room, and in the living room I have to sit with him, I can't even sit on the couch two feet away. Sometimes even when he's with Jeff he'll holler if I leave his sight.
Still, at least I can face him while he plays and having my hands free is a plus. Sometimes he'll let me play on my iPhone without fussing or I can knit for a while. I'll have to see if there's a book kicking around that I need to read and see how he handles that.

Today he looked like he was going to push himself up to sitting from his stomach, but then he just kind of rolled on his side and then flopped on his belly again. Everyday he gets a little closer to crawling, and then the cats are going to be in for it. Of course, I'm going to be in for it too, but I think I'll find it less terrifying.
He's also gone back to sleeping well again. We had a rough patch for a couple of weeks where he was waking up on his stomach over and over again in the night and not being able to get back to sleep without intervention. It even disrupted naps sometimes, cutting them short by 30 minutes or more. Two nights ago he woke every hour for several hours, but after a peep or two went back to sleep without our help, and last night I only heard him once.

Since the end of December he's grown an inch longer and gained a pound. [28 1/4" and 17 lbs 6 oz] I got curious about his growth since it seemed like his 9 month sized clothes were already starting to get too short for him, so I weighed and measured him at home. Sure enough the tags say that 9 months are for up to 28 1/2 inches and then it's on to 12 months clothes. The only problem is that he weighs almost 3 pounds less than those clothes are sized for, so they are going to be super baggy on him. My plan is next week to get some washed up and ready to wear, but keep struggling him into the 9 month stuff for as long as I can make him fit.
This weekend Dan and Jean are coming to visit and have volunteered to babysit Max on Saturday. The plan is to go out somewhere new for dinner... I can't remember the last time that we went out for dinner. We've been out for lunch a few times (with Max), but I can't remember dinner. So it should be fun.

I imagine this is a pretty boring post for most people to read, so I have filled it with gratuitous cuteness.