Thursday, October 27, 2011


i have come to accept that my days of blogging more than once every few months are behind me as i struggle to keep up with an extremely busy eleven month old four days out of a week while working the other three days. but i must at least make an update now, before my little babe reaches *toddler!* status next month!

little c has been blowing this momma's mind lately with the many things he's learning. now repeating words such as 'apple,' 'kitty-cat,' 'dogs,' 'isa,' and various other randoms, he's also begun to identify things. reading him his favorite story 'goodnight, moon' for the tenth or twelfth time the other day, i read the line 'and two little kittens' and to my surprise, my beaz reached over and pointed to the two kittens on the page, repeating 'kitten' in his soft whisper voice. i smiled and affirmed his identification. upon reaching the 'goodnight' part of the story, i recited 'goodnight cow jumping over the moon' and he then pointed to the cow on the page... shocked, i followed with 'goodnight bears, goodnight chairs' and he then touched the bears... thinking it a fluke, we did this four more times, with the same result each time and my heart nearly burst from my chest! i mean, yes, parents all find their children brilliant, but my pride spilleth over at the things he's been showing us. i learn right along with him, every day.

on the mobility front, we have some reluctance in our not-so-sure-footed boy. we both know our wee wren *can* stand and walk a bit on his own, but he's a bit insecure and hesitant to step out on his own save for a few steps or the one time i video taped him watching the dogs and standing on his own for nearly a minute before realizing he'd been doing it and promptly returning to a seated position on the floor. this lack of *i can do-it-myself* confidence has not stopped him, however, from running headlong into the dogs with his wagon-walker... poor pooches never see it coming (even when facing the approaching disaster head on...) as a little boy hurtles full speed into their legs, laughing hysterically every time and squealing with delight as the trip, slip, and scramble away.

with weather chilling and leaves taking home on the ground and not the branches of trees, halloween fast approaches and this year marks c's first halloween. being that it is his maiden voyage into the land of make-believe, door-to-door, tricks, treats, and sugar-induced comas, i wanted to make his costume by hand. sure, there were a million cute costumes for a child his age that would have sufficed. but, though they would have saved me weeks of online searching, plotting, planning, cutting, sewing, and cursing, i wanted something more than cookie cutter costumes. so, i brainstormed. what should he be? a robot? a fireman? a dog? a little lion? i couldn't decide. he'd be cute as anything, let's face it! then, one day, while picking through boxes in the garage, i came across a photograph of a barred owl my dad had framed for me many years ago. ***back story: volunteering at a bird sanctuary and handling barred owls as a young teen, i have a deep seated affinity for owls and other raptors*** then it hit me! of course he's going to be an owl. we have three little owls stenciled in the corner of his room, e and i have been collecting various owl things since we met; why wouldn't he be an owl!? so i researched different ways to make owl costumes and came up disappointed. it seemed to simple to sew feathers to a hoodie or onsie. i was disheartened by the lack of creativity in most of what i saw. they all were relatively the same and i do not do *same.* i soldiered on until i came across a photo of a little girl in a brightly colored and wildly contemporary owl cape... and i was hooked. i knew i did *not* want to make a similar cape, but that i wanted to make a cape. a realistic cape. a barred owl cape.

so began my journey into measuring, drawing out patterns, cutting (12 hours of cutting...) feathers in five different sizes and two different colors, laying all of the pieces out the way i wanted them to be sewn, and sewing 140-ish feathers onto the cape itself. i fashioned the hood like a hood on one of c's hooded sweatshirts, with the markings and eyes carefully planned to be as close to real as i could manage. a beak came into play very last, and a chest strap with button closure to hold it all in place. i spent a total of 19 hours working on this piece until completion and could not have been more pleased with the outcome. sure, i could have double sided and zigzag stitched all of the feathers.. you know, if i wanted to have it complete for *next* halloween, but i achieved exactly what i was hoping for in the final result. better still, my wee owl enjoys wearing it. he marched around today at his daddy's work for their halloween party, open to employees children, like the proudest little owl there ever was. which makes every minute of the work i did on his costume worth it. (the compliments on it didn't hurt my ego, either!)

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