First Corn Maze

Today Garrett and I took the kids to Cross E Ranch’s Fall Festival. Apparently Utah has a thing for corn mazes because they’re pretty much everywhere. This particular one was less than 10 minutes from our house, and we’re planning to take the kids to another one by Garrett’s parents’ house next weekend. But today marked William’s and Winter’s and my first corn maze ever!

Cross E Ranch is really an amazing place. It’s an actual working farm where the owners farm for a living and have no other side jobs. They have worked a spring and fall festival into their business plan, and this year was their first time doing the Fall Festival and Corn Maze. I was so impressed! Not like I have anything to compare it to, but they seemed to really have a great system, and the activities and atmosphere were great. On the hayride, we got to go out into the cow pasture where we weaved through a heard of purebred Angus cows who had been bread by the current owner’s late father for their good looks. They really were beautiful cows! And the owner told us all about the farm’s story, including some of the joys of farming and some of the struggles of doing it in a city. Such an amazing day. Plus there were baby pigs, so there’s that too.

A Simple Embroidered Dress

A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
Winter came down with a cold yesterday. This is actually only the second time she’s been sick, I think. She had a particularly nasty virus in May that ended in a double ear infection, and up until now, that was about it. For a baby born in winter when all kinds of nasty things get passed around, I’d say she’s been pretty lucky. Seeing her sick now, though, sure is pretty sad. She’s all runny nose and watery eyes and adorable sneezes, but she’s also a lot more needy than usual. For the first time in months, I’ve been carrying her around in the sling just around the house since she’s been extra clingy. It’s sweet, but I’m tired. So tired.

But she also happens to be super cuddly in this knit dress that I finished earlier this week. It’s the Clean + Simple Baby Dress by Purl Soho, knit with KnitPicks CotLin in Rocket. I wasn’t totally sure how this would turn out since CotLin is DK weight, and the Cotton Pure yarn that the patterns suggests using is a sport weight cotton. But I had some CotLin in my stash from a previously frogged project and the gauge was just about right, and I absolutely love the way it turned out.
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
The bodice of this dress is knit in a linen stich which is pretty solid to begin with, but using a thicker yarn probably made it more so. When the dress was finished, I thought that nice sturdy bodice section would make a perfect canvas for a little embroidery, so the flowers were added as an afterthought using KnitPicks Dishie in Clarity and Mint.
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
(Sorry about the grainy photos– it was a gray morning. But yay for fall! I love the gray days.)

As I was reading through the pattern for this dress, I was worried about it being too long. I love to dress Winter in dresses, but crawling is her main method for getting around these days, and long dresses sometimes get in the way. I knit it to the length specified by the pattern and it was perfect. And layering it over a onsie means her bum is still plenty cute when it peaks out.
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest
Overall, this was a pretty quick and simple project and a pleasure to knit.

If you’re a Raveler, you can see the project details, as well as some photos of the dress by itself (not being worn) on Ravelry. Let me know what you think in the comments!
A Simple Embroidered Dress | Little Bird Nest

 

A Day at Wheeler Farm

A Day at Wheeler Farm | Little Bird Nest

It’s that awkward time of the year again when pretty much everyone wants it to be fall– as evidenced by all the pumpkin spice stuff hitting the shelves– but summer is not quite ready to give up yet and it’s still blazing hot most days. Yesterday it got up to somewhere around 90 degrees, but it was overcast and breezy most of the day– we even got some little rain showers here and there– so it didn’t actually feel quite as hot. I, therefore, had no issue whatsoever with hauling the kids off to Wheeler Historic Farm for the better part of the day and soaking in some cozy autumn vibes despite the heat.

For those of you unfamiliar with Wheeler Farm, it’s pretty amazing. It’s a working farm, so the animals there serve an agricultural purpose rather than being like a zoo. But it’s also a public park, which means it’s free to get in and you can just wander around pretty much anywhere at your leisure. There are some extras that you can pay for, like milking a cow, or taking a ride around the back 40 on a tractor-pulled trailer. We chose the latter, and it was well worth the $5. After the ride was over, William walked up to the driver and said, “Thank you, Old McDonald.” …and then repeated that five or six times as two-year-olds do. Hehe. So polite.

Winter was there too, of course, but she rode in my Wildbird ring sling the entire time. I can say pretty confidently that overall she did not enjoy the outing as much as William did.

William, on the other hand, was pretty much in heaven! I think we were there for about two and a half hours, and by the time we finally left, it was way past lunch time and heading into serious nap time territory. But regardless of how many times I mentioned food (William must have been starving), I had to drag him to the car crying to get him to go home. The meltdown was definitely short in comparison to two plus hours of pure excitement, though. We will definitely be going back soon!

 

 

William Turns Two

We celebrated William’s second birthday on Sunday. For his first birthday a year ago, we had, as many parents do, sent out invitations to our friends and hosted a party at our house which included a cake smash and lots of new toys. I think first birthdays are more for the parents than anyone else– a celebration of making it through the first year with a baby and still having friends and enough sanity left to host a decent party… not to mention a good excuse to finally clean your house after a year of spit-up on the couch and other baby messes.

Will’s second birthday party was, in contrast, pretty low-key. I look at toddler birthdays as opportunities to practice my cake making and party decorating skills before William starts to want to invite friends to his birthday parties. I’m pretty happy with the way Sunday turned out. It’s nothing you would see going viral on Pinterest, but it was colorful and bright and happy.

I had been pretty sick the day before, so Will had spent the night with Garrett’s parents. When he came in the door on Sunday, the first thing he saw was the little pile of presents. So that’s what we did first. (Actually the first thing he saw was the bright colored tissue paper garlands hanging from the ceilings all throughout the common areas of the house, which he called “birthday rainbow”.)

William's 2nd birthdayChristmas wrapping paper. It’s what we had.

My sister sent this epic fort that even has it’s own little ball pit. She and I both agree that it would’ve been awesome to have something like this when we were kids. Will loved it, the cat loved it, the dog would too if we let her, and Garrett and I love that it folds up completely flat and comes with storage containers!

William's 2nd birthdayWilliam's 2nd birthdayGarrett and I gave him a sturdy little cover for the iPad. More and more lately, Will has become the main user of our tablet, so we figured it was time to case it in something a bit more rugged and toddler-friendly. This one seemed to fit the bill. We also rearranged the apps so that all of his are right up front on the first screen and the “grown-up” apps are on subsequent screens. When he opened this one, the birthday celebrations nearly came to a halt as he suddenly decided he’d rather watch Paw Patrol than have a birthday.

William's 2nd birthdayWill seemed to absolutely love every gift that he got, but certainly the showstopper gift of the day was the balance bike from Garrett’s parents.

William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthdayAfter presents, it was time for lunch and then, of course, CAKE!! I made a chocolate cake with cream cheese filling (I dyed it orange to make it look something like lava) and dark chocolate ganache on top, and then topped it with a couple of candles and a toy dinosaur.

William's 2nd birthdayThe Christmas wrapping paper made another appearance, this time in the form of a hastily made tiny dinosaur birthday hat– though you really can’t tell.

William's 2nd birthdayWilliam's 2nd birthdayAfter cake, we took Will outside to take his new bike for a spin. At first he really struggled with the whole concept of sitting on the seat and just kind of walked with it between his legs. He’s starting to get the hang of it, though, and I’m confident he’ll be cruising on that thing in no time.

William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthdayAfter that, Will was more than ready for a nap, so that pretty much concluded the festivities.

Now that William is two, I’m trying to counteract some of the terrible-ness with “You’re two now, which means you’re not a baby– you’re a boy so…..” sit at the table, eat what mom and dad eat, pretty much do whatever we say, etc. Hah. We’ll see how it goes.