Monday, May 31, 2010

A Week of Wishes

to celebrate a very important life this week and not just focus on the end

to watch my oldest thrive in her chosen passion

to start making some things for this baby since it is finally hitting me that I am indeed pregnant!

sock animal rattle by Homemade by Jill

diaper pouch by Noodlehead

felt appliqué baby book by Posie Gets Cozy

to start collecting things to make a Healing Basket for my family

(image via Sew Liberated,  project from Handmade Home)

to have another successful OB appointment and to schedule the gender ultrasound!
(can you tell we are wishing for more pink?)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Even Death is Not to be Feared

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. ~Buddha

So sorry for the lapse in posts friends... this has been a very hard week for our family. My dear grandmother (in-law and in heart) Betty Jane Linn passed away early this morning. I don't think that it has hit me yet that this wonderful, loving, generous, talented woman will no longer be around to tell old stories, cook homemade macaroni and cheese, or offer bits of wisdom long forgotten.

I am very thankful though that she at least passed quickly and without pain. Cancer in any form is a nasty disease, but to hear that you have stage 4 pancreatic cancer at the age of 85 is about as final as you get. I last spoke to Grandma (aka Grandma GG) on Saturday... she sounded bad and I could tell that she wasn't comfortable anymore. Ugh... it breaks my heart remembering. Honestly I am surprised that she made it through almost 3 months considering the prognosis without treatment... and I am so grateful that we got to visit her a few more times and that she got to hear the news that we were expecting again.

 When we got word that things were moving very quickly and there wasn't much time left, Klint and Gabby went down to say goodbye. I knew that he needed to see her one last time and Gabby would keep him grounded and safe on the hour long ride down and back. I knew too that she was not going to be scared and would be ok to say her goodbye as well.

I know that I will always thing of Grandma when I see a cardinal, eat Schwann's Smores, play in my garden, and dance with the girls. I hope that at least Gabby remembers the woman who would cook her favorite foods and spoil her rotten as much as my own grandmother would have. Rest in peace Grandma, we love you so much and will miss you even more.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting the Urge Again

Since before I found out that we were expecting again I have been on a crafting hiatus. No clue why, but Martha had left the building of her own accord. No paint spattered hands, no humming sewing machine, and no new half finished projects covering the dining room table. I don't remember this happening with any of my previous pregnancies, but then again, I wasn't half this crafty before.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel... I am just days away from the 2nd Trimester and apparently am getting the urge to craft again. Which is a good thing because my poor neglected Etsy store needs some new things, my kids are wondering where all their new goodies are, and I think even the hubby was getting a bit concerned!

I had a fairy door order that I just put the first coat of paint on, I have white and purple spatters all over my hands, and I am now checking out my usual blogs for ideas to get my creativity flowing again. I just came across a book that I think I might HAVE to get- Handmade Beginnings by Anna Marie Horner.

Another blogger that I read- Sew Liberated (who took this lovely photo!) just reviewed the book, showed an adorable nursing top that she made, and really got me interested in this new crafty read. Check out the awesome tunic that she made here! Homemade By Jill also did a book review and has made some of the things from the book... look at these cute booties!

Lucky for you, if you want to give the book a try without buying it, you can download the FREE pattern for the stacking cubes here! I think these may be the first thing that I do for our own little Baby Bear since I have colors picked out already and gender doesn't matter!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

From the Best of Craigslist

Spacious Studio Igloo

Date: 2010-03-01, 8:10PM EST

Looking for a renter for a 70 square foot igloo (4' x 5' entrance tunnel, 4' radius living area.) An excellent choice for EMU art students as it is located right next to the Ford Building on Eastern's campus. Quiet neighborhood consisting mostly of squirrels. Heat, plumbing and electric not provided.

Water included (must be melted by occupant.)
Includes hole in roof for bonfires to prevent asphyxiation.
Neighborhood security provided free by campus police.

$200 a month OBO.

*Landlord not responsible for property melting.

W. Cross Ave at Normal St. (google map) (yahoo map)
  • dogs are OK - wooof
  • Location: EMU / Ypsilanti
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

(I love reading this stuff when I am bored!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Want That! Awesome Popsicle Maker

We love popsicles at our house! After lunch, after nap, before dinner, whenever! While browsing in William Sonoma, a dangerous place for pregnant women, I spotted something that I HAVE to have for the summer!

Doesn't it just look yummy? Suddenly those icky store-bought popsicles just didn't look good enough and images of kiwi-strawberry iciness danced in my head! The Zoku Quick Pop Maker ($49.95) is a genius way to deliver popsicles to your family without all that waiting and planning. Simply pop the maker in the freezer (or just keep it there so it is always cold!), once it is ready add your pop makings, wait about 10 mins and voila! Homemade lovely popsicles that you can customize to fit each kid! LOOOOOVE it! You can buy extra sticks and the description says you can make about 9 before having to re-freeze the base. There is a cute little video on the site as well that shows you how to make layered pops and other pretty concoctions. Yum! 

Here are some other recipes that I think sound just delish:

Do you have a favorite popsicle recipe? Lemonade with strawberries sounds so good right now!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Little Passenger Seats

  One of the first thoughts that went through my mind after finding out that we were expecting again (well after thinking Oh shit Oh is that we are going to need a bigger vehicle. Currently we have a HUGE GMC Envoy but it doesn't have a 3rd row. What it does have though are tons of cool features that I am attached to like a retractable roof, leather heated seats, and a back partition that goes up and down- a great feature for when I have a stinky Spooky! Even though we have had lots of mechanical issues with the truck, I am pretty attached to it. Sure it gets about 13mpg, but I love that I can tow around huge pieces of furniture easily!

 We thought that for sure we were doomed to minivan ownership and all the implications that go with it... high waisted Mommy jeans and all...ugh! We were going to have to sell the Envoy and use the extra as a down payment for the van.... sitting in a dealership, paperwork, downgrading....gag! Until a lovely fellow December 2010 mommy told me about a company that makes custom 3rd row seating especially designed for kids!

 Hello Little Passenger Seats! This awesome company designs a 3rd (or 4th) row seat for your SUV that matches the interior, tested to meet the safety standards established by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards, and expands your vehicle to fit a growing family. 

I am still looking into the Ohio safety standards for this seat since it was designed for smaller children and Ohio has booster safety laws and such, but at least it is something to look into. All of the reviews that I have read have been very positive, installation only takes a few hours, and since the Envoy's cargo area is a truck bed it isn't as susceptible to crunching in a rear end collision as other SUVs. I also checked out the company standing with the BBB and they have an A+ rating, the best there is!  Of course, since my kids are the oldest of the bunch Gabby and AJ would hang out back there, which I am sure they would love! I definitely am going to make a few calls regarding the booster seats, but the rear facing 3rd row seat is definitely on my wish list right now!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baby Bear Inspiration Board

Here is the look that I am going for with this little one, regardless of gender. Something soft and calming with small pinches of red here and there. I don't want too much of a theme, but want to subtlety convey a Northern inspired nursery. I have a white crib and changing table already, as well as a glider from Melissa that is going to get a small makeover to go with all the white! First order of business is to get painting!! Here are where all the good are from:

1. Moose Toy from Ikea- $4.99
2. Bear Nightlight from Target- $12.34 (already own)
3. Bookshelf from Ikea- $59.99
4. Moose Knob/Hook Rack from Ikea- $19.99
5. Sheepskin Rug from Ikea- $39.99
6. 11x14 Recycled Forest Friends Poster from ArtandPhilanthropy on Etsy- $28.00
7. Red Bird Dream Ring from blaba- $52.00
8. Mini 4 Drawer Chest from Ikea- $2.99
9. Blue Star Wall Lamp from Ikea- $9.99

Paint colors- Pool and Navy from Serena & LilyRaspberry Red from Pottery Barn by Benjamin Moore

I am sure I will be adding to this, but that is the general gist of it! Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sew Easy

I have been taking a little crafting sabbatical in lieu of nausea and extreme drowsiness during prime crafting hours (aka after bedtime). But I think that I am ready to get back into the swing of things now that I am starting to get some direction for the new baby's room.

I loathe baby nurseries that are all cutesy and cartoony, like most baby sheets, bedding sets, and nursery decor is. I envision a nursery that is calming where I can expand a theme easily or change it just as easily. One project that I am going to work on this summer is making my own set of sheets for Little Bear's crib. (Another reason for this is that we have absolutely no sheets for a crib anymore!)

Well browsing through my normal set of blogs and websites I came across this AWESOME and EASY tutorial on how to make your own crib sheets. YAY! Now I don't have to spend an obscene amount of money on sheets that fit my style.

This tutorial by MADE is so user friendly, I am fully prepared to make a ton of these... Who knew that making your own crib sheets would be so easy?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The List 5.11.10

Hi All! Did everyone have a good Mother's Day? I got to laze about which is all I want to do these days... hopefully I will get some energy back soon!

Since it seems that our holiday season is going to be busier than usual I am shopping around early! I think I am going to get all the kids a growth chart to share, I love this one!

Miss Gabby seems to have a problem losing her bento supplies and her silverware at school lunch time... I am thinking that maybe this pretty picnic rollup set will help remind her when something is missing!

I am not really a crib mobile type of girl, but I am loving the idea of a dream ring, similar to a dream catcher. I am smitten with this pretty cardinal one that is hand knit, especially since that is Grandma GG's favorite bird and will have a special meaning by Christmas.

Although I have never made my own jam or eaten flowers before, it may be just my pregger hormones talking, but I realllllly want to make some of this yummy Violet Honey Jam!

Hopefully we will be back to beach season and gathering treasures that we find like shells and pretty stones. I love this easy peasy way of displaying rocks and photos with just some simple floral wire!

One of my "must-have" baby items is the Wubanub pacifier and I am thinking that my little winter baby is going to get this one...

Even though I love using non-disposable water bottles, one problem that I have with them is how much room they take up when empty. This awesome company solved that problem and I will be ordering us a set very soon. (Love the colors too!!!)

Finally, I am starting to gather ideas for the baby's room since my goal is to get it done by August before school starts. I think that we are going to go with a winter theme, polar bears, calming Northern Skies, etc. I love love love this print if this is another little girl!

Well that is all folks, hopefully it is warmer where you are than here! Send some of that sunshine my way please and have a great night!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!

Here are some of my favorite photos of being a mommy! 
I love knowing that if they are hurt or upset it is me that can make them better,
that they think I can make and do anything,
that I have the power to grow a new little person,
and that I am lucky enough to have these two little wonderful beings in my life.
Right now Gabby is drawing pictures of me,
most likely zombie pictures with strawberries because she knows that it makes me smile. 
I definitely was made for this!

Pregnant with Gabby, about 7 months along!

Pregnant with AJ, 35 weeks....

Brand new Gabby

AJ's last day in the NICU

I can't wait for these next 6 months to go by and meet this new little one....
another set of arms hugging me, 
another face to kiss at night,
another little person who thinks I am a superhero...
pretty cool huh?
Happy Mothers Day to all the moms to be, veteran moms, step-moms, and 
moms who have lost their little ones...
Once a mother, always a mother.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One Year Ago

Omg, one year ago my baby had NO hair! Lol! 
I can see how much Gabby has grown in the last year, she seems so big now...
Oh my how time has gone!
And to think that next year we will have another smiling face to add to our albumns...
I think I am started to get excited about this!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Irony 101

Last week Gabby had her appointment with an allergist after having a massive reaction at a friends house where there are two dogs in residence. Mind you, we have a dog and this is someone whose house we have been to many times.  It sucked watching her face get all red, see her eyes just get these dark circles under them, and knowing that we needed to leave FAST.

We have known for quite a while that Gabby has allergies but didn't find out the specifics because I was too afraid that it might be cats. Selfish, I know. But when her Singular (topped off with Benedryll everyday) wasn't keeping the sneezing watery eyes at bay I knew it was time to get this figured out.

I did a little bit of research before hand, asked her teacher if she was sneezy at school, kept a mental list of where we were that she reacted badly to, and hoped that my suspicions were wrong... really hoped. However, the allergy tests confirmed my worst fears.... a +4 allergy to cats on a scale of 1-5.

See all that red on the left side? All indoor allergens...great...

After talking to the allergist about a plan he added Nasonex to the med plan, but the bottom line is that we have to reduce our feline family. Unfortunately one of the largest offenders is Prince, our Siamese mix. For some reason Siamese and breeds related to them are the worst for people with allergies, they shed the most, and at least in Prince's case- are so friendly that they are EVERYWHERE. I knew as soon as her back exploded that some hard decisions were going to have to be made. 

To some people their pets are something to take care of, to others they are family members who get their own stockings at Christmas and Easter eggs on Easter. This news is like Steve Irwin had a kid that was allergic to the zoo or the Dog Whisperer had a kid allergic to dogs.... Cats are a constant source of amusement, joy, and comfort to both me and the girls. (Lucky for us Gabby only scored a +2 for dogs... Spooky is  ok as long as she gets brushed, baths, and stays out of the girl's room) But there is no way that I can bathe 4 cats 2 times a week each, keep them out of the upstairs, or make it so that Gabby's meds have a chance to work without finding new homes for two of our guys.

Since Prince is the main problem we are going to rehome him and his best friend Bo. They will be adopted together, hopefully I can find a home with kids since they both love being around children. What is nice is that they are dog friendly too.... but it still sucks. Gabby is upset of course but is also sick of sneezing all the time. Her only concern was keep Dottie, who is still really young and can be trained to stay out of the bedroom. The doctor said that if we can give the medicine a chance to work then a drastic reduction might be enough to keep her comfortable on medicine. The other cat, Tuck, is mine and 12 years old.... there is no way I can part with him. 
Ugh.... even with a plan in mind this still sucks royally and I hope that with everything else we are doing we can get this under control. That is the 411 on Miss Gabby and her nasty allergies... wish me luck!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Top 10 Must Haves for a New Baby

Now that the shock has worn off that indeed we are having another baby I am trying to remember what things we had for the girls that we loved and what things we thought were complete crap. Since we thought that we were done having kids I had mistakenly given away almost all of our baby things, the only things I had left were the Pack N Play and the let the shopping begin! As a veteran mom I think I have tried lots of items and found that even with babies- less is ok. There are some things that are nice but not a necessity!

My Top 10 Must Haves for a New Baby

10. Warm car seat cover- my favorite is the J.J. Cole Original Bundle Me. It is cold 9 months out of the year here and most snow suits for newborns are way to big. This is perfect for keeping baby warm and cozy!

9. For disposable diapers we love our Diaper Champ! No clue why more people don't use it over the Diaper Genie.... no refill bags to buy and it smells wayyyy less than our Diaper Genie did. Did I mention not having to buy refills for it?

8. Soothie Pacifiers- Gabby was a total binky baby while AJ hated them and preferred to suck on her favorite Tshirt (ick!). I love the ones that are attached to little Beanie Babies for the babies to hold onto called Wubbanubs. This little Brown Bear is my pick for our little snowflake!

7. A good and versatile Sound Machine- We have this one from Target. Not the most expensive brand, but have had it for almost 3 years and the girls love falling asleep to the sound of rain every night.

6. Ameda Breast Pump- looooved my dual electric pump! I tried the Medala and for some reason the suction wasn't as good and I had a large supply so I know it wasn't me. Along with the pump I highly suggest these storage bags, a nursing cover for those public feedings, and some of this awesome nibble rub!  (Psst: You can make it yourself, she has the recipe listed here!)

5. A lambskin or sheepskin rug to have tummy time on. This is something new for me, but my good friend Melissa swears by it for keeping babies content. There are tons and tons of places to get them online as well!

4. The Bumbo- AJ loved hers and I think that having one with a tray is really useful for playtime!

3. A Travel Swing- We didn't use the swing for too long and I hated how big and bulky the full size ones were. I loved having a swing though and will be getting a travel swing for this little one to keep the benefits without the bulk!

2. I have tried many many diapers bags and one of the only ones that I really liked was my Skip Hop Duo diaper bag! It holds a lot, doesn't scream "I have a baby and can only have cutesy bags!", and it attaches to any stroller easily!

1. A Baby Sling or Baby Wrap! I think that out of all of these this is one of the most important. Baby wearing is proven to keep babies calmer, is so much more convenient than lugging around strollers, and there is a style for everyone. I prefer the Moby Wrap which is essentially 6 yards of fabric that you wrap different ways to suit the baby.

Hope this helps all you mamas to be out there, at least writing it jogged my memory with things I loved!
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