Saturday, October 8, 2011

BSU T-Shirt Dress

When I married this:

I didn't know that I was marrying this.

I think the fact that my husband never wore a hat that wasn't blue or orange or the fact that the first time I saw my future father-in-law in something other than a BSU shirt was the night of our rehearsal dinner, should have given me some sort of clue.

I admit to being a fan of BSU -- I even owned season tickets to BSU Football the first year after I graduated (several years before I met my husband). It is my alma matter, after all.  But I'm not sure I was prepared to bleed blue and orange

We registered for orange stone wear dishes, and while I loved them, I couldn't decorate with blue, for fear that people would think that I intentionally had a Bronco dining room.

Having fanatics as in-laws has some benefits -- I have never had to purchase game day garb for myself or my children, as a Bronco logo seems to be required on all gifts recieved.  (All joking aside, my inlaws are fantastic.)

So Ladybug has plenty of game day hand-me downs, but I worried that people would mistake her for a boy.  (Though her grandmother did buy her a cheerleader outfit it is too big, so it gives me some time to decide how I feel about that.)  I needed to girl up some of the hand-me downs.  So I up-cycled a t-shirt into a t-shirt dress for her.

The t-shirt is size 12M, but its really small.  I cut off about three inches of the bottom.  (I originally was only going to cut off 2 inches, and I should have stuck with that.  Oh well.)  Then, I took some old jeans and cut some 4 inch strips.  I didn't have as much jean material as I wanted.  (I had already used the other leg on a different skirt.) So I was only able to get one pleat on the front, and one on the back.  I would have liked the skirt to be more ruffly.  It turned out okay, but I'm not thrilled with it.  Of course, Ladybug looks adorable in it. 

Check out Ashley's tutorial for the headband.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cloth Diapering My Newborn: Starter Stash

I really wanted to use cloth diapers with my boys, but my husband used his veto power.  "That's crazy to do that with twins,"  he said.  He was probably right -- especially with how much they spit up and how little they slept.  But when I really wanted to use cloth diapers with our new baby, surprisingly, he agreed.  I tried to educate him about pockets and all-in-ones and pre-folds and covers, and get his input.  He didn't care.  He would use whatever I bought, but he didn't want any part in the decisions.

There are a lot of types of diapers made with a lot of different materials. The decisions can seem a little overwhelming.  I think you need to decide what is right for your family.    I was confused by the micro-fibers and stay-dry fabrics, they all seemed to have different washing and drying instructions.  To make things as easy I wanted to be able to throw everything in the washer and dryer together.  I was okay with having to pull a few quick dry covers out, and hang them to dry.  I decided that I wanted to use all-cotton diapers. I wanted to balance cost with usablity, and I wanted diapers that would be easy for my daycare provider to use. 

I finally decided on what I thought I would need:
  • 6 Grovia Newborn AIO
  • 6 Newborn Workhorse Diapers from Green Mountain Diaper
  • 12 Newborn Prefolds from Green Mountain Diaper
  • 2 Bummis SuperBrite Wraps
  • 1 Bummis SuperWhisper Wrap
This stash put me at the 20-24 diapers that is often recommended to diaper a newborn.  I also bought 8 Grovia One-Size AIOs and two Thirsties Duo Wrap, size one -- because they were on sale, and I knew our baby would grow into them.

Our stash was just the right amount when diapers are washed every other day -- which amazingly, I manage to do.

Ladybug and I spent just over 24 hours in the hospital after her birth, and the first diaper change at home she was put in a cloth diaper.  I would like to be able to say that she hasn't worn a disposable since, but I can't. However if you only have prefolds in your diaper bag, and are missing clean covers and snappis, and your daughter has a blowout at your in-laws after Sunday dinner, you may be forced to use a disposable. 

We also used disposables when we went camping this summer.  My stash wasn't big enough for the three days we were gone, and it was really nice to come home to all clean diapers, when the camping laundry pile was huge.

I did expect to use disposables part time, and will probably use them again when we travel.  I've been very thrilled with our stash, and don't expect to have to use disposables as much as I originally thought.  Especially because daycare has been so supportive.  If you are hesitant, give cloth a try.

While I'm not a cloth diapering expert, I plan on writing more about my experiences in later posts. 

Are you trying to decide on cloth diapers for your newborn?   These are my favorite cloth diaper resources:

Simple Mom
Diaper Junction
Green Mountain Diapers

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blessed Day

Ladybug was blessed on Sunday, September 4th.  It was a such a sweet day.  We are so blessed to have had so many family members supporting us and celebrating with us.  We enjoyed a lunch in our backyard afterwards, and had the opportunity to visit with family that came from many distances to be with us.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blessing Dress

When I found out I was having a girl, I immediately wanted to make her a blessing dress.  We blessed my boys at two weeks old, because my parents and sister were in town.  The boys weighed about 5 pounds, and nothing fit them, so they were blessed in too big onsies and the only preemie brown pants I could find.

They were cute, and it was special, but I feel a little bit bad that they didn't have special blessing clothes.

My mom had mentioned saving her wedding dress and making blessing dresses out of it, but after 6 grandsons she got rid of it. However, she surprised me with this dress. 

This is the dress that I wore when I was blessed or when I came home from the hospital.  My mom couldn't really remember.  It was a long time ago, I'm not sure I would remember either.

So, now I had this dilemma.  Should Ladybug wear the same dress I wore when I was a baby, or should I make her one. 
She does look cute in my old dress, doesn't she. But the dress isn't as long and flowy as I imagined a blessing dress would be.

I kept coming back to this post on "Make it and Love it"  and thinking, I can do this.  Ashely makes some fabulous tutorials!

I started off by making a bodice out of some yellow cotton I had lying around.  That was pretty successful, but attaching the sleeve didn't go over well.  I decided that I should stick to using the sewing machine for curves or tight spaces, and only use the serger for straight lines. (Heck -- I've had the serger for a couple of years now and just now replaced the thread that comes on it with big white cones.)

I headed to Hobby Lobby.  I bought fabric -- some crushed polyester and lining.  I can't 'actually' sew, so I was being brave --  I was going to sew something that wasn't just quilting cotton.

This is what I came up with.  I'm pretty impressed with myself.  The dress isn't perfect -- it's too big, the sleeves aren't as ruffled as I would have liked, and my blind hem isn't so blind.  But I made it.  I'm still debating putting a single satin flower on the waist.  What do you think?

Ladybug, who never spits up, spit up when I tried the bodice on her.  I'm pretending that doesn't mean that she hates the dress. I'm also not taking any chances and trying it on her again before Sunday. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sad September

Normally, I love the fall. I love the colors. I love the crisp cool air. I love making hot soups for dinner. I love wearing sweaters and my knee high boots. I love school supplies.

This year, I'm dreading fall. I want an endless summer. I dream of infinite days watching my boys play in the wading pool in the back yard, running naked through the grass with golden brown skin. Unnumbered days, rocking my baby girl on the porch swing. Countless trips to the library on Friday mornings. But alas, it all must come to an end.

For come the first of Fall, my maternity leave is over. I must return to the "real world". The world in which I don't get to be just a mom. I won't get to bake bread to go with dinner, or prepare meals that take longer than 30 minutes. No more late mornings cuddling with my kids.

I have about 2 1/2 weeks before I must return to work. I'm trying to enjoy every minute of it, but I find myself spending too much time dreading what is to come. So this is it. I'm crying about it here for a minute. I'm complaining, and I'm moping. I'd really like to spend the next two weeks cuddling with my kids and rocking my baby while she sleeps -- breathing in every moment. Savoring every sweet moment, enjoying the now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Welcome, Ladybug

I'm a little embarrassed that it's been since April since I lasted posted.  I'm even more embarrassed that I still haven't finished the baby quilt I had been working on.  However, I did finish something -- this little ladybug joined our family on July 1, 2011. 
Turns out, she has something in common with her mama, she likes to procrastinate.  She took her sweet time getting here.  With gestational diabetes and chronic hypertension, I was pushing it, but the doctor gave me until 41 weeks and 1 day before we evicted her.  She was worth the wait.  She is a joy, and we are so glad to have her in our family.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finish It Friday

I've done absolutely nothing with my baby quilt.  This is not going well...

On the plus side, I finished and filed my tax return this week.  At least I did that on time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Glucose Screening Forfeit

I think that when you take your 1 hour glucose screening test on Thursday and the nurse tells you, "I'll have the results on Monday -- I'll only call you if there is a problem.  No news is good news." if she calls you on Tuesday at 4:45 pm, they should forfeit, and you should get an automatic pass.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake

We had my in-laws over for my husband's birthday dinner last Sunday.  I made this cake from "Our Best Bites" . If you haven't checked out their blog, you really ought too.  I've never made any of their recipes that I didn't love.

This cake is so moist and rich and delicious.  The mousse is so good and so easy to make.  Next time, I think I'll use mint extract instead of vanilla, and use Keebler's Grasshopper Cookies instead of Heath Bar, for a minty variation.  Or use raspberries.  Hmmm...
Speaking of chocolate and raspberries, I've been eating the left over ganache over ice cream and frozen raspberries.  I really need to cut that out, but it tastes so good.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finish It Friday: Baby Quilt Update

I'm making some progress.  Not as much as I'd like, but it is still progress.

I bought batting and yellow thread.  And I've washed and ironed the fabric, though it looks like it needs to be ironed again.

Something I finished this week?  It only took nine weeks and 3 trips to the the ultrasound clinic, but my little girl finally cooperated enough to be able to finish our 20 week anatomy scan!

Monday, April 4, 2011

More than Thumbs

We met with the hand specialist today, and I learned a few things. And not all of them had to do with tendons and pulleys.

First, I realized that I have an awesome husband, and more importantly, my boys have an awesome father. I mean, I knew I had an awesome husband, but I've been so impressed with him the last couple of weeks. He really is wonderful, but generally, he is a man. I have to schedule appointments, and fill out forms, and pay bills, and pay attention to details. But with Monkey's hand, he as taken the lead. We hadn't been in the door for two seconds last week, after our trip to the pediatrician, and he was calling the hand specialist and setting up Monkey's appointment. When we arrived at the hospital, I took Monkey to the drinking fountain, and expected to find B sitting in the reception area. Instead, I found him checking us in -- he had handed over his ID and insurance cards, and was about to fill out paperwork. When it came time to take Monkey to get X-Rays, B volunteered to assist, even before the nurse said that I couldn't help because I was pregnant. He even paid the co-pay before we left. He really made me smile today. It was a little hard for me, because I am a bit of a control freak, but I know that I can count on him.

Second, I learned that being a little neurotic can pay off. The doctor asked if Monkey hurt his thumb or if we just noticed it. "We just noticed it last week," I told him. And the doctor kinda nodded. "Do you have any idea how long it's been that way?" He asked. I told him, "I can't be sure, but I think it's been that way since at least November." He looked at me a little quizzically -- probably because I had just gotten done telling him that I had only noticed it last week. "Well, I have this picture..." I told him. He said that was unusual evidence, but actually very helpful in discussing treatment options. He said that sometimes trigger thumb can resolve itself, given a couple of months, but if it had been that way for several months, it wouldn't resolve on its own. Surgery really was the best option, and it's not necessary to "wait and see."

Since we are fairly confident of my photographic evidence, and now that Monkey notices that there is something wrong with his thumb, we're going with the surgery. It's scheduled for two weeks from now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Finish It Friday

I have a flaw, of course it is not my only flaw. But it is one that bothers me a lot.

I like to learn new things. Which is good. So I start projects, lots of projects. Once I figure out what I need to know (or get bored or distracted), I don't finish my project. Which is bad.

Here is a list of some of my unfinished projects:
  • Halloween quilt, lap sized. Just needs to be bound
  • Flower quilt, twin size. One more row, tied & bound. I 'gave' this to my sister for Christmas about 8 years ago.
  • Sampler Quilt -- only have like 5 squares done
  • Rag quilt -- the edges need to be cut so that it is 'raggy'
  • Rag quilt that still needs to be assembled
  • Crocheted throw that I have been working on since high school
  • A stack of homemade paper, which are supposed to be cards. Along with these are rolls of window screen and hardware cloth to make screens, and several pieces of felt.
  • A roll of cording to make rag baskets.

So as part of my efforts to simplify and decluttter, I've made a deal with myself (and my husband). On the first Friday of each month I'll pick one of my unfinished projects and I'll have until the first Friday of the following month to finish it. If I don't finish it, I have to get rid of it. This will hopefully force me to finish some of my projects or reduce the number of "my" boxes that are in the garage.

In honor of one my current, most important "unfinished" project (the baby girl cooking in my belly), I'll be finishing a quilt. I picked the fabric out to make a quilt for a dear friend's baby girl, who is now 8. I feel a little guilty not picking out the fabric especially for my little girl. But I think subconsciously I didn't finish it because I knew I wanted it for my little girl one day.
I have everything I need -- except the batting and coordinating thread. I'm giving myself until the end of April to get this finished.

This will be a HUGE improvement for me -- the quilts I started for my boys before they were born? I finished them for their 2nd birthday.

(Don't be surprised if "Finish It Friday" becomes a feature of itself, because I'm not that great at finishing things I start -- including blog posts.)

Do you have unfinished projects? Would you like to join me for Finish it Friday?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thumbs Up!

Do you ever have those moments when you feel you are the worst mother in the world? You know, like when you are trying to help your three year old squish the play-doh out of the play-doh extractor thinging. As you are using all your strength to push on the lever, you are thinking, "How do they expect kids to use this stupid toy?" Then your son screams and you realize that you've been using all your strength to squish his finger? Yeah, that's the kind of mom I am.

Monday morning I was sitting in my easy chair, with both my boys on my lap. We were watching "Super Why", and Alpha Pig was giving a "Big Thumbs Up". I asked my boys if they could give a big thumbs up, and Moose immediately gave me two big thumbs up.

I asked Monkey if he could give me a thumbs up, and he excitedly pointed his index finger. I helped him form his right hand into a thumbs up, and then he tried his left hand. We formed a thumbs up with his left hand, and I noticed that his thumb was bent, not straight and extended. Then I noticed that he couldn't straighten it. I couldn't straighten it, it was locked into posistion.

"There is something wrong with Monkey's thumb." I say to my husband. "It won't straighten. Did he hurt it?" I asked, as my mind raced through all the bumps and bruises and falls and scrapes and squashing. I couldn't think of anything!

"How long has it been this way?" I wonder out loud.

"How could I not notice that his thumb won't straighten?" I say to myself, accusingly.

A quick Google search, and I had diagnosed my son with Pediatric Trigger Thumb.

I began to feel more guilty as I read more webpages. "Mean onset is 24 months." I read. "Two years old?" I thought, "Has it been this way for a YEAR?"

My husband tried to reassure me, but my mom guilt just continued to grow. "It has four stages!" I told him. "When it progress to the "locked" or final stage, it requires SURGERY!" I told him.

And he tried to reassure me, "It doesn't seem to bother him -- why would you notice it?"

We made an appointment with the pediatrician for later that afternoon. Knowing that the first thing she would ask was, "How long has it been this way?" (and trying to ease my guilt) I set out to search through 50 gigabytes of pictures, looking for evidence of a straight thumb. I started to regret all those times I said, "Put your hands down, I can't see your face!"

Unfortunately, I never found solid photographic evidence of a straight thumb, but I did find this picture from Easter 2010 (a YEAR ago!). Notice his left thumb, how it's bent? And how his right thumb is all extended?

And this one, from November -- see how he is holding the cup with the tip of his left thumb? Pretty sure I won't be winning the mother of the year award any time soon.

We visited with the pediatrician about Monkey's thumb. (Moose was sure we were there because he had a scratch on his elbow -- "This is my elbow, NOT my thumb!" he told the doctor.) Right away she confirmed my suspicions, she said, "I think this is trigger thumb, I'm going to refer you to a hand specialist -- while he could live his whole life with a bent thumb, it will probably need surgery to correct it." We talked about different specialists, and she referred us to one that she had worked with before.

"I see about one of these a year," she said. "and the parents always say, 'I have no idea how long it's been this way.'" At least she eased some of my mom guilt.

Since then, I'm paying more attention to Monkey's little hands. He still uses his left hand, but he often keeps his thumb tucked, protected in a closed fist. Last night, for the first time ever, he told me that it hurt.

While I don't feel guilty anymore that I hadn't noticed it before, my heart is still breaking at the thought that he has been in pain all this time. And that he is in pain now, and that he probably has to go through surgery.

We have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon on Monday, and I'm anxious to see what he says.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

My dear husband's birthday is coming up. He puts up with a lot. He has been a stay at home dad all winter, and is so excited for Spring. He is returning to work, and couldn't be more thrilled. He has been so wonderful with the boys, even though I know I complain that they watch to much TV and don't spend enough time outside. (It has been a very wet and cold winter.) He has done art projects, cooks dinner, and does most of the laundry and all of the dishes. He is amazing. And as hard as it was for me, to have him stay at home and not me, I know it was just as hard on him, to be living my dream.

In honor of his birthday, and all upcoming birthdays in our family, I created this "Happy Birthday Wreath".

I first saw it on my favorite food blog, Our Best Bites. There are several other blogs featuring this or similar wreaths, and I thought it ws too cute to not duplicate. One of the blogs (I forget which - sorry was kind enough to point out that, at least in the Boise area, the cheapest place to buy ballons is Honks. And she was right. I found that I could get 25 balloons for $2 at most local stores, but Honks carries a wide variety of colors, at only $1 for a bag of 25. And apparently, if you go on Tuesdays, they are only 88 cents.

Happy Birthday, B! I love you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Maternity Skirt

Finding myself 5 1/2 months pregnant, with absolutely nothing to wear to church on Sundays, causes me to throw clothing and scream at my husband. It's not his fault I don't like the one maternity dress that I own, or that I don't shave my legs so I have to wear black tights, or that my belly is getting to large for said black tights.

It's also not this fault that not eating makes me extremely crabby. And I shouldn't get mad at him when (in the middle of my tantrum in the master closet) he suggests that perhaps I would feel better if I ate something.

So, in an attempt to save my husband from injury from flying clothing, I've been attempting to make myself a maternity skirt (and keep granola bars in the bedroom.)

I started with a wonderful tutorial from homemade by jill. However, when Jill suggested that I use wide leg pants, I promptly ignored her. I started with a pair of capris that never quite fit right, and had long been destined for the DI pile, but still sat on the shelf in my closet. The legs tapered at the kneees.

Please don't make my mistake. You end up with a skirt that you will be incapable of walking in. I tried to remedy this by sewing some extra fabric in the "slit", but couldn't manage to do it without causing a big pucker that made me look like my tail bone pointed the wrong direction.

So, I decided to start with a thrift store skirt. I found this nice jean skirt at the DI for $3.
I removed the waist band and zipper, and sewed up the front, where the zipper had been. Some of tutorials I read left the zipper intact, and just sewed up the front, but I didn't want the bulk of the zipper. I cut a "scoop" out of the front for my belly. I also shortened the slit -- it's really hard to sit modestly with two three-year-olds climbing all over you.
Using Jill's tutorial, I created the stretch band out of a stained stretchy t-shirt. (Why is it that ALL of my shirts have grease stains on them?)

I should have followed the instructions here, and cut a matching scoop out of the waist band, but I didn't. I ended up with a little bit of an awkward waist. It is much higher in the back, and the front seam is really awkward around the scoop. But I think the skirt turned out really cute. It is very comfy, and I even shaved my legs so I could wear it to church last Sunday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shamrock Shirts

I made these shirts for my boys a couple of years ago, and originally posted this on my old blog, but thought I would share it again here. These shirts have long been tucked away in one of the many boxes of too little clothes I'm storing in the garage.

The boys are going to daycare on Tuesday -- which also happens to be St. Patrick's Day. I really wanted them to have something festive to wear, seeing how they missed every single Boise State Friday during the football season. So I made them each a Shamrock T-Shirt.I had hoped to find white t-shirts for them at a thrift store. After not having any luck, I figured that not many little boys' white t-shirts end up at thrift stores. At least not if they look anything like my boys' white shirts by time they outgrow them (which is why I think we don't have any that fit right now.) I ended up going to Walmart, and buying a 5 pack of 18 month onsies. We need more onsies any ways -- our biggest right now are 9 monthers.

What you need:
  • White T-Shirt
  • Green Fabric Paint
  • Old Sponge
  • Heavy Duty Scissors
  • Card stock
  • Big Safety Pin

First, using your heavy duty scissors, cut your sponge into the shape of a heart. Optional: Put the safety pin on the back of your heart, this provides a handle for your stamp, and helps keep fingers clean.Practice using your heart stamp to make a shamrock on a piece of paper. I used a piece of the remnant sponge for the stem. This is a good time to check that the shamrock created with your heart will fit on your t-shirt. This was a recommendation from my very smart husband -- my first shamrock was too big for my little boys' shirts.

Next, place the card stock into the shirt. This will prevent the paint from soaking through to the backside of the shirt.
Finally, stamp a shamrock onto the shirt and let dry.