Monday, September 30, 2013

Baby Project: Baby Cardigans

Right around the time when Miller was born, my friend Lindsey pinned these adorable cardigan onesies and said they seemed like my style. Oh how I fell in love with them but at that point, I had no time to make them. As soon as I found out I was pregnant this time, I scoured pinterest for projects that I wanted to do for this baby. These cardigans were at the top of my Must Do List.

Photo from Diesel in Bloom

I started searching through consignment stores to find just the right onesies to make these from. I wanted 3-6 month size, long sleeve and some sort of basic pattern. I finally found them on a trip with my mom. I believe they were $1 each. 

I pretty much followed the original tutorial. I was a little nervous about how difficult these would be but they were so much easier than I anticipated. I seriously started contemplating turning all Miller's gender neutral onesies into cardigans.

The only different thing I did was that I did not want to have to put a separate onesie or shirt on underneath this. I had just discovered that I had a dozen newborn tshirts from the hospital when we had Miller. I cut one up and made a little faux t-shirt to be sewn into each of the cardigans. 

I wrapped the double sided bias tape around the left side, around the collar and back to where it meets the other side. Then I pinned the right side under the left. Then I pinned in the t-shirt. I swear the scariest part was all the pins. I pinned generously so that I did not mess it up as I was running it through the machine and I think that is what made this project the biggest success. (I added about a dozen more pins to this one after I took this picture).


The biggest pain was hand sewing the buttons on but it is worth it. 

I wish I had a cute picture of my baby wearing these but that will have to wait another few months.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Disney Shirts and Autograph Books


We are going to Disney World in the next couple of months, and before  you say it, yes I know that I am crazy. An overwhelming, over stimulating theme park for 6 days with a 2 year old and me being 7 months pregnant. Let me present my argument (because I know you are dying to hear my reasons).

-Ben and I both have holiday birthdays. Celebrating our anniversary was a big deal to us but then 2 years ago we spent it in the hospital having Miller and last year we were prepping for his birthday party. This year is our 5th anniversary and since Miller is a little older, we wanted to make sure we celebrate.

-Why take Miller? Simple, I was not ready to leave him. Plus, I want to go on a trip for our anniversary and want to spend his birthday with him, which is the day after. There is only way way to get it both ways.

- Miller is so young that he will not remember anything. Why bother? At 2 years old, he is still free, so it is not like we are wasting admission on him if it is a bust. Regardless of him remembering anything, we are still making family memories.

- Why put myself through the stress of Disney World? All the other places we wanted to go would be so far away that we would have to fly and that is not something I wanted to do with Miller and all the stuff he needs. Disney World is a 6 hour drive  so we can pack up our car with whatever we need. Plus, Ben has never been to Disney World and I really want to take him.

- Why go when I am so far along? When we started planning, we were trying to get pregnant and assumed that we would be. I booked the trip right around the time we found out we were pregnant so I knew that I would still be allowed to travel. However, I did not plan on how much harder this pregnancy would be on my body than the last one. We are going with a toddler so we will already have to take  things slow and allow for a daily nap break. I will admit that I am really worried about this but we will just play it by ear.

Some people go insane planning their Disney World trips. I am a person who normally plans every little detail but I am trying to go in with a loose plan that has plenty of wiggle room. I wanted to do a few projects for our trip but not go too crazy.

First up, T-shirts. I was only going to make one for Miller but since I was pregnant I thought it would be fun to make one for the baby and I will just wear it. While I was at it, I decided to make my cousin Ally one (she will be there as well for a couple of days).


I went really simple and did a Mickey head silhouette as an embroidered applique. I found a basic silhouette on-line and adjusted it on my computer to the sizes I wanted. I actually did 4 different sizes that varied by an inch each so I could lay them on the shirt first and see what fit the best.


I laid them out on my fabric to see how big a piece of it that I needed. I cut that and then cut a piece of Ultra Lite Heat-n-Bond (the purple package and not the Ultra Hold) that was just slightly smaller. You do not want the Heat-n-Bond being exposed to your ironing board so that is why you cut it a smidge smaller.


Iron that on. At that point you can trace your design onto the back of the Heat-n-Bond and cut it out.


Peel off the paper layer and lay it where you want the applique on your shirt. Iron that on. To place it on Miller and Ally's shirts, I folded the shirt vertically down the middle and pressed my iron there just so I could get the center. Mine was a pain in the rear to place. I had to put on the shirt, put the applique where I wanted it and traced it with chalk.


After that, I ran it through my sewing machine with a zig zag stitch. One good tip that I found on-line was to leave the tails of your thread long so that you can use a needle, pull them back through to the inside of your shirt and knot it there.



For mine and Ally's, I sewed on a bow as well. 

 

I am not even sure if we will do the whole meet the characters thing but if we do, I want to be prepared. I wanted a simple book where the characters could sign on one page and I could hopefully put a picture with him and the character on the other. 

I bought a simple 44 page sketch book from a craft store. I wanted something that had a wire binding so we could flip the pages to make it easier for the character to sign. I also got a piece of red and black foam sheets that has sticky on the back.


This is ridiculously easy so I am not even going to write out instructions. I cut out and stuck the red foam to the front and back covers. Then I just used one of the same templates I had from the t-shirts, cut out Mickey's head and stuck it on the front. Some people do more stickers and personalize it with the kids name but I just wanted simple.


Both projects were majorly simple but that is the way I wanted them. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekly Update: 27 and 28 weeks

I just decided to post two weeks worth of pregnancy updates at a time. We all know the drill, I have been through this before, so if you are one of those few people out there that actually reads those, look for them every other week.

27 Weeks

I had my gestational diabetes glucose test this week. I did not have it with Miller and I knew that meant that most likely I would not have it this time, but I was just so anxious to get it over with. The doctor told me that they would have the results the next day, so I was permanently attached to my phone the next day, and the next, and the next. They finally called 3 days later and told me I passed. Whew!



How far along: 27 weeks (3 Months to due date)
Total weight gain/loss: +9lbs
Maternity clothes: I just bought a few pieces for the winter. I am stopping at that. 
Stretch marks: Same old ones
Sleep: It is such a process to roll over in bed. The other night as I was rolling over, I got a major cramp in my hip and it scared the crap out of me. I waited until I felt the baby move until I fell back asleep. Besides that, we are really needing to adjust our sleep schedule. It is crazy out of control for all 3 of us.
Best moment this week: Passing my glucose test was quite nice to have done with. That and getting stuff ready for the baby get here. She has a bunch of clothes washed and in her drawers and closet already.
Movement: I had an OB appointment and as soon as my doctor  went to listen to her heartbeat, she kicked. My doctor jumped back and was like, “Did you feel that because I saw that”. She kicked the Doppler once or twice but then we heard her happy little heartbeat. Just like her brother.
Food cravings: I wish I had cravings sometimes but I have nothing.
Food aversions:  I had a scare this week. I was cooking a cowboy stew in the crockpot and after getting everything in there, the aroma of tomatoes and onions became very prominent. It was the same smell of something that we had my 1st trimester that I could not stand. The flavors ended up mellowing and it was really good.
Gender: Baby girl
Labor Signs: My doctor warned me about feeling contractions soon since this is my second baby. Sometimes I am not sure if I am having them or my belly is just tired. I am leaning toward tired belly but she just told me to rest when I feel them. Besides that, I am not dilated at all so that is good to know. 
Belly Button in or out? Nothing new  
What I miss: I realized this week that I am never comfortable. Not walking, or laying down, or sitting, or standing. I really like being pregnant but sometimes I am so tired of never being comfortable. I also wish that I could work out. I feel so out of control of my body and whenever I try to work out (so that my whole body does not get flubby), I end up being too tired or sore to do anything.  
What I am looking forward to: The nursery is almost done and I am so excited to have it complete. Miller is thoroughly testing out the new crib for his baby sister.
Weekly Wisdom: While we were getting the nursery together, it occurred to me that maybe another good reason to having it done early is so that Miller gets used to it. Kind of like preparing a pet for their space to be invaded, it is just with our first kid. Hopefully that is just easing him into the idea of his baby sister.
Milestones: I had my glucose test this week (which I passed)  and when I was making my next OB appointment, we went ahead and made the next two after that, which are only two weeks apart. On the one hand, this pregnancy has dragged but on the other, it is surreal to see the point where my appointments are two weeks apart and making them into November. 

28 Weeks




How far along: 28 weeks (THIRD TRIMESTER!!!)

Total weight gain/loss: +11lbs
Maternity clothes: I am in a rush trying to wear a few summery things before the seasons officially change.
Stretch marks: My massive belly makes them look huge but they are still my same old ones.  
Sleep: I sleep fine but the issue is the sleep schedule. Miller started fighting me on naps and taking forever to go down at night so I have to start getting up earlier with him. It helps us be more productive but I am crashing by the afternoon.  I have fallen asleep twice  this week after I have gotten Miller up from his nap.
Best moment this week: It has been a rough week in toddlerhood so this is a tough one.  We did get a new car this week, a mini-van, and I am so excited to have all that space.
Movement: I still cannot get over how different her movement feels than Miller’s. I keep thinking I will recognize it from last time but it just is not going to be the same. I could feel definite kicks or punches with Miller. With baby girl, it is more just lots of pressure from her doing those things. The pressure is more uncomfortable because it involves more internal organs. I swear she has tap dancing sessions in there where my whole mid section is vibrating. It is so weird!!!
Food cravings: Fall is upon us, so pumpkin anything and everything. I have no “pregnancy cravings” but just normal, something sounds good moments. Lately, we have been into Dunkin Doughnuts iced coffee. I want it anytime I leave the house.   
Food aversions:  Nothing this week.  
Gender: Based on my crazy hormones, I am going to say definitely a girl.
Labor Signs: I might have had a few Braxton Hicks contractions this week but that is normal.
Belly Button in or out? There is really no point in updating this. It is not going to pop out……..ever.   
What I miss: I miss not having all of these crazy hormones!! They give me a short fuse and weepy all the time.
What I am looking forward to: We have Disney World in a few short weeks and I am super excited for the trip. While yes, I am nervous about Miller’s behavior and my stamina, I am still excited for our family vacation.  
Weekly Wisdom: After this rough week with Miller, I am super worried about having two kids to handle soon. My mom assures me that it will all work out. The baby will tag along with us and Miller will mold into being an older brother. Everyone will get it together. I sure hope so!!!!!!
Milestones: Third Trimester is scary. It is so nice to be at this point and know how developed the baby is (not that I want her coming any earlier than 38 weeks). It just scares me how soon we will have to be dealing with all the newborn stuff again. I am having a major problem getting excited about her being born because I am so worried about all the after stuff.
 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nursery Update: Ruffled Lamp

I saw this ruffled lampshade on Pinterest a while back and knew that one day I would need this (yes, need!!!). I was unsure of what I wanted for a base but I knew that I would think of something. I considered finding a glass lamp and doing a mercury glass finish but ultimately I decided to just find the right shape lamp and paint it a solid color.

I finally found a basic lamp shape that I liked at Goodwill that had a pretty decent shade to go with it. I found it funny that in Miller's room I wanted something skinny and tall but this time I wanted something more stout and rounded.

Before Picture



Supplies
Lamp with lampshade- $8
Spray Paint Primer- $3.50
Spray Paint Gold- $3.50
Spray Paint Gloss- $3.50
Burlap (1yd)- $2
Glue stick and Glue Gun
Total- $20.50

The lamp is pretty basic. I taped up the top and the cord (just like I did in this other tutorial). Primed it with two coats. Then I sprayed a few coats of the gold spray paint. If I ever saw any imperfections in between coats, I would wait until it dried, sand it down, wipe with a dry, then a wet cloth, wait for that to dry and spray again. Last was a few coats of the glossy top coat. I did not do this with my previous DIYed lamps but I really like the finish it gave this one.

For the ruffled lampshade, I followed the tutorial above. The only exception is that because the shade  was already about the same color, I did not cover it first in a layer of burlap. In the other tutorials on-line, they lampshade did not angle in but were completely vertical so I was unsure if that would affect the outcome. This is one of those projects that is made better by its imperfections so I just went with it. It worked out perfectly!

I will admit that I was hesitant of how  this would turn out. I am all for a contrast of materials but I was not sure the rustic burlap would work with the flashy gold base but in the end, I am super happy with the finished product. I think it will fit in the nursery perfectly! And it might make its way to somewhere else in the house someday.




Isn't it pretty?!?!?!?!?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Nursery Update: Blackout Boards

One of our biggest problems in this room is the large windows that let in way too much light. On the plus side, it is a great room to take pictures in so I have used it as a makeshift studio a few times. On the downside, it makes the room hot as heck.


We toyed with tons of ideas and every time we would settle on one, one of us would come up with something else. Here were our options:

1) Roman Shades
Pro- They are pretty and we could customize them to fit our windows and color scheme. I have seen plenty of tutorials on-line that make them seem easy to make.
Con- Easy?!?! You know that they would in no way be easy. I am sure I would figure them out but it would lead to lots of tears and frustration. Also, we are hesitant to invest too much time and money into a solution that fits into this house specifically since we are just renting. 

2) Large wall of curtains
Pro- Since we can not paint, it would make something pretty to fill the wall behind the crib. We would buy some inexpensive curtains from Ikea, dye or paint them, sew blackout material on the back and hang.
Con- Heck, even that is a lot of work and money (although not as much as the roman shades). The biggest deterrent is that I do not want that hanging within her reach and it would be directly behind her crib. I just know that it would get yanked on and pulled down. That would be annoying and dangerous.

3) Moveable Canopy
Pro- Yes, at some point I even thought of engineering a canopy that I could easily lift open. It could be pretty, easy to open and close, and a little more cost effective.
Con- Uh yeah, this was never going to happen. The wall is  almost 9.5' long. I have no idea how I was going to design this and convince Ben to help me with it. Also, a pretty time consuming project for somewhere that we are renting.

4) Short curtains
Pro- They would not be within her reach so we removed the danger aspect of option #2. This would be the easiest solution.
Con- I was still not sure about the fabric and sewing that would be involved.

5) Roller Shades
Pro- We happened upon inexpensive roller shades at Ikea, that are also blackout material. Inexpensive. Pre- made. Blackout. 3 words that we liked. 
Con- It still involved installing something and spending money. It would only be around $50 but we still wondered if we could do better.

We were set on the roller shade when one evening Ben pipes up with some idea about foamcore cut to fit the exact size of the window. I immediately said no and not because it was not a valid idea, but because I was tired of the back and forth. He convinced me to try it so that night he ran out to Dollartee to grab two pieces of foamcore.

One problem was that Dollartree does not sell pieces big enough to fit the window so we had to get two and fit them together (yes we could have paid more to get  the right size but that would have offset the cost savings of doing foamcore vs. the roller shades). Also, while it blocked  out and diffused the light better than the current blinds, they were not blackout by any means.

Our solution, layer black foam core between two pieces of white foamcore. 14 pieces of foamcore, $14 and an hour of cutting and gluing later, we have perfectly fitted blackout boards in our nursery. I decided to add a little flair to this and added gold polka dots to bring in one of our accent colors.


Cheap, easy to make, easy to take down when we want light in there, pretty. That project turned out perfectly. Before they were up, this room was always so hot in the summer that we kept the door closed to try to separate it from the rest of the house in an attempt not to make our air condition run constantly. In the couples months that we have had them up there, that room now maintains the same temperature as the rest of the house with no problem.

Last week I took them down so I could take some pictures of the room and when I looked up at the windows, it was so weird to be able to see out. While the light is nice, I realized that since we have had these up, they have the effect of being large scale art work since they kind if blend into the wall. I am REALLY happy with how they turned out. In the winter we plan on opening one of them to warm up the room when the baby is not in there. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Labor Day in TN

Labor Day weekend, so we went to TN. There is always so much to do that weekend in Knoxville but we managed to still relax some.

Saturday was our first football game. We made Miller practice "Rocky Top" all week. My parents bought him a jersey which made him look like a little boy and sooooo freaking cute. I am not sure what is going on in this picture. I went upstairs to get food and came downstairs to find this. The orange bowl there, he claimed it as his completely.


Mom got Miller a little tupperware set. One morning, we pulled it out and Miller laid it out like this. He asked for a cracker so we gave him one. Then he asked for another, and another and another. He was trying to fill the plates. I love that he was having a little tea party.


My parents have been dying to get Miller out on the jet ski and of course it rained all of 4th of July. This was our last chance this year. Sunday morning they called and said they were getting everything ready. After Miller's nap, we got ready and headed out to the lake. I obviously can not go on the jet ski with my larger than life bump, plus I am not a fan. Ben got on with him and Miller immediately started whining and crying. We figured that he would do that so we just said we had to make a push to get him to try it.


This is him reaching and calling for "Mommy, mommy, mommy". He was not scared, he just wanted mommy.



See, he was fine eventually.


Of course he got off and talked all about the boat and pointed to all the other ones on the water. Isn't he so cute in his life vest?!


I just started snapping pictures while we were sitting there. I swear that I barely edited this picture.

 

I always complain that I do not have enough pictures of Miller and I. Ben grabbed my camera while we were at the lake and got this one. I hate that I am in my bathing suit and cover up but it is still decent.

 

As soon as he snapped that, the sky opened up and we ran to the car. It was perfect timing because we had just loaded up the jet ski. 

That night we went to the annual labor day fireworks show downtown. It is something like  the biggest in the country and I have so many fond memories of it from growing up, but is just so crowded. We were not sure how Miller would take fireworks and since it was so late, we went and parked on top of a parking garage far away and watched from there. This way we could make a quick getaway when they were over.

Wasting time while we wait.





As soon as I took this picture, Miller hopped out of moms arms, ran into the backseat of the car, climbed in his seat and started trying to buckle himself in. He was not scared or crying but he was just not a fan.

We tried every form of bribery to get him back out of the car. Finally, we told him there were buses (the campus ones) so he got out to see that. As soon as it drove away, he was down and back in the car.


Of course now he gets so excited when you mention fireworks and likes to watch the videos on moms phone that she took.

Monday, we drove out to my aunt and uncles house to see the kittens that the stray cat that they found had. As soon as my uncle brought out the box with the squeaking kitties, he was so excited. 



He was taking the kitty off of him but I promise that he had a smile on his face while he was doing it. 



As always, it was a busy visit but we were able to have some down time and relax. It is weird to think that the next time we go back will be Thanksgiving (if my doctor lets me) or it will be Christmas with a new baby. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nursery Update: Wall Coverings

*I want to begin this by saying that I in no way want to come off as a the creator who thought of most of these projects. I love to craft and when I get a whole room (and baby) to decorate for, I turn to the internet for ideas. I think of it as a blank canvas and I finally get to try all these different crafting mediums from blogs and pinterest to experiment and play with. Almost all the projects that I have done are ideas taken from other super creative people and tweaked to fit our scheme, tastes and home. 

With that being said, I wanted to share one of the bigger projects in the nursery, the wall coverings. Like I mentioned before, we can not paint in this house and while I could have worked with the white walls, they are kind of an ugly yellowish color to begin with. I think I ran through about a hundred different ideas before I finally came up with the winner.

Having a girl, I have a new appreciation for ruffles (in moderation of course). How about a whole wall of ruffles!!!!! I originally saw the idea over on the blog Ruffled (how appropriately named) where they created a backdrop for a wedding using this method. It was love at first sight. Before I committed to the idea, I had to think of how much time and money this was going to cost us.

I decided that rather than using tissue paper which could take a while, I would use paper tablecloths. I would have gone with the tissue paper option if party stores do not readily carry the color that I already wanted. Thankfully they do!

Supplies
Kraft Paper (3 rolls)- Dollartree $3
Table Cloths (3)- Party City $12
Flat Push Pins- Hobby Lobby (already had)
Packing Tape (3 rolls)- Dollartree $3

(Ruffled's blog has better pictures of the instructions. For some odd reason, I get so into a project that I forget to take progress pictures.)

First I covered the wall in Kraft paper from Dollartree. I simply started at the top of the wall, put a pin in each corner and the same in the bottom. I think I needed 3 rolls so that equals $3. (Sorry for the blurry picture)



I figured out how big I wanted  the scallops. I ended up rounding to a number that would make an even number on the tablecloth so I did not end up with any half scallops. Each strip from the tablecloth had 8 scallops. I would fold the tablecloths so that I could cut long strips in the right height, fold each strip into the right number of scallops and cut with a template.

I started by making the bottom row just a solid strip with no scallops and then the second row had the scallops touching the top of the baseboard. I would use the packing tape in a strip a few inches long on the top of each paper strip, in four places. Make sure you put them on the ends so they do not flap around.

I figured out many strips I had and how high they should be spaced apart. I would measure in a few spots and hang the next row, making sure to stagger each layer. You will half some partial scallops when you get to the wall. And you might have to cut strips at certain points to fit your wall.

The only thing that I did differently than Ruffled was finish the top since you would see it in the room. The top most strip I taped using long, looped strips so that they were double sided. I was not satisfied with one full strip on top so I went and added a half height one too so that it appeared that the wall was continuing up. Hopefully this all makes sense when you see the pictures.

I absolutely love it! I had a friend ask about what we will do when/if the baby starts grabbing at it but I figure that we will just cross that bridge when we get to it. We have never had a problem with Miller and his tree.




On the opposite wall, we wanted something a bit more neutral since those ruffles are quite a lot. We went with an old standby and did craft paper and gold dots just like it our bedroom. This time we just made the dots smaller.



I think they both really bring the room together. I used to think that if we could paint the walls, I would not be covering them like this but now I think if we could paint, I would at least still do the ruffle wall.I love the texture that it gives the room!I can not wait to get the crib in front of it to see it as a real nursery.