Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013!!!

Happy Halloween!

I love this holiday. I am not sure why but I have always thought it was so fun. We have been trying to celebrate all week by doing Halloweenish activities, wearing Halloween outfits and watching our Halloween movies. I am so excited to share Miller's costume with you guys. He is a lumberjack but since I was not going to get a fake ax for him to carry around, I joke that he just looks like a hobo. Whatever! I think he is super cute.

We made cookies this week and I was hoping Miller would help but all he did was eat the sprinkles. He sneaked a couple of bites of cookie dough and proclaimed, "Mmmm, dat good".

Tuesday night, after the church Halloween party we carved our pumpkin. This pretty much involved me carving the pumpkin while Miller and Ben watched. For some odd reason, I am the only one that finds this activity fun. Miller did pick out  the design for this year. It is a spider.

I am sure I will post more pictures of Trick or Treating but I just wanted to make sure to say Happy Halloween today!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Weekend in TN

Back in late September I got a frantic call from my stepmom. My stepbrother, sister in law and nephew were coming in town on a last minute trip that coming weekend and she really wanted us to come up too. I really did not want to go because we had just gotten back from TN and we were going to Disney World in less than two weeks, but I had not see my nephew since Christmas and there stands a good chance that I would not get to see him until next summer. Then Bobbie told us she had tickets for the football game that weekend. She twisted our arm. I am really glad we went and got to hang out with family and we did some fun activities.

On Saturday, we packed up our new van and drove down to the game. It was hot and crowded but thankfully we had a parking pass for a close spot. It was a easy game so we did not feel too much pressure to stay and watch the whole thing.

As soon as we got in the stadium, Miller started freaking out. All the people and the noise were just too much for him. I felt terrible but I knew he would get used to it. He ended up calming down but was pretty solemn the whole time. Of course the next week when we were watching the game on TV, he recognized it before we said anything and screamed, "Rocky Top Tennessee". 

We ended up leaving right before halftime and I was shocked that the boys lasted that long.  It was just way too hot to sit out there with the sun beating down on the two toddlers and us two pregnant ladies.

The next day, Bobbie was dying to go to a corn maze. We just went along with what she wanted but ended up having a great time.

Miller cried when we got on the hayride until it started and then he screamed,"WEEEEE".

They were entranced by some trucks and tractors.

Half way through the hayride, we stopped at the pumpkin patch. Miller and Silas were of course helpful in picking out their own pumpkins.

When we got back on the hayride, Miller was so proud of himself by throwing the hay back out of the truck. 

Then we went to the kiddie corn maze. It seemed cheesy but it was great. It was just a mini corn maze where the boys could roam and they had inflatable toys to guide them through.

Miller was informing Silas that this was a fish. 

They felt the need to try to rescue every sea creature.

Bebe and Poppy with the 2 current grandbabies. This will be double in a few months once baby girl is born and Leslie and Joe's new little boy arrives in March.

They are so sweet together! I do not think they ever fought over toys the whole weekend and actually played together. That is pretty good for two almost 2 year olds. I am so glad that he has a cousin close in age to him.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Playing Catch Up

I realize that I am majorly behind on some updates on here. I am missing 3 weeks of pregnancy updates, a recap of Disney, plus some of our fall outings.

You know how when you go on vacation and you just check out. Nothing else exists after vacation until you get home and the real world smacks you in the face. Well that happened to me. We got back from Disney and for the first few days, we had something going on that took up so much of our time. Then I was faced with my mile long to do list that has to get done before the baby comes in December, including making Christmas presents. It really is not that bad but I just had to get started on things to know how long it was actually going to take.

I feel like I finally have a handle on things so I hope to start catching back up on posts this week.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Miller: 2 Years

It is time for another update on Miller. We had his 2 year appointment which did not go so great. He is absolutely fine but the kid was not happy. He screamed from the moment they put him on the scale, until we walked out of  the exam room. We were not too surprised that he did this but it sure would have been nice to have a smoother appointment.

Weight: 26 lbs (+17 lbs 14oz)

Height: 34.5" (+ 13")

Head: They did not measure his head this time.

Sleep: He is still sleeping through the night. When we go on trips, normally on the first night, he wakes up after a few hours and ends up sleeping pretty restlessly with us. Not fun, but normally he is fine after the first night. Naps are another story. Our schedule keeps getting off kilter with every trip we have and that pushes back bedtime and wake up time. If he wakes up too late, naptime is a pain. It takes him forever to fall asleep, that is, even if he does. And if he does not get that nap, he is a bear the rest of the evening. I am really going to try to get on a better schedule since we have the baby coming soon and Mommy will need that naptime.

Eating: Toddlers and food are a pain!!! I hate the phrase,"Eat, eat". It means a timer has been set for me to find out what he wants before he explodes in a fit. I dread it if he asks for something that he is not allowed to have and I then have to fight with him. He is definitely a grazer which I hate. I wanted him to not be a snacker but as much as I tried, he became one. He would never eat at meals but ask for stuff throughout the day. It bothered me but with a kid who never stops moving like him, he has to get his calories in as he burns them. I just try to make sure that his snacks are somewhat healthy

Best Moment: He has definitely became more of a snuggler. He will just randomly hop in my lap and snuggle for a minute or two. I think I get more snuggle time now, than I did when he was a newborn. I keep trying to get him to snuggle with my belly so he will love on his baby sister but he just has no interest.

Milestones: He has learned lots of new things in the past 6 months. Counting and recognizing his numbers, shapes, animals and their noises, all his letters. He has started talking so much more. Recently he started talking in more phrases. "I get down". "I did it". I love hearing him figure out more and more phrases.

Monthly Wisdom: I have been having a really hard time lately trying to figure out what to do with Miller. So many people with kids his age are enrolling them in playschool/daycare/day school/etc. Of course this makes me feel like I should be doing that for Miller, but on top of the fact that I feel he is still so young, we in no way can afford it. I am not sure if we will ever be able to afford to send him to any preschool program that we have to pay for. I have struggled with feeling like I am not giving him the best and worry that staying home with me is not good enough. I try to go out with him but he is not an easily mobile child. He likes to get down and explore on his own which makes going out with him, by myself with my big baby bump to chase him, super difficult. Ben and I try to do stuff with him in the evenings and on the weekend, but I just worry that it is not enough interaction with other kids or structure. I have toyed around with the idea of homeschooling but I believe that I will start doing more preschool structured activities with him once the baby comes and we get settled.

Back to the Wisdom portion of this, as guilty as a I feel, everyone else constantly reminds me how smart Miller is and he has gotten this far by being home with me.

Goals for the Upcoming Month:
- Doing more preschool activities with him in a few months.
- Keep encouraging him with potty training. I am not pushing this but we will keep talking about it.
- Getting him in a better schedule. Waking up and going to bed consistently so that naptimes are more regular.

Things Miller is doing:
- He can count to 13.
- He recognizes all the numbers but gets confused by double digits. He just sees a one and zero for 10.
-He is pretty good with manners. Of course we have to remind him to say please and thank you but most people are pretty impressed when he does.
- As with any normal toddler, he has trouble dealing with his anger and frustration. He normally throws a toy or whatever else is around to let us know, but now we are also adding in hitting. Oh fun! He knows as soon as he does it that he is in trouble and he buries his head into me. We are working on saying, "Sorry", now.
- There are a few books that he has started being able to recognize the words. He can practically read them to himself.

I know that there is more that he is doing but I just can not think of every little thing. All in all, as much as he can be a handful, he is pretty darn amazing!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Baby Project: Headbands

I came to the realization early on that this baby girl was going to be stuck in her brothers hand me downs a lot for the first few months. Part of me feels guilty for that but part of me is happy that all of his clothes are not going to waste. I know that we will encounter plenty of cases where people will call her a "he" and I know that wearing some boy clothes are not going to help (and I mean wearing neutral color onesies, not blatant boy clothes).

I wanted to try to make her look more girly and I started looking into headbands. I was going to buy some on etsy but then I started thinking that I could make most of them. I was only going to make 10 or so, just so I had one in every color but then I went a little crazy. Like 23 headbands and 8 hairbows being made in 4 days.

I started out wanting to make some celtic knot headbands with t-shirt yarn. Goodness knows that Ben is always wearing out his undershirts so I knew that I had that on hand. I took one t-shirt of his and it made 14 headbands. I dyed them using moms tie dye stuff.

I first made all of these knotted headbands using this tutorial at Love Stitched.  Once I did the knot, I would spread out all of the yarn ends and sew on a piece of elastic to connect the two sides together.

I really liked them but they were not as wide as I was hoping they would be. I went back and cut some yarn strips to be 2" wide and did those. This is definitely more what I was picturing.

Just for a size comparison. 

I did not need all of these to be knotted so some I braided. These were the first ones that I did so I was experimenting with how to sew up the ends (That is why you see one with a white band around the back). These do not have elastic on them as you can see. They still stretch some but they definitely will have a shorter life span than the ones with elastic since they will not be able to grow as much with her head.

Lastly I wanted to try another method. I made these pinched bow headbands using a tutorial from Sugar Bee Crafts. I love how simple they are!

These I just made a bowtie using the same method that I did for Miller's birthday party. I sewed the two ends of elastic together at a felt circle of the same color as the fabric. Then I hot glued the bow on.

Same concept as above except I made a bow with grosgrain ribbon.

I already had these flower made from a project a few years ago. I just did the elastic with felt circle sewing and glued on the flower.


The bows were so easy to make for the headbands that I decided to make a few more just for her to wear when she gets hair (if she is not born with it like her dad and brother). Yep, I already have a Halloween, 4th of July and St Patrick's Day bow in there. I am just being prepared because I know I will not have time for any of this stuff for a while after she is born. The orange one in the top left corner is to put on our UT hat for the hospital. It has a safety pin back.

The rest have a simple alligator clip. 

I am aware that I went a little overboard but I had fun. Confession time- as soon as I made these, I started researching colored elastics on-line. I ordered 27 yds of different elastic ribbon for future headbands. I am not making them all now but if I was going to pay for shipping, I wanted to get all of them for future use. I might be making a few before she comes but I will try to keep it under control.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nursery Update: Painted Curtains

I knew I would need curtains on our side window in the nursery, and we needed something that had blackout backing. I decided that I wanted a geometric print in navy but do you know how hard that is to find that will not cost you an arm and a leg?!?! I finally came to the conclusion that I was going to have to make them.

My first plan was to pay $30 and get a pair of plain curtains from Ikea, hem them to the right length, paint them, and then sew on black out backing. I started looking at the curtains from Ikea and something with the dimensions was just not right for our window. What if I just buy white blackout curtains and paint them? The answer, I cold not find any for the price I was looking to pay. Now I was back to square one.

That was until on a trip to Walmart, I discovered a white blackout liner. It is supposed to go behind regular curtains but I figured that if I painted it, why couldn't it be the main curtains.

I washed and ironed them first, based on the packages instructions. I laid them out on a shower curtain liner from Dollartree so that if paint seeped through, it would not get on anything.

I bought plain acrylic paint in the color that I wanted and textile medium. I mixed them up per the instructions on the back of the textile medium. I had seen other recipes on blogs but I decided to trust the manufacturer and it was just fine for this.

I put a strip of frog tape on the piece of velcro that was on the curtains. I laid down my Moroccan template, aligning it with the corner. I used a small sponge brush to tap on the paint over the whole template.

I would let it dry for a few minutes, before lining up the template and doing another section. Between drying time and painting, I would say each panel was done over 7 hours. That probably added up to an hour of time that I was actually painting for each panel. Not bad.

I am going to say it, with the valance up there, this corner is a bit busy. I do have a degree in Interior Design and I am not blind to this. My predicament is that I ordered that fabric specifically for the box valance and those curtains definitely took some time to make. I do not want to sacrifice either one. Right now, despite their faults, they are both staying.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Weekly Updates: 29 and 30 Weeks

How far along: 29 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: +15lbs (A 4lb weight gain in a week is not the happiest of news but my eating has not changed so I assume that the baby and I needed it). 
Maternity clothes: We had some cool days so I had to become accustomed to a few fall items that I have.  
Stretch marks: No new ones.  
Sleep: We have been horrible this week and found that we have access to a show that we watch on a premium network. We decided to binge watch it this week because we do not know how long we will have access to it so we have been up late most nights. I need more sleep!
Best moment this week: We had some nice evenings which made it nice to restart our family walks. I hope we can keep this up to kind of train for Disney World and to keep me active.
Movement: She keeps getting up in my ribs and making me so uncomfortable. Miller never did that. Considering that she is measuring smaller, I imagine that Miller left her too much room in there and she is just floating around exploring.  
Food cravings: Unfortunately, no cravings and even our Dunkin Doughnuts coffee is not tasting that great lately. I liked having my weekly treat so that makes me sad.   
Food aversions:  Thank goodness there was nothing this week.  
Gender: A little lady.
Labor Signs: Still maybe an occasional Braxton Hicks contraction but that is all (and better be for another 10 weeks at least).
Belly Button in or out? Still way in.
What I miss: I have said it before and I will say it again, I miss being comfortable. All the aches and pains are so annoying. I sit on the couch and then I start getting a pain in my hip. I turn and my legs start to ache. I stand and I wear out so easily. I lay down and the baby starts kicking so I cannot get comfortable. Sharing a body is a magical experience and incredibly uncomfortable one at the same time.
What I am looking forward to: I am trying to imagine her birth and remembering all the happy times from after having Miller. It is making me less anxious and more excited about her arrival.   
Weekly Wisdom:  I am having some major anxiety/depression about being a mom of two but I have seen a lot of encouragement from other second and third time moms who make it seem like it is not as bad as I am imagining it will be.
Milestones: My websites say that she weighs nearly 3lbs now. I love knowing that she is getting to be a substantial size. She needs to gain more but It is still a good place to be. 

How far along: 30 weeks (75% done-HOLY CRAP!)
Total weight gain/loss: +16lbs (I really think that last weeks major gain may have been some water retention from having been walking early that week) 
Maternity clothes: I know that maternity clothes were meant for all sorts of shaped baby bumps but I feel like mine looks ridiculous in everything lately. Some show or movie talks about how everything looks normal from behind and then you turn to the side and everything has gone all fun house mirror. I think that to myself every single time I am looking in the mirror trying to find something to wear.
Stretch marks: Still nothing.    
Sleep: I pass out and do not get up until well past my alarm has gone off. I need to get more sleep but we are working on a better schedule for all of us. Not sure how that will be affected when we go to Disney though.
Best moment this week: We took Miller to the library one night and to a fall festival the next. It was so nice to have those family outings and Miller was really good.  
Movement: She is keeping up her dance parties in there. I have said before that most of her movements are pressure and vibrations but a couple of times this week I felt very defined feet or hands. I wish I knew what position she was in. It has been so long since we had an ultrasound.   
Food cravings: Nothing special, and it is annoying me.    
Food aversions:  Nothing really. Yay!
Gender: Girly girl.
Labor Signs: Just a few errant BH contractions. I am pretty sure I pulled a muscle under my belly (yes, that says under because there are now 5 sides to my bump) that I worried was more than just soreness but when I hold it, the pain is relieved.
Belly Button in or out? It will not budge.  
What I miss: I was so excited to wear my maternity clothes but I am so over them. I look ridiculous in everything. While I am not looking forward to the awkward post baby body, I do miss my old clothes.  
What I am looking forward to: Disney World! I am nervous about how we will handle it but I am still excited about the fun family trip. Hopefully, by having Ben and my mom there, it will run smoothly.    
Weekly Wisdom: I need to relax more. My body cannot handle me being up and about all the time but when Miller is playing and does not need me, I feel like I should be productive. I just have to survive Disney.
Milestones: ¾ of the way through! Wahoo!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Nursery Update: Headboard (s)

Part of this whole rentervating thing is making things work in your current space that will also work for a future home as well. I am going to try to keep this explanation brief.

My bed since I moved out in college was two twin beds put together to make a king. Late last year my dad and stepmom got a new mattress and boxspring set so they gave us their old one because it was not that old. We then moved our faux king bed into the guest room.

Well now we had to figure out what to do with that guest bed. We did not want to get rid of it because there could be two scenarios in the future when we need it. 1) We would move into a house with 4 bedrooms and need a guest bed again. 2) We could use the individual twin beds as the kid's big kid beds when they move past their toddler bed.

We decided to keep them both. One is stored (under our bed actually) and the other we wanted to keep as a guest bed of sorts in the nursery. We configured it so that it is against the wall lengthwise and acts as sort of a daybed/couch without the side rails.

I really wanted to experiment with making an upholstered headboard and this was my chance. In order to accommodate for some flexibility in the future we made it as two twin headboards that can also serve as a king size when put together.

Most people go with plywood and padding. We decided to go simpler and do foam insulation sheets and batting. We cut them to the right width for a twin bed and left them kind of tall. We can always cut them down later (as you will see, the bottom portion is left exposed) but for now, since this serves as a day bed of sorts, we wanted something cushy to lean back on.

We got out our foam sheets and sprayed the portion that would be covered with spray mount. Then we laid the batting over that area. Just make sure you have enough of an overhang to wrap around back. I made this mistake on another project.

We were really careful to line it up and not create any bubbles or wrinkles. Then we wrapped over the top side and began stapling. One thing we did find was that the staples would not grab the foam if they had to go through the batting and the fabric so we tried to stretch the fabric to go further in than the batting. (*Basically, if you follow this method, make sure your fabric is about an inch larger on all sides than your batting).


After we did the top, we sat it up, smoothed on the front and laid it back down again so we could staple the sides. Then we turned it over and stapled down front on the bottom. You could always try to make this look nice or we even talked about wrapping a solid piece of fabric around and stapling on the back, but once we got it behind the bed, you could not see anything.

We planned on attaching this to the wall with command strips but once we slipped it behind the bed, it stayed just fine on its own. Use your own judgement on that one.

I really loved the fabric that we picked out and I am really happy with how easy this project is. I wonder how they will hold up being in a house with two kids but as long as they do, I am excited that we can use them in their rooms in the future. 

I am still trying to figure out if I want to trade out the back pillows for bigger ones, or add new ones but so far, Miller loves going in there and sitting on the bed.