Friday, April 30, 2010

feathering my nest

I'm convinced that some people have the "spray painting" gene and some do not. I do not. I tried to paint this cradle perfectly, and it did turn out pretty well, but it was a LONG process to get it to look right.
Anyhow, it was left by some renters and I found it in the garage (yes indeed, our garage is like that). It was a medium wood color, and looked dated and boring, but had such a cute shape and I knew it'd be awesome in black. (and especially awesome with a child under it, as you see)

So I painted it black and then distressed the edges. Then, because I don't trust my own painting abilities I top coated it so we don't end up with a cradle that's TOO distressed in a week or two : ) Not sure if I'll keep the Real Love bedding in there (also found in the garage with the cradle), or if I'll use the plain white set that I've used in the past.

I awoke very early yesterday and, as is usually the case with my thought processes in the early hours, I got really grumpy/stressed/borderline-hysterical about not having things ready for the baby/having a messy house/etc and


Seriously, I only have 4 weeks it just me, or is that elephant stampeding to the end?!! HH is a patient man, and gave up his sleep without grumbling : )

Anyhow, so yesterday I cleaned in the bedroom, organized elsewhere, did several loads of laundry, installed Chick's new booster seat & washed the baby's carseat cover, and made sure to FINISH the cradle.

Also, there have been comments about me being such a productive person, and I (sadly) have to clarify that I just get really antsy before a baby arrives. Some days I don't have energy and I just sit around.

OK, my kids are starting to wreak havoc...I gotta go.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I haven't finished anything since my last posting, but we've made progress on a lot of things.

On Saturday my wonderful brother came over to help with house projects. Though we don't have it nailed in, there is now basetrim cut & positioned in the bedroom, much of the hallway, and in the bathroom! Yay!!!!! Thanks, Evan!

On Sunday I had sharing time, so Saturday was spent prepping for that, and Sunday afternoon was more or less spent recouping : ) Maybe not...I can't really remember what I did on Sunday afternoon. I know a nap & ice cream were somewhere in there....

I've also practiced some new quilting designs to decide on how exactly to quilt the baby quilt (I'm still undecided on the binding...I wish I could have red in front and green in back). These were supposedly going to be a set of placemats, but I think they're too funky to invest the time to bind. They were good practice, though.
After I finished those, I took the leap to quilting the actual quilt, and I'm happy to say that it's going well. But my machine started getting really squeaky, and I don't have oil yet & don't know if it'll damage my machine to sew with it squeaking....

I've been doing some cutting for Chick's zigzag quilt--here and there so that I don't get burned out from cutting too much.
I still have a lot to do, though.

And of course, I've been taking care of my kids. (lest you think that I've just been goofing around).
Today will be zigzag-cutting, laundry-doing, granola-baking, HH-haircutting, and hopefully nap-taking (I awoke with a headache. boo).

Friday, April 23, 2010

And you thought Cinderella was a fairy tale.

It's not. It's real. Only around here it's CinderMonkey.

Exhibit A: the child that has discovered that she likes to play INSIDE the fireplace. Facilitated by an older sister who moved the board that was blocking the entrance.(note the black hair...)

Facilitator goes to time out, CinderMonkey goes to the bathtub. Once CinderMonkey is cleaned up enough & happily playing in the tub, I go to wash Facilitator's hands (didn't know she'd gotten dirty too...wipe handprints from bedroom walls while in washing hands).

Return to CinderMonkey. She's standing in the tub, saying & signing "Potty." Half a minute too late. She's pooing in the tub. Take CinderMonkey out of the tub, quickly get a diaper on her, and grab a spatula to get the poo out of the tub.

Drain the tub, remove the mat, and find that the soot has made a lovely ring--requiring a more intensive cleaning job than I'd been planning. Get some cleaner and try to scrub out the tub (my least favorite of all cleaning jobs) without banging up my belly too much.

Pray that HH gets home soon. Also say a thankful prayer that I'm not a single parent with no one to come take the evening shift.
If it were a fairy tale, I wouldn't have had to do all the cleaning.

In other news: Here is a picture of my EarthDay project: mesh produce bags. I don't know how long they'll hold up, but the netting was used in the garden last year & was just sitting in the shed, so it's repurposed anyhow.

Also, in my baby frenzy, I decided to make a crib quilt. It's almost all pieced together, and it'll be chenille-backed (the green in the bottom of the picture). I'm going to do large-patterned free motion quilting on it (possibly something like THIS, possibly with some other design on the large white strips). But I can't decide on what color to do the binding. What do you think? I don't want white, but can't decide--green or red? Any advice on what pattern to use for the actual quilting is welcome, too. I think I'll just use white thread for the quilting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Earth Day Confession

I don't use shampoo.

It was around this time last year (though not specifically on Earth Day) that I read an article on "No poo" and decided to try it out. Instead of shampoo I use a little bit of baking soda dissolved in water. I do still use a tiny bit of conditioner.

The results? I can go quite a bit longer between hair washings (though of course the rest of me requires the same amount of hygiene). My hair is at least equally clean, healthy, & easy.

I will say that it's not as much fun to apply--a head full of suds feels great, and baking soda...doesn't. But it's cheaper & more natural, which are both important things to me.

In the same spirit of that "Earth Day" change, this year I decided to give up all disposable paper products for a month, starting today. I thought it would be easy, since we already use cloth napkins, and rarely use paper towels (and even more rarely use paper plates or plastic cutlery)...then my Mom pointed out that I'd have to go 100% cloth diapers. I love cloth diapers, but not 100% love. So I abandoned my plan and came up with an easier one.

It's a little sewing project that I didn't get done today, but maybe tomorrow I'll have pictures. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More projects DONE!

It always feels a little miraculous when I finish a many languish away at only half done. Well, here's the baby prep that I've done since I last posted:

I packed the emergency "getaway" bag.
I sent a copy of all of my work files & contact addresses to the back-up designer.

I made 3 changing pads. {All made from stash materials}
This first one is to be permanently stationed on the bathroom counter. We've had one there all along, but it was just a plain jane white storebought one...this one is color-coordinated and uses embroidered fabric : )

These other two (and I'm sorry about the pictures...I took them late at night with poor lighting) are changing pads with storage pockets for wipes and a couple of diapers to use when you are out and about. I used THIS tutorial, which was super easy (I used fleece for the inside, because that's what I had). The black and white one did take longer--it was inspired by THIS mini-quilt.

One of these is for a baby shower gift this weekend. Originally I made the one with red to be the gift, but now I'm not sure--the blue and green looks like it might make a better gift. What do you think? Which would you give as a gift?

Anyhow, I've also painted the cradle, but I still have one more coat to do in a few spots...and it's pouring down rain outside so I don't think I'll get to finish it today.

Today we get to go meet our new nephew/cousin, as well as go to a midwife appt. I think I'm going to do some mega cooking of muffins to freeze, and work on getting the last pictures hung in my bedroom. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I wanted to mention how great THIS site is. It's called Starfall and has phonics activities for kids. It's simple enough that Chick can do it by herself, but cute enough that it doesn't drive parents crazy when sitting with your child (unless your child does Z twelve times and you have to hear the Zigzag people song over and OVER AND OVER). I also received my order of Sandpaper letters from THIS etsy shop. They are GORGEOUS.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Baby Prep is in full swing

I'm suddenly obsessed with preparing for the baby. I have plenty of projects already...and yet, I suddenly feel IMPELLED to sew a changing pad (or two) and to paint a cradle, etc, etc.

Anyhow, I don't have a ton to show yet, but here's what I have finished:

Washed and folded all of the newborn stuff-- cloth diapers, bedding, onesies, socks, hats, bouncer cover, etc. It's all piled in the crib, and covered with a sheet, to discourage other little people from getting into it and using it for their dolls.

I picked out the first outfit/ensemble for if it's a boy, but found that I couldn't bear the thought of putting a brand new baby GIRL into the clothes that her sisters have already worn. I checked the stores, but didn't want to spend much (I don't even know if it IS a girl, and I already have plenty of girl clothes anyhow), and though the thrift store had some cute inexpensive things, there was nothing that seemed to be "all that."

... so I bought a t-shirt at the thrift store for $1.00. I used THIS tutorial, which was great and very easy to follow. I made a few alterations (cuffs on the sleeves & did the casing at the bottom differently because I was using the existing hem), and added a matching cap (the flower on the cap is a little piece of the t-shirt design that was cut off).
Now I can breathe a sigh of relief that boy OR girl, I'll be able to welcome him or her into the world in style.

I also made a skirt for Monkey last night. It's specifically to go with the "big sister" onesie when the baby comes. I left all of the edges raw so they'll roll up & look grungy. It's made from jersey sheet scraps from when I made the wrap shirt.

Also, (not baby related), I made THIS recipe for dinner last night. Not healthy, but MMMM-mmm. Super yummy. I added some peas. Tonight is Sloppy Janes in butterhorn rolls -- both from the freezer. It's the last of the butterhorns and I'm sad to see them go. But I'm going to make a batch of sweet potato rolls, and hopefully they'll be equally as great to pull out of the freezer.
Today I'm sluggish. I organized my fabric closet (and picked some out for changing pads), and went to a couple of home improvement stores for cradle screws & a new dining chandelier (didn't find either) and I started priming the cradle. Then I ran out of primer, got grumpy, and decided to plop down in front of the computer and blog instead of work.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Weekly News

I'm having a bit of trouble believing that it's Friday already! I've barely been out of the house at all this week--Midwife appt on Monday, answered the door yesterday & went onto the back deck to talk to HH who was working in the backyard, and walked out to my sister's car today. That's it! Pathetic, I know. It's layout week.

The good news is that both my boss & my contact person down in Siena (my monthly layout is for the Siena community magazine) both LOVED this month's issue. It's not completely done--still a few edits left, but it's in the easy downward slide now : )

My sister took the girls to have lunch & play at her playground today, so I have total peace and quiet right now : )

Yesterday I wrote down everything that I ate, and today I'm doing the same--it's like I just woke up suddenly with enough brainpower to be good about my eating! Yay. Now if I can continue for the next 7 weeks, then maybe my total pregnancy gain won't be too bad {Confession time: I'm just shy of 30 pounds right now}.

BUT some more good news today: I'll have help after the baby comes regardless of how much I've gained! Why? I'll tell you why: I just won a Tummy Yummy Giveaway! I'm so excited, I get a super cool Tummy Yummy Nursing Tank! Yay! Thanks Tummy Yummy & Once a Month Mom!!

(Speaking of Once a Month Mom, I do plan to do another round of freezer cooking, but we haven't finished up what I did last time, so I decided to wait until after this week. We've really loved a lot of what I'd prepared, and it's just sooo convenient!)

I also was given a big box of clothes--some for Monkey, some maternity for me (Totally needed--my wardrobe is getting limited and boring right about now! Thanks, Andrea!). It's been fun to try things on my Monkey and me. And a bit humbling, because I'm huge. HH says it's time for another photo to document my belly, but I think it'll have to wait until after layout, so that I can get some makeup on at least.

The only bad news, that I hope ISN'T bad news, is that at my Midwife appt we noticed that the baby has a heart arrhythmia. I'll have to go in for a non-stress test & ultrasound. We considered finding out the gender, but I think if we can help it then we still won''s just so exciting to be surprised at the end. Besides, we've made it this long.... Anyhow, Charlotte, my midwife, says that arrhythmia's aren't usually a big deal & the babies grow out of them a lot of the time by the time they are born or soon thereafter. And ours is pretty mild. (I read 85% end up to be nothing to worry about). So lets hope for the best.

Oh, I also fell down yesterday, so I guess that's bad news too. I tripped over all of the toys in the living room when I was on my way to greet HH at the door. Thankfully he took over with the girls (and made them clean up their toys) while I got to lay down for a little nap. The only damage is a bruised shin & skinned elbow. Baby is still thumping around in there : )

To close: here are my cute girls reading together.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"I wish I could hunt eggs...I love to hunt eggs"

(That's a movie quote. Quick, what movie is it from?)We had a lovely Easter weekend. On Saturday we had a visit from G&G J (up from Arizona for the weekend). It's always nice to see them, and we got to watch the morning session of General Conference with them.Saturday afternoon included more conference watching, as well as last minute Easter prep.
This is what the blackberry-dyed eggs looked like...And these are the mini cookies in the eggs : )Saturday night we drove up to G&G N's house to spend the night. The next morning the girls found their Easter baskets, which included new sunglasses for Monkey (she was most enthusiastic about the cookies in the egg, though!)...and a leotard & tutu set for Chick (it took her a while to try it on, but she's been dancing for the past two days).
We ate cinnamon rolls (my first time making them. They were yumm-y. I used this recipe)We chilled out with the G's.We watched more General Conference.We played with G'ma's toy stash (I love the juxtaposition of this picture!).We played with cousins.We ate delicious Easter food. My sister made the cookies--aren't they amazing? And, of course, we hunted eggs.Lastly, we watched Monkey give lots of hugs and kisses to the hedgehog. {I had to write about this, because there was some discussion about getting it in writing why G'ma would leave the hedgehog to Monkey in her last will & testament}

Friday, April 2, 2010


Growing up we colored our eggs using the Paas kits from the store. Its been many years since I've colored eggs, but felt that I had to this year because Chick is old enough to care & to help do it.
I don't have a problem with the store-bought kits, but I decided that with all of the cool ways to color eggs naturally, I'd go ahead and try that route.
We tried: silk tie-dyed eggs, fern & flower wrapped egg (just one), and various foods-- cherries, paprika, tumeric, spinach & parsley, & dandelions (good reference article here...I found it after I'd done my eggs). For decorations we used stickers & rubber bands. The silk tie ones & the fern & flower were hollowed out first, since not all of the ingredients were edible.

My helpers...

the silk ones. Super easy and cool looking! They remind me of the book "Gwendolyn the Miracle Hen". The fern & periwinkle didn't turn out very well, so I redid it using silk, but not for very long, so it's pale.

The cherry & paprika dyed... (suprisingly not red except for one spot)

The spinach & parsleys didn't turn out well, so I added them back in with the dandelion & turmeric, which turned out the best. (This picture is all of the food dyed eggs, except for the two that we'd already eaten!)

All my eggs in, plate.

If I get more eggs I'm going to do some in blackberries & with the girls' initials on them for in their baskets. Also in their baskets--I'm going to try mini oatmeal-raisin cookies to put in large crystal-cut plastic eggs. I don't really want to do candy, and I think o-r cookies are a good enough balance between fun & indulgent and healthy.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have my other "egg-sperimental" project to show : )