Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Nigh, Nigh"

Before I forget it. I wanted to record some of what Olivia is saying. She is 11 months old now and trying so hard to say new words all the time.

"Nigh, nigh" - Night, night
"Ti ti" - Kitty
"Ba ba", sometimes comes out as "Bob" - I have not been able to figure out what this means, but she says it a lot to Thomas, so maybe brother?

And she now will shake her head yes and no. The no she just figured out a few days ago.

One of the cutest things she does is if you say to her "aww," she will put her head down on you and give you a big snuggle hug.

These moments pass by so quickly and it is so easy to forget!

2011 Preview

I am one of those people that loves fresh starts. When I was little, the new school year was my favorite. Brand new notebooks with nothing written on them yet, unsharpened full pencils. All of the anticipation of what is to come. I am still like that today. I love getting a new calendar for the year, just open to possibilities. Don't get me wrong, I love to look at the calendar at the end of the year to see all I have done, but there is just something about a new beginning.

Even though it is not yet the new year, I have been reflecting a lot on what this past year has been like and what I hope this new year coming up will bring. And I figured a little over a week head start to doing some resolutions couldn't really hurt. I am also hoping if I type it here in writing where anyone can read it (whether or not anyone actually does) it will hold me accountable to myself!

So here they are in no particular order:

1. Try not to yell.
Sadly, this is going to be a tough one for me. I had always thought once I became a mom I wouldn't yell at my kids. Well, okay, let's be realistic. I didn't think I would never yell, but I didn't really anticipate yelling quite so much as I do. I am a yeller. I hate to admit it. I have to say some of it is because I am just so frazzled. My darling baby girl doesn't sleep so well. She is finally getting better, but sleep deprivation is not good in the pursuit of calmness. And my darling big boy just knows how to push my buttons. So much so in fact that we are going to take him to counseling to check to see what to do about his naughty unruly behavior. But enough with the excuses. No one likes a yeller and it only ever works to elevate the situation to a frenzy. So resolution number one is to try to talk calmly and not yell so much. Granted, I will allow myself the occasional "Hot" or "Don't run out in front of that car" moment.

2. Get some exercise.
This one is pretty straight-forward. I don't exercise. I don't really like to exercise. But I am also not 21 anymore. I need to get on the ball with this one. Maybe literally as I do have an exercise ball! And I am leaving it vague so as not to set my self up for failure. I always get all lofty at the beginning of the year and say, "I will exercise 6 days a week for an hour a day." It is not going to happen. At least not right away.

3. Make some more time for myself.
Now this one actually may include resolution number 2. I know that when you exercise you feel a ton better. I have been so stressed out and tired lately and just am running on fumes. This makes it very hard for me to be a good mom (see resolution #1). I have got to let go of the guilt and make some time to do something to recharge my batteries. I am really hoping I can find some more time this next year to do my crafty stuff I love to do.

4. Get more organized.
Now for those of you who actually read this and know me pretty well, might be surprised by this one. I am a very organized person by nature. I am Type A all the way. But since having kids (and yes that was 4 years ago), I have had a very difficult time managing my time and my household. The hours seem to get away from me. I know I have a facebook problem that probably contributes greatly to that, but there are other things, too. I just can't seem to keep up with everything running a house and taking care of two kids entails. Paperwork piles up, dishes go unwashed and laundry piles up everywhere. And there are many days when I feel like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. But when reflecting back on the day, I think, "what did I actually do today." I don't want those days. I want to feel like I have spent quality time with the kids, with my husband, and for myself. And I am ready to feel some calm and order to my day.

5. Get out of debt.
Now this one may not be completely feasible, since we are a family of four living on one income that actually went down at the end of this year. But, I would like to take a crack at it. I am hoping this will alleviate some of the stress I have been feeling.

So here is looking forward to a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Seasonal Candy Bowl

I got this idea from a friend of mine who had bought one of these, and thought it was just too cute! Super easy to make and so much fun! You could make this in any holiday design, but I was making this one for Halloween to hold my candy corn!

Here are the materials you need:

4" Terra cotta saucer
4" Terra cotta rose pot
Small glass bowl
Small wooden knob
Paint brush
Patterned paper/fabric
Mod podge
Sealer (if not covering completely in mod podge)
Glue gun

First, you paint your pot and saucer in whatever color(s) you want. Allow to dry. You will then use pieces you cut from patterned paper or fabric to place a design on the pot. I used candy corn shapes and some pumpkins. If you are good at free-hand painting, you could paint a design on the sides and/or top. Follow the directions on your mod podge container or similar decoupage medium. This will "glue" your pieces to the painted terra cotta pot.

Allow this to dry. Paint your knob, allow to dry, and attach to the upside down saucer with your glue gun. If you are not going to use a sealer, cover the entire painted surface with mod podge and allow to dry. If you choose to use sealer or varnish, now is the time to do it!

Hot glue the bottom of the glass bowl to the bottom of the painted terra cotta pot. You are ready to fill with candy.

I will post pictures once I have finished my Christmas dish. I am making these for holiday gifts!

P.S. Be sure to check out my new blog: Laura's Crafty Life for more crafty inspiration!

Optimus Prime Pinata

So for Thomas' fourth birthday party he wanted a Transformer's theme. Me, being the over-doer that I am, decided that I would make a pinata from scratch since I wasn't able to find one that I liked. It did turn out very cool, but not sure I will go down this path again!

This was my inspiration for the pinata:

Step one: Find thin cardboard boxes in various sizes to shape Optimus Prime's body. Digging through the recycling turned out to be just the ticket!

Step two: Cut and tape boxes together to shape the body. I used pieces of egg crate to form the "hands". I used the bottom of dixie cups to form the "tires" that are on his sides. You can't see it in this picture, but I made the gun from toilet paper tubes and more egg carton pieces.

Step three: Time to paper mache. I used a mixture of just flour and water. I cut small strips of newspaper about 5 or 6 inches long and about 1 inch wide. Dip the paper into the flour/water mixture. Wipe off excess and place on cardboard body.

Step four: Repeat step 3 until you have two or three layers of paper mache covering the body. I wouldn't do more than that since instead of being completely newspaper, the base is thin cardboard. Be sure to attach a string underneath the paper mache to hang your pinata. This will make it strong, so it doesn't fall once the kids start to whack at it. Allow to dry. This took about a day for it to be completely dry.

Step five: At this point I cut a flap in his back to fill him up with candy. Then, glue on strips of tissue paper or crepe paper streamers. I used silver paint for the metal parts of his body. Here is the finished pinata. Pretty cute if I do say so myself!

Linked up here: So You Think You're Crafty

P.S. Be sure to check out my new blog: Laura's Crafty Life for more crafty inspiration!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Long Time, No Post!

Holy cow! I can't really believe it has been since June since I have posted on here. And that was about what was going on in May! So much has happened since then. I am going to have to play catch up! I really want to start blogging about my craft projects, so those will be updated soon.

And of course, there is the never ending stream of excitement happening in our family! We seem to always be super busy. I can hardly believe Olivia will be one in less than 2 months. Crazy how the times flies.

Not sure why I am deciding to try to start blogging again with the holidays coming up, but the holidays always make me want to reconnect with family and friends. So here we go . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


May was an insanely busy month for us here. I think every weekend we had something scheduled. First there was Mother's Day. We had a nice time celebrating that Saturday with my family. Sunday we were able to spend time together with Aaron's family.

The next weekend we had a party for my birthday. We had some friends over for a BBQ that was a lot of fun.

Cake I made for my own birthday. I know, I know. I shouldn't be making a cake for my own birthday. But I hardly ever get to make anything girly . . . so, I volunteered!

 The weekend after that, Aaron's work sponsored a day for us to go to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. It was a great trip except for the horrific winds that were blowing the entire day! Aaron and I had been once before, but this time was so much better because Thomas was so excited about it all. We got to ride on a tram and feed giraffes, camels, and zebras.

We saw a show called the Tiger Splash. The trainers go in a big fenced off area with the tigers and a pool and get them to do all sorts of stuff in the water.

There are also a lot of great look out spots throughout the park in which you can take pictures without having the fences in them. So cool!

Okay, so this was super funny. We walked by where the hyenas were. Here is Thomas face to face with the hyena. Thomas started to make weird noises to the hyena. Well, the hyena kept growling and growling at Thomas.

Thomas thought this was too funny! He had no idea how close he was to being a hyena's lunch!

Then, at the end of the month we went on our annual camping trip to Clint's Well, AZ. That is a story for another blog.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Latest Crafty Endeavor

On our last craft day with my MOMS Club, we started a mini scrapbook album. What a cute idea! I have seen these before, but never really given them much thought. I am so glad I finally learned how to make one. If you have coordinated paper and embellishments, it does not take any time at all to make one! Here are the pictures of the completed album that will be a Mother's Day gift for my mother-in-law. I intend to make another one for my stepmom as well.

You use note cards and envelopes to create the album. You then use loose leaf binder rings to attach all the pages together.

Each envelope or note card has a space to pull out a picture or journaling from either the side or the top. I chose to do pictures for the whole album since it was for Grammy.

Be sure to check out my new blog: Laura's Crafty Life for more crafty inspiration!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Olivia Louise - A Birth Story!

On Monday, January 18, I had my doctor's appointment. I was still only 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. My doctor told me that he was going out of town as of Saturday, the 23rd. He was going to be gone from Saturday to past my due date of January 27. He said since I was having contractions and had some activity with my cervix, I could be induced the very next day. For those of you who know me, you know this was a difficult decision to make. I am not a fan of having medical intervention in a process that I feel like should just happen on it's own. Being induced meant I would be given Pitocin and knew that could sometimes lead to more and more interventions, and could result in a C-section. I was torn because I didn't want to deliver the baby without my doctor there. I called Aaron and discussed it with him and we both decided to go ahead and do it.

My doctor told me to be at the hospital at 5:00 the next morning. I delivered the baby in a hospital that is about a one hour and fifteen minutes drive from our house. This meant we would be leaving the house at 3:30 a.m. I figured this was probably fine since I was so nervous. I didn't think I would be getting any sleep anyways.

I got home and got the remaining things ready around the house. I started to have contractions about every 15 minutes during the middle of the night. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. I got up at 3:00 a.m. I took a shower and called Grammy to make sure she was on her way over. I then got Aaron up. We ended up leaving the house at about 20 minutes until 4:00 a.m. We were debating about going through the mountains or driving the longer way which was all highways and smoother travel. We had been having some extreme storm weather for the past several days and the mountain road was snowy the day before when I had gone to the doctors. Since Aaron's truck has 4 wheel drive we decided to take the mountain road. It had just been plowed, but not very thoroughly. And then we hit a huge patch of fog/clouds that you couldn't see through. I was okay with the icy conditions but the fog made me a nervous wreck since it was so dark out and the plow had only gone through the middle of the road.

We eventually got to the hospital safely and got checked in. After the nurse started my IV and got me hooked up to the monitors it was about 5:30 a.m. She went ahead and started me on the Pitocin. They start you off with a very small amount to see how you and the baby will handle the contractions. We were both doing well. I was thinking it wasn't really too bad. I could still breathe through the contractions. After about a half hour to an hour the contractions were coming about 2 to 3 minutes apart.

I was able to walk around and sit in the rocking chair, so it was not too bad for this part. My doctor came in at around 10:00 a.m. He checked me and said I was only about 3 cm dilated at this point. He broke my water and told me that would speed things up and get my contractions to work harder. Boy, was he not kidding! The contractions started to come faster and incredibly strong. After about an hour I just could not take the pain anymore. I was crying with each contraction.

I never had even considered having an epidural with Thomas. But this was so much different. The Pitocin makes the whole experience so much more intense. I was scared of having an epidural and having one more medical intervention, but I wasn't sure if I could make it with the strength of the contractions, especially since they were one on top of another. I asked the nurse to check me to see how far along I was. I was only 5 cm dilated at this point. I decided that it was time for an epidural. This was at a little before noon.

I was really nervous about getting an epidural. Not just because of what an epidural entails - mainly having something put into your spinal fluid, but also because I had heard many stories from friends where they had Pitocin, then an epidural, then somehow all seemed to end up with a C-section. I did not want that at all. But, I also knew I was not going to be able to handle the pain any longer. The anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural after explaining everything to me.

After about 10 minutes I was in heaven! I couldn't feel a thing. I was so relieved and relaxed. I never expected to feel that way. The sensations in my legs were very strange. It was like lifting lead weights. After about 20 minutes with the epidural in place, I started to feel really sick. I told the nurse that I thought I was going to throw up. Then I started to feel really light headed and started to black out a little. She told me that my blood pressure had dropped. I think she had said at one point it was at about 65/50. She moved me over onto my left side and gave me oxygen. After about 5 - 10 minutes I was feeling normal again. Luckily, my blood pressure stayed up the rest of the time.

At about 1:30 my doctor came back in and checked me. He said that I was about 7 cm dilated at this point. I was happy that I was still progressing normally. It gave me more confidence that I would not end up with a C-section. At around 2:10 my nurse checked me again. I was now between 8 - 9 cm dilated. Literally, 10 minutes later I felt something change. The only way I can describe it is pressure. It was so much different from my sensation to push with Thomas. I asked the nurse to check me again. She said that I was now at 10 cm and the head was "right there."

The nurse told me not to push. The doctor was back at his office. Luckily, his office is about 5 minutes away from the hospital. I had to keep breathing through the contractions so I would not push, but luckily I think the epidural helped with that. The doctor came in and got everything prepped. Seven minutes and about five pushes later, Olivia Louise was born!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baby Time?

I woke up in the middle of the night last with contractions. They were not like the Braxton Hicks ones that I have been having that just feel like my tummy is tightening. These were more painful, like menstrual cramps. I have been having them all day, but don't seem to be making too much progress. I will have a few that are close together, and then I won't have one for like a half hour. I am hoping this weekend is it. I really hope things start to pick up in the next 12 hours or so, so we can get this show on the road.

If not, I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday afternoon and then I can see what is actually happening!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All Things Baby

I am now 38 weeks pregnant. When the baby is coming and how much longer we have to wait to meet her is pretty much all consuming on my mind these days. I am trying to keep the house cleaned up now that the rush of the holidays are over. So I have a lot of time on my hands now to just wait.

Here are some belly pictures from last week. Everyone I see tells me how small they think I look for being as far along as I am, but let me tell you, I feel huge!

37 weeks

This is one of my favorite pictures. I had seen a lot of these after I had Thomas and knew I wanted one like it whenever I got pregnant again.

Here is Thomas helping to paint the baby's room. He actually did pretty good trying to help us. The room is a really bright orange that matches the bedding that I am making for her room. It has taken a little getting used to, but I think it is going to be really nice when the room is completed.

This is the bed skirt I sewed for the crib. I still need to make a sheet, bumper and matching window valance, but I am not sure if I am going to work on them before she gets here or not.

I am having a really hard time focusing on much else these days. I am so anxious to meet her. We finally decided on a name - Olivia Louise. Louise is after both my middle name and my mom's middle name. I am sort of hoping she comes on my mom's birthday, which is the 21st, but I am getting really impatient. I know I potentially have two weeks or more to go. These last couple of weeks just seem to creep and crawl by. Plus I am anxious to see how this birth will be different from Thomas' birth. It is all so exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time!

Christmas 2009

We had a really nice Christmas this year. Our first event was going to the annual American Legion Christmas party with Thomas' Great-Grandma Glenna. It is always fun. The kids play games and win prizes. And of course, Santa is there. I wasn't sure what Thomas would think of Santa, but we had been talking about Santa a lot. He went right up to him and sat in his lap. He was so excited to be getting presents.

Here is a picture of some ornaments I made for presents and also one for our tree. I got the idea from Scrapbooks, Etc. website. They turned out really cute!

Here are the sugar cookies I baked and decorated to give away to friends and family. I also made some fudge, which to my dismay turned out dry. It tasted okay, but wasn't how I wanted it to turn out. Someday I will have to have someone with the magic fudge touch show me what I am doing wrong!

Here is Thomas with the cookies and milk for Santa and the carrot for the reindeer. He was pretty excited this year and seemed much more interested in Santa then last year.

Christmas morning was a lot of fun. It was funny because Thomas just went about his normal business for the morning - having some milk and watching a cartoon. I had to actually remind him that it was Christmas. He had been asking about it for weeks, so I am not sure he believed it was really time to open the presents yet.

Thomas after opening up all his presents!

Thomas with his new camera from Santa. Finally he won't have to use ours anymore.

Our holiday Christmas photo.

Snowy Day Pictures of Thomas

Snow day!

 Sledding in the backyard. (Really just Mommy pulling Thomas all over the yard).