Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gender Neutral Baby Shower Gift

I was invited to a baby shower over the weekend and the parents had decided not to find out the gender of their baby.  I'm not one to buy outfits as baby shower gifts, instead I like to buy/make the useful items I've heard others say are boring to shop for.  So I raided my fabric stash for anything I had that didn't scream boy or girl to whip up a quick couple of burp cloths and bibs.  I feel like every mom in the world should have burp cloths like these.  I have been making them since before Grant was born and I LOVE them.  They are all I used with Grant and all I plan on using with this next little one.  I didn't have spit up leak through them one time, and my little guy was quite the spit-upper (is that even a word?).
I used Grant's old bibs as a template for these.

I give these burp cloths to almost the mom of almost every baby shower I attend.  I get a little bored making the same things all the time but I just can't get away from them.  Every mom needs them and I hate to see them using the ugly old school flat fold diapers, or the super thin burp cloths you can buy in the stores.  So I break out the flannel and quilt batting and cut a few out knowing how useful they will be.

I added a couple bottles (using a buy one get one free coupon), baby spoons, and 2 boxes of baby cereal (I paid all of $0.08 for a few months back using coupons).  So I kind of went with a feeding item theme.  The total cost of the entire gift was under $6 and I'm pretty satisfied.  I know the new mom and dad will get plenty of use out of everything, and that's always my goal when baby shower gift shopping.

At the last minute I realized I didn't have a card, which happens to me a lot.  I tend to forget to include one and have the guest of honor who the gift is from, to which I have to shout over every one "that ones from me".  So I got out my Cricut and my Boys Will Be Boys Cricut Lite cartridge and made this:
I love the simplicity of it which is just what I look for in cards these days.  It took me all of 5 minutes to make this which made me really want to whip up a few extras for future showers, as it seems someone is always pregnant around here.  Maybe another day when I have nothing to do, cuz you know I have soooo much extra time on my hands these

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mama Ramblings: Quiet Time

As young people we think nothing of having quiet time and actually very rarely enjoy it.  Because if you're a teenager or in your early twenties more than likely you are almost always surrounded by friends or making plans to go out with them.  Then we get married and we still have some quiet time, not as much, but it's still there.  Then we have kids, and out the window our quiet time goes. 

Now we all know this will happen when we make the decision to have a child.  I remember thinking to myself that my life will no longer be my own and there would be a screaming baby interrupting my sleep, then a toddler and so on.  However, I never fully grasped the craving I would have for that missed quiet time.  I am a person who was perfectly happy having "me time".  I lived on my own (no I didn't even live with my now husband before we were married) for a good 4-5 years.  I loved having control of the remote, the contents of my fridge, and the evenings doing whatever I wanted in my own apartment.  When I started dating my husband a little of that time was given up and I struggled for a while to adjust. 

Confession: I am not one for change, I don't handle it well, never have never will. 

When we got married, there was a little less but I enjoyed coming home to someone else and reveling in being a newlywed.  Then came little Mister Grant.  He was probably the biggest adjustment I've ever made in my life and the best too.  I like to think Grant and I kind of grew up and adjusted together.  He is not one for change (wonder where he gets it?) and he was a difficult infant.  He and I took a long time to adjust to me learning my mothering role.  He and I were never apart for more than a total of 5 hours his first 10 months of life.  He didn't ride in a car without me in the same car until he was 11 months old.  All that time it was he and I together learning our roles (My husband was there part of the time but he worked long hours to support us).  Many people wonder why Grant is so attached to me and I so overprotectively attached to him and it baffles me that they can't figure it out.  The first 10 months of his life he saw my face nearly every second of the day (and it felt like every second of the night since he wasn't much for sleeping), so why wouldn't we be overly attached to each other?

Now that he is nearly 3 you would think we would have things down to a science but no such luck haha.  I firmly believe he has a 6th sense that is, "mama's doing something".  He knows when I get out of bed even when he is in his deepest sleep.  He is always up within 10 minutes of me getting up, so yes I practically run to the shower crossing my fingers I can get finished before I hear his feet hit the floor.  If he is watching a cartoon intently he will notice the second I get up to do something, even if his back is to me, I will inevitably hear the words "mama, what you doin'?"  Even if my response is "just going to the bathroom", he will no doubt follow me to make sure I'm not doing anything else he might be interested in "helping" with.

I fought against this for awhile, getting aggravated that I can't even go to the bathroom or take a shower without company, you would think after 3 years I would be used to it by now. 

What can I say I'm a slow learner. 

Or maybe just a teeny bit of a control freak who thinks she can have things her way (I've often thought God gave me Grant to change this negative personality trait and make me a better person:)

I'm trying to turn a new leaf, I remind myself that it won't be like this forever and I will miss these days when Grant is a teenager and would rather be out with friends or in his room by himself than with his mom.  I know I will look back and think I should have appreciated this time for what it is instead of fighting against it.  Children have such a short time to just be kids, innocent, hopeful, and unaware of the harsh realities out there.  This time is growing shorter and shorter nowadays, and I know the last thing I want him to remember about me is that I always wanted to be by myself or was aggravated all the time.  I pray quite frequently for more patience, understanding, and that Grant will forgive his Mama for her shortcomings.  I think as mom's we are always wondering whether we are doing a good job, always second guessing ourselves, hoping our kids will know we love them even when we are disciplining them or having a bad day.

Grant amazes me every day.  He is his own person, independent opinionated and strong minded at the age of nearly 3.  I know this next little one will amaze me as well.  And as for that quiet time, well I'm guessing this new little one will take up the little bit I have acquired over the last few years and we will all adjust to that as well.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thomas the Train 3rd Birthday

It doesn't seem like my little guy should be 3 or that it should be his birthday already.  I posted here about his birthday invites and now I have the party details.  I decided to do the party in our apartment rather than my mom's house this year which meant less space to decorate but I'm really satisfied with how everything turned out. 
(after this pic I realized my table was not centered and fixed it lol)

I used scrap paper I already had in my stash for the cardstock circle garlands and the #3/Happy Birthday hanging cutouts. 

I had planned on having these accordion circles hanging from the ceiling but when I went to put everything up it just didn't work.  Instead I hung them as a backdrop. 

The All Aboard banner was made with scrap paper I had in my stash.  I didn't do the typical Happy Birthday banner because I had one already made from last year and I had enough hanging from the ceiling with Happy Birthday on it I thought it might be a little overkill to have a banner too. 

This is the first birthday of Grant's I didn't do cupcakes.  I couldn't figure out a way to decorate them that satisfied me and when searching online I found some really cute round cakes that were decorated simply enough I thought I could do something similar.  I haven't decorated a cake since my sister's graduation party and I swore I would never use fondant again, which meant every detail on the cake was gonna have to be piped by hand by me.  That's a lot of pressure on this mama, and looking back I should have just made the cupcakes and stuck to what I know I'm good at.

I chose a pumpkin flavored cake with cream cheese frosting.  It took me forever and a day to decide on a cake flavor. I knew Grant wouldn't really care and we would be left with any that didn't get ate so I didn't want a plain old chocolate or vanilla, that's just not my style.  I decided on pumpkin because it's October and I love the smell of anything pumpkin flavored baking in my house.  I also made Butter Cookies, a signature cookie of my mom's.  She used to make these for every Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.  Every time I smell them baking I think of so many Holiday memories, and I've made them for every one of Grant's birthdays so far.

There weren't many things to actually buy for decorations this time around.  Other than the balloons, table cloth, streamers, and some cardstock.  Which was great because I got to use up some of the craft supplies I already have and it kept costs down.

I didn't do a whole spread of food this year since I'm pregnant, working part time, and I figured it was ok to cut myself some slack and take the easier way out by ordering pizzas and buying a couple 2 liters of pop.  I usually go a little overboard at showers and birthdays with all the food and then I'm left with a ton of leftovers, and spend the whole 2 hours before the party cooking and cleaning up the kitchen before people arrive.  I knew with me doing the cake during Grant's naptime I wouldn't have much time to cook a meal then clean everything before people started showing up.  And lets face it sometimes it's nice to not stress yourself out.  It seems the last hour before every party I've done is me being short with everyone, aggravated that certain things aren't done or people are in my way, and me runnin around like a chicken with no head.  It wasn't worth it this year, and given Grant's pickiness with food, I'm sure he more than appreciated the pizzas since it's one of the few things he loves eating.

After everyone left my husband and I sat there surrounded by toys, boxes, and wrapping paper and it was the feeling you get when Christmas is over.  All the build up and waiting all year then it's over and all I could think was, another year gone.  Another year celebrated.  Another year before the next one.  It's exciting to think next year Grant will have a brother or sister to celebrate his birthday with.
Until next year!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Boo-Boo Bear Ice Pack

After I started watching another 2 year old 3 days a week I realized how desperate I was for a cure all for everyday boo-boos.  Seriously, 2 year olds are like magnets for bumping heads, running into walls, falling over toys, and random clumsiness. Grant has always been clumsy but usually a hug, kiss, and a shake it off works well for him and he's "all better".  This apparently doesn't work for every child.  S's first week with us consisted of her losing her balance and rolling down the last 3 steps bumping her head on the rail, slamming her teeth into Grant's forehead (accidently of course), running into the corner of our end table, and busting her lip on the edge of a toy she fell on.

Needless to say she screamed every time and my hugs and kisses were no longer a magical cure all.
Enter, the Boo- Boo Bear.  I gave both Grant and S a baggie with a piece of ice when they collided teeth and forehead, and then every injury thereafter they wanted more ice.  Call me cheap but I didn't want to keep giving out baggies nor keep track of the 1st one I gave them.  So that night I got out my fabric scraps, used a lid to trace a circle (the bear's head), and freehanded the ears and the embroidered face.  I filled it with rice (I have loads of rice) using a funnel and popped it in the freezer.

First thing the next day Grant hit his lip on something and the Boo-Boo Bear ice pack was there to cure his pain.  He loved it and him and S have actually fought over who needs it the most when they are "hurt".  Which of course means I need to make another one.  The to-do list never ends.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bit of Whimsy Doll for Skylynn

I love Bit of Whimsy dolls! I really can't say that enough.  The 2 patterns I've bought have been used numerous times and I love having them on hand for last minute little girl birthdays and Christmas gifts.  We were invited to a family friend's 2nd birthday over the weekend.  Well you don't know this but October is a very busy and very expensive month for us.  Not only is it Grant's birthday, but our county fair, my husband and I's anniversary, our trip to the pumpkin patch, the pumpkin hike at our park, Boo at the Zoo & trick or treat (which means me making 2 costumes, one for Grant and one for my niece).  So to fit much else in with time and a small budget is next to impossible.  So naturally I decided to whip up a Bit of Whimsy doll for little Skylynn.

Usually I have all the fabric and notions I need in my stash to make a doll on the fly, however moving has put a wrench in finding any of my craft stuff, especially fabric.  I currently have my fabric and craft stash located in 4 copy paper boxes, 2 diaper boxes, 1 laundry basket and an armoire.  And I searched for flesh colored fabric for about an hour before I decided it wasn't worth it anymore and made a trip to Hobby Lobby.  I spent a total of $2.35 on flesh colored cotton fabric and the cute pink paisley print I found on clearance and decided I had to have it for the dolls dress.

This doll was made using the Jean doll pattern.  I've made more of the Jean dolls than the Beth (the other pattern I purchased a couple years ago) only because I never can find my yarn and I always have felt.

I will say this, if my little one turns out to be a girl I will be investing in quite a few more doll patterns.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thomas the Train Birthday Invitation

I decided awhile ago to do a train theme for Grant's birthday and since you really can't get generic train party supplies, or at least I've never seen any, it became a Thomas the Train party.  Let me say this.......I really don't like Thomas the Train.

I was secretly hoping he would pass over the cartoon so I'd never have to see it, but of course that's not the case.  He really doesn't care what I think about it and I decided to put my own dislikes aside and give him the party theme he would love.

Am I a good mom or what? lol

As I did last year for his Mickey themed party I set a $50 budget for the whole party, and quickly realized with this budget I was going to have to do some more improvising with decorations because there was no way I could afford to buy all the Thomas party supplies in the store.  I have lucked out with Grant's Toy Story and Mickey birthdays because I had the Cricut cartridges to do the main decorations.  But what do you know, Cricut doesn't make a Thomas cartridge so I'm on my own.

If I was the kind of person to look on the bright side of things I would see this as a great opportunity to stretch my creativity by coming up with new decorations on my own.......I'm not that person and I much prefer having the Cricut do that grunt work for me.

I did purchase a table cloth from the store with Thomas on it but this is the only Thomas specific item I have bought.  We have a small apartment which makes it nice for parties because the smaller area you have to decorate the less decorations you actually need to make a big impact which in turn means less money spent, and I'm all about that.

I decided to pick 3 colors, blue, aqua, and red and bought streamers and plan on buying balloons in these colors as well.  I had intended to buy some train clipart off I found that actually looks just like Thomas (without the smiling face) for $5, however as with any small budget, cuts had to be made somewhere to allow for other spending and I decided to find Thomas images online and use those instead.  $5 doesn't seem like much in the grand scheme of things but when it comes to a $50 budget that includes food, party supplies, and decorations, every penny counts.

I have only finished the invites for now as most of the decorations will have to be finished the week before the party (October is a super busy month around our house).  I had grand ideas of a really cute train ticket invite with the perfect font and images on it.  Then reality, pregnancy exhaustion, a part time job, and the month of October hit and that idea went down the crapper pretty quick.  Instead I opted for a simple invite printed on white cardstock with the Thomas image I downloaded from the internet and backed it with plain old red cardstock.  I cut the squares of the cardstocks out with my Cricut ( why use an old school paper cutter when you can push a button and watch the Cricut do it for you?).  This invite is similar to the others I've done, which is exactly why I wanted to do something different this time around but maybe next year.

I'm pretty lucky in that everyone I invite lives pretty much on the same road so I didn't bother with envelopes, stamps, or mailing them at all.  Instead I drove down the road and dropped them into their mailboxes.  One thing I hate about invites is the cost of stamps (if I wasn't one of those sentimental people who save cards and invites I would so do e-vites).

Even though these weren't the invitation I had dreamed of, they serve their purpose and I'm really glad they are done.  I guess there comes a point in life when you have to give in and realize you can't do it all.....

I'm just not ready for that yet. haha.                     

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dora Jumper

When my sister was a toddler I made her a simple summer jumper, white with fruit on it.  I was so proud of that jumper, it was one of my first sewing projects.  My mom found some clearance corduroy Dora fabric and asked if I would make one for Sophie.  I thought I would be able to find such a simple pattern online for free, but no such luck.  I searched off and on for days and came up with nothing.

Ugh! I hate it when an internet search yields nothing, so frustrating.

So I had to resort to the next best thing, a store bought pattern.  I really try to stay away from them because they are harder for me to understand and I usually end up getting half way done with whatever it is and it sits in my sewing box for years on end before I give it up.

Here is the pattern my mom bought:
I had never used a New Look pattern.  I usually try to stick with Simplicity.  Not really sure why, but it's the patterns I first started using and I'm not one for change.
This pattern was super easy.  It had a total of 4 pattern pieces and took me less than an hour to finish once the fabric pieces were cut out.  That's my kind of sewing project.
It seems I can never get a picture of the clothes I make actually on the kids.  They don't understand or care why I want their picture and instead say thank you and run away.  I guess I should just be thankful they say thank you.
I love the colors of this fabric and my mom actually bought 2 yards so I have a whole other yard to play with and sew something else.  Maybe a winter skirt to wear with tights! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Picky Kid

Here is something I've learned over the last few weeks, or rather I'm trying to come to terms with....

I have a picky eating kid.

Why has it taken me so long to realize this you ask, since my son is almost 3?  Because I have been in pure denial and hoping it was a phase.  I think I have to give up that dream and realize this is not a phase but how he is.

My sister was a picky eater growing up and we still regularly tease her about her food groups: bologna, pop tarts, & chicken nuggets. 

I literally don't remember anything else the girl ate.  It was pop tarts for breakfast EVERYDAY, bologna sandwich with pickles on it for lunch EVERYDAY, and my mom kind of catered to her at dinner.  If she didn't like what my mom made, she made her something different.

I will say I never got such special treatment at meal times, but hey maybe that's just the middle child syndrome coming out in me :)

Grant will eat cereal every morning, or on the rare occasion I buy poptarts, he will eat those.  I have tried to be the good stay at home mom who cooks scrambled eggs, French toast, and pancakes, but they are a no go in the mornings.  It's cereal or poptarts. Period.

For lunch I actually ask him what he wants rather than making something and having to throw it away and it's 1 of 3 things: bologna, hot dogs, or peanut butter sandwich, and no lie most of the time he won't eat the veggie or fruit so am I a bad mom if I just leave them off the plate at times?

Please don't answer that.

For dinner I refuse to do as my mom did and fix 2 separate meals.  I have stood firmly by this since before I had kids.  I believe in the old school way of what's on the table is what you eat or you don't eat.  Now I'm not that mom who makes you eat everything on your plate regardless if you like it.  I have a vivid memory of my mom telling me I had to try my beans.  I repeatedly told her I didn't like them (as I had tried them before and realized they were, in my opinion, disgusting).  She made me try them anyway, so I did like a good little girl and proceeded to gag and throw them up.  She never again made me try something I said I didn't like....Lesson Learned.

I do make sure there is something I make I know he has ate before and likes.  But if I catered to only the meats I know he will eat, my husband and I would be eating bologna and hot dogs every day.  He will not eat any kind of pasta because there's stuff on it.  I tried being a good mom and only putting butter and parmesan cheese (which he likes) on it, but he's smarter than that and refused to touch it.  Instead he will eat 3 pieces of garlic bread and say he's done.

He will not eat any kind of meat with sauce on it, like BBQ chicken or pork.  I have yet to figure out why the child has refused to eat hamburger patties (no cheese of course because it's gooey, heaven forbid something be gooey) and will instead eat 2 hamburger buns.  Usually if I make regular seasoned pork chops he will put a piece to his tongue and proclaim immediately that it's yucky, and proceed to eat his body weight in potatoes.

I have found that he will eat soup.  However, what soup he will eat on any given day is a mystery and trial and error.  For example, there are days he will eat 3 servings of chicken noodle soup, then the next time I make it (during a completely different week) he won't touch it.  I also made chili a couple weeks ago, which I know he has ate a lot of and likes.  However this time he decided he didn't like any of the onions or diced tomatoes that were in it. 

"What the heck?"  I said out loud, "you liked them before".

To which he responded, "no, I don' wanna eat em, I don' like em."

To which I responded by rolling my eyes (and I wonder why my son rolls his eyes all the time,  can't imagine where he gets it).

I started giving him multivitamins to try to supplement some of what he might be missing.  He's super healthy from what I can tell and is growing like a weed so I'm not overly concerned about his health.  It's just really freakin' frustrating, and I maintain the only reason he is picky is because I vowed I would not make 2 different dinner meals for a picky child.  I think he heard me in utero and he has decided to test me. 

It's so like him, haha.  Always testing me, always trying to go against the grain. 

I have yet to figure out how to remedy this situation or if I should even try. 

Ok I'm done rambling now.


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