Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Craft Fail

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't!

I mentioned a while back in this post of yore that I wanted to try my hand at making a quilt. Nothing too fancy just a simple quilt for the little lady.

I found a very simple tutorial for a scalloped edge quilt from Zaaberry. I found fabric I loved. I already had batting from the chair recovering project. I thought I was set so I dove in.

I created the scallops, cut the fabric, added the batting, and sewed it together. Everything looked great until I turned it for top stitching. There were major puckers at every scallop! I was beyond disappointed and somewhat at a loss for how to fix it.
I forgot to take a picture of the quilt in all it's horrible glory, but this picture kind of shows the puckers after I cut off the scallops.

I let it sit as I dejectedly tried to come up with a solution. After giving it a few days I decided to abandon the original design. The cause of my problem was the batting. It was too thick for the project, but I wasn't willing to rip out all the seams and buy new batting. I had to let it go. I decided I would cut off the scallops and create a smaller hand tied quilt with rounded edges. So, that's just what I did and while it didn't turn out exactly as planned I still love the fabric and think it will serve the little lady well.

Here's the finished product:

Just goes to show you can't win them all, but you can make it work (in the words of Tim Gunn :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

The End of an Era and the Beginning of Another

Old, faithful Corolla

Almost 10 years ago to the day that I purchased my first vehicle I made my 2nd vehicle purchase!

My 1st and only vehicle until a few days ago was a 1997 Toyota Corolla. This car has been with me through several life changes including being dropped off at college with all my possessions stuffed inside, many roadtrips to Chicago and Kansas, graduating college, getting married, finding my first job, moving across the country 6 times, long work commutes, and having 2 children. When I bought the car it had 37,000 miles on it and today it's still running strong at 211,000 miles. In all those miles it's only broken down once (and when we got it to the mechanic it started for them and they could find nothing wrong :) It's been a very dependable car and I only hope this next vehicle will perform as well. As much as I loathe buying a new vehicle when the current one is still running we've obviously outgrown the Corolla as we were literally sitting in the dashboard to accommodate the gargantuan rear-facing carseats that have taken residence in our backseat.

So, over the summer we began looking for mini vans. We had pretty specific needs which meant there were very few options and seemingly none that fit in our budget. As football season and the arrival of Nora drew near we decided to put the search on the back burner and just continue to save money in hopes of finding something this winter. I hadn't looked for vehicles in over a month, but one day I decided to see if anything new came up and lo and behold a new vehicle showed up on autotrader that fit all of our criteria, was at a dealership near by, and was in our price range. This was a huge answer to prayer and Kyle thought we needed to jump on it...however there was no way he would be able to buy a vehicle at this time (I didn't think I could talk the dealership into opening before 6 am or staying open after 10 pm which is when Kyle is available at this time :) However, the guy who helped me buy my 1st car, moonlights as a mechanic, and happens to be my kids grandpa was in town! What a blessing he was able to go with me to look at the van. It looked great, drove smoothly, and according to my dad the inner components looked good. I called Kyle and he gave me the green light. Thankfully the dealership was a small family owned company with really laid-back salesmen (i.e. no pressure or intense negotiating). My dad did all of the talking and within 5 minutes I was writing a check. I drove the van home and marveled at how God provided in His timing (I was really stressed about the vehicle situation this summer, but once I let it go and tried praying about it we found something when we weren't even really looking).

Our new ride

Toyota Sienna

I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would be excited to own a mini-van. I always said I would never own a mini-van I was more the station wagon type...but we need the extra seats and it's so convenient.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Catching up on the little man

What has Sawyer been up since Nora arrived? Lets just say he has not been lacking attention or people to play with...

Always holding a football

Trapsing around with friends at football practice

Sporting his baseball hat w/ Papa & Gracie

Reading books with Grandma

Playing @ the park w/ Grandma

Learning shapes w/ Grandma

Wrestling w/ Grandpa

He entered his 19th month and wears a size 12 month pant and 18 month - 2T shirt. He's still in a size 3 diaper. I feel like he's putting on more weight but I'm not sure of his actual weight. We also went to the eye doctor this month to check on his estropia. In February his eyes turned easily and he had a +2 prescription. At his appointment in August the doctor could not get his eyes to turn at all! And his prescription had improved to a +1. Praise the Lord that his eyes are improving (which the doctor said is very rare at this age). It will be another year before he goes back to the doctor hopefully his sight will be 20/20 when we return.

His vocabulary continues to expand. Much to our dismay his current favorite word is "no." He says it all the time even when it doesn't apply to the situation or he is just talking to himself :) He is consistently saying 2 and 3 word sentences (ex: Turn on, Let me out).

His favorite toys are rocks and sticks. He shuns the stroller and always asks to walk. This makes every outdoor activity take 3x as long because he has to collect all the rocks and sticks along the way.

He also enjoys going to football practices. He has free reign to run around, he can play with the big football, he plays with the water jug and gets all wet, and he gets to yell/cheer for the players. I think he will really enjoy the games this year!

And we made the switch to a big boy bed! We bought a twin bed about a month ago, but we waited to make the switch until most of our house guests were gone (we needed the bed to create more sleeping arrangements and we didn't want to move Sawyer multiple times). On Sunday Kyle was home (no football activities) and we had no house guests so we decided to take the plunge. In the end we didn't make a big deal out of it. Kyle did the regular bedtime routine, told Sawyer he was going to sleep in his big boy bed, laid him down, and he went right to sleep. In the morning I had to wake him up for an appointment, so we had no issues. For nap I told him we were proud of him being a big boy and again he stayed in bed and took a good nap. The next night/morning I was awoken by a loud bang at 7:30 am. Sawyer was out of bed and pounding on his door ready to start the day. I later learned from my Dad (sleeping in the room beside Sawyer) that he fell out of bed in the middle of the night. He cried for a few minutes and then was silent. We may get a vote for worst parents of the year because we never heard him fall or cry. Plus I don't believe he can crawl into the bed he may or may not have slept on the floor :) The last few sleep periods he has gotten out of bed, but he is always on the floor reading books when I find him. To avoid the potential danger of falling out of bed and us not knowing we have set up our video baby monitor so if we hear anything we can review the situation. But so far he is doing really well and sleeping even longer in his comfortable bed.

He is adjusting well to being a big brother. He loves to talk to the "baby" and often wants to hug and kiss her. He also loves to touch her toes and fingers. He's working on the concept of being gentle :) Thus far he hasn't shown any jealously towards Nora, however he is very needy of my attention (way more than before Nora arrived). He does not like momma to leave his sight, but I think it's just a phase and part of the adjustment process.

His major transitions are almost complete and we're thankful he has been flexible and adjusted well. He certainly has his defiant moments, but I think that's just par for the course :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

3 weeks

On Monday Nora was weighed and measured. Her 2 1/2 week stats were:

7 lbs. 7 0z. (25th percentile)
20 1/4 inches. (50th percentile)

She is consistently sleeping a 6 hour stretch and then a 4 hour stretch at nights. In her 3 weeks there has only been 1 night that she did not sleep well and that kept us up for an extra 2 hours, but we can't complain. At night she is sleeping on her back in the pack'n'play bassinet, but during the day she takes most of her naps on her tummy. She sleeps so soundly on her stomach.

She seems to have very good neck control. When working on tummy time she can lift her head up and change sides. One night she lifted her head up and pushed herself up so she was resting on her elbows/forearms. My MIL was able to slip her hand under her tummy without touching her because she was holding herself that point we determined we would probably have another early mover.

Nora is starting to be more alert and her awake periods are lengthening. She enjoys being held and talked too. She is not so fond of her brother pulling on her arms or hitting heads with her :)

Nora's 2nd week in review:

Chilling in her car seat

All ready for her 1st football scrimmage...she slept through the whole thing

Not too happy about being dressed up, but she was looking too cute for church on Sunday

"brotherly love" in our attempt to get a sibling picture

Enjoying more grandparent time

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Malone Gear & Freezer Paper Stenciling {mini tutorial}

What do the wives of football coaches do to kick off the football season? We have a craft night to make team apparel of course. We decided to try our hand at freezer paper stenciling. This was my 2nd time doing the freezer paper technique and I love the finished product, so I thought I'd show you how we did it. There are lots of great tutorials (link to MADE's tutorial) on the web, but here's a quick run down.

Supplies: shirt (pre-washed), foam brush, fabric paint, freezer paper, and not pictured a piece of cardboard to place between the front and back of the shirt.

1. Create a design. We used the Silhouette to create and cut the stencil, but if you don't have access to a craft cutter you can print the design and then use an exacto knife to cut out the stencil
2. Iron the freezer paper to the shirt (shiny side down). The freezer paper irons down easily just double check to make sure your edges are secure you don't want any paint leakage.

3. Apply paint with a foam brush. Typically 2-4 coats of paint are needed. Allow the paint to dry between coats (you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process). We found white paint takes the most coats.

4. Once the paint is dry carefully peel off the stencil and your fabric paint will remain.

5. Then heat set the image. Place a light piece of cotton fabric (dish towel or another t-shirt) over the image and iron.

6. Enjoy your masterpiece

This is Sawyer's Malone shirt for football season.
The back: daddy's old number

The front: for non-Malone fans it means I heart the moose (Malone's mascot sort of, the MU mascot is a actually a Pioneer, but somehow they depict it as a moose).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vintage {mother & daughter}

My mom gave me a piece of vintage newborn clothing. It just so happens to be one of my baby outfits (can't believe I'm old enough to say that clothes I wore are now vintage).

Oh so feminine with the lace and embroidery. Nora looked adorable!

But sadly this premie sized outfit is already a bit snug on Miss Nora.

She is growing up way too quickly!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sawyer Sampling

Just a few cute shots of our baby before he became the older brother:

Playing ball with his shadow

All ready for church

mischievous much?

genuine smile

Can't get enough snuggles

Talking to the baby


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Her Name & Photos {day 1}

Eleanora: (el leh NOR ah), arabic origins meaning God is my light

Coincidentally, Eleanora was not on our name radar until the day before we made the final decision (when I was 8 months pregnant).

As with Sawyer's name we kept a running list of 5-7 potential names. When it got to the point of narrowing down the list (i.e. I got fed up with not having a name chosen) Kyle and I each selected our top 2 favorite names. We each chose 2 different names. At that point we each got to eliminate our least favorite name from the other person's top 2. That left us with 2 names.

In Sawyer's case I decided I liked both names and left the decision up to Kyle. Like any loving husband he chose his wife's favorite name :)

However, it was a different story this time around. Our favorite names were very different and as hard as I tried to love his name I just couldn't let my name go.

So, this summer as we painted doors and discussed names Eleanora came up. We both looked at each other and thought's out there, but it could work. The next day we started the name discussion again and it was apparent that Eleanora was the perfect name for several reasons:

1) We like the meaning (God is my light)
2) It's a compromise between both of our favorite names
3) It starts with an "E" which is what I wanted
4) It's unique and not likely to become popular anytime soon
5) There are several nicknames (Ellie, Nora, etc)
6) The primary name is Kyle's favorite
Are you curious what the top 2 original names were?
Well I'll let you in on a little secret...

Kyle's #1 name: Nora
Kristen's #1 name: Elaina

Ironically the day after deciding her name was going to be Eleanora I found out one of our neighbors has a daughter named Elaina and a friend at church who is due in September is going to name her child Elaina. These were clear signs that Elaina was not the name for our little one and it allowed me to easily let go of that name.