Thursday, January 30, 2014

Big Girl Bedroom

In anticipation of Fred's arrival we've been doing a little room shuffling. Sawyer and Nora have always shared a bedroom, but since Baby #3 is a boy he would inevitably share a room with Sawyer at some point. So instead of making a new nursery space in the guest bedroom we decided to make the guest bedroom into a big girl room for Nora.

I was actually really excited to create a space for Nora for several reasons:
1) This would be my 1st attempt at a girls room!
2) I purchased a bedding set for Nora over a year ago and had yet to get it out of the package. I bought it at TJ Maxx because it was inexpensive, matched the colors in Sawyer's room (orange and blue) but was still girly. It was just a happy accident that the bedding also fit perfectly in the vibe of her big girl room.
3) I saw this image on Sherwin Williams via Pinterest and I loved it instantly. It is the inspiration shot for Nora's room.

Here's what the guest room looked like originally.

A mix of gray, white and splashes of yellow. Nothing too exciting, but it was clean and neutral.

And now transformed into Nora's big girl room:

I adore the final outcome and Nora is so excited every time she goes in her new room (that's what it is all about, right?)!
Now for the details…
The room actually didn't take much to put together because we used the paint color, curtain, furniture and rug that were already in the room. The bedding I purchased has grey in it so it was just a happy accident that the room was originally gray and yellow. And all the art we had from her previous room, 1 year birthday party or was taken from storage.

The bed skirt we received as a wedding gift and it had never been used (our bed doesn't accommodate a bed skirt). It was off-white, but I simply bleached it and it came out bright white and helped complete the look of the bed. The Cynthia Rowley quilt was purchased over year ago at TJ Maxx. It is twin sized but it seems to fit the full size bed perfectly. I made the orange chevron pillows using pillows we already had and the orange fabric is left over from Nora's kitchen project.

In terms of the art/accessories the orange frame print, fabric "E," white mirror and blue bow holder were all taken from her nursery. The large white mirror and the sunburst mirror were already in the guest room. The scallop bunting and embroidery hoop art was from her 1st birthday party. The only art I "created" was the striped canvas "E." I've had the large canvas sitting in storage for several years and could never settle on a good place for it. When I saw the large empty wall in the room I knew the large canvas would be a perfect solution. However, I am no artist so I needed to create something simple. I used painter's tape to divide the canvas into stripes. I painted the gray and once that was dry I painted the white lines. Then I purchased a large cardboard letter "E" painted it in a coordinating color and attached it to the canvas with 3M picture hanging strips. The total cost for a 25x25 inch piece of art was $2.50 for the craft paint and letter.

The only other thing we purchased for the room was a dresser. We got it on Craigslist. I love that it is solid wood and has nice clean lines. When we purchased the dresser it had been painted a dark gray, but the paint job was chipping off. Kyle sanded the dresser to reveal the wood. Then I primed and painted it. I LOVE how it turned out. Total cost for the transformation was approximately $50. The dresser was $40 and I spent a little more than $10 on the paint since I went with Sherwin Williams, but I have a ton of it left for other projects.
There is one more project I would like to complete. I painted the chevron curtain almost 3 years ago and I never got around to a 2nd coat of paint (I was too excited to hang it), but it really does need another coat.
For a little over $50 we have totally transformed the guest room into a girly retreat for Nora. I probably say this with every makeover, but I truly think this is my favorite room in the house.

And no worries to all our future guests. This will still be the guest room. We now have a set of bunk beds that will soon be in Sawyer's room. Nora will be transplanted to the bunk beds when we have guests :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sawyer (and Nora) Sayings

After Nora threw a fit about eating her supper Sawyer calmly chimes in:
Nora you have 2 choices: eat or get a spank
After a little more coaxing from Sawyer Nora began eating.
Sawyer climbs off his chair and comes and gives me a hug saying:
Thanks for helping Mommy! I am proud of you as he tossles my hair

It's so funny the things he picks up on and imitates...

Daddy and Sawyer while searching for Mommy and Nora in a store.
Daddy: Where's mommy? Maybe we should call her.
Sawyer: No, don't call her. I will roar like a lion and mommy will hear me!

After eating a full meal, which typically only happens if he is dining on a PB and J:
My tummy is full! Look my belly is getting bigger. It has almost caught up to your belly!

Another meal time favorite:
My doggy is full (aka his belly)
Sawyer thinks since mommy has a baby in her belly that girls have babies and boys have doggies in their tummy. He has even named his doggy French Fry.

At the dinner table discussing his Sunday school lesson, about Jesus' miracle of changing water into wine.
Me: What did Jesus change water into?
Sawyer: Plastic?
Me: What?
Sawyer:  He poured water into plastic and it turned red.
They did an experiment in class in which they poured water into a pitcher w/ kool-aid powder and the water instantly turned red. This symbolized the water turning into wine. He took things very literally! Obviously he missed that symbolism.


While riding in the van.
Nora: I'm not a murderer!
Me: What!?
Nora: I'm not a murderer!
Me: Good to know
Nora: that's what Simba says
Maybe she has seen the Lion King a few too many times

While talking to the nurse at a doctor office.
Nurse: Are you silly?
Nora: No, I'm weird!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

iPhone Unload

I got my 1st smart phone in October. I guess I'm now part of the cool club :) The purchase was actually spurred by my contracting job. We don't have a portable GPS and sometimes I would get into trouble directionally when I only had my paper Google maps to consult. So, it was actually a really helpful tool during my fall busy season.

Another bonus is I always have a camera at the ready. The pictures below are the ones I captured from October - December 2013. You may have seen some of them on Facebook, Instagram or the blog, but I wanted to make sure and get them on the blog for memories sake. I love the ability to catch the kids in sweet, everyday moments.

Pictures (top to bottom, L to R): Nora smiling for the new camera, Sawyer already to learning to hide from the camera, Nora being silly, taking a Sonic ice cream break with the kids after a particularly long day of no daddy during football season, Sawyer playing on the iPad with a cowboy hat on of course, Sawyer @ the dentist, Nora giving me the cheese face, sibling love, Nora loves to look in the mirror after I finish doing her hair, Nora's crazy hair, Nora and her favorite doll Buzz Lightyear, Sawyer showing off his Mr. Potato Head creations, Kyle and Kristen after a football game, the big kids testing out the Bumbo for baby Fred, our house band, a girl and her balloon, visiting the Mall of America during a work trip, Nora eating a large and messy donut, reading books, holding hands, Nora's big owie, cheering on Daddy, at their first movie (Planes in 3D), eating ice cream at Chick-fil-a, visiting the fire station, in the press box at Fawcett Stadium, enamored with the 1st snow of the season, Daddy and daughter after a football game, bath time fun, Kristen's 31st birthday, Nora smiling under the covers, a mid-morning snack that they got all by themselves, the aftermath of Kristen's birthday dessert, a new hair cut, visiting Smith Center for Thanksgiving and it is a requirement to have Jiffy Burger, devouring a cupcake one lick at a time, Baby #3 at 20 weeks, Kristen's stress fracture and subsequent walking boot, Sawyer's selfie, Nora's new fashion statement, Nora's intense about her artwork, painting with snow, Sawyer and Mommy at the airport for Christmas, Daddy and Nora at the airport, Sawyer and Mommy ready for pajama day at school, Nora being serious at the airport, Sawyer reading the safety guidelines on the airplane, finally able to move around the kids are excited to play in the family bathroom at the airport, Nora doing a little Christmas shopping with Mommy, Sawyer all ready for sledding, Kyle and Kristen celebrating 8 year wedding anniversary.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hairy News

For several months I knew it was time for Nora's 1st hair cut. While I cut the boys hair I was not brave enough to cut Nora's. And I just kept putting it off because I didn't want to lose her cute curls and I honestly had very little time this fall. Here she is at a Christmas party with her curls in full bloom.

It was getting very long, the static electricity was horrible it just got so tangly. Eventually, after the new year I got fed up and we went to the beauty school while Sawyer was at school.

In the big girl chair

Excited for her hair cut

She was pretty wiggly and the student stylist wasn't very brave. Nora sat still with a sucker and looking in the mirror. The stylist barely cute any length off but by the time she finished Nora was also done so I couldn't really have her go back over it again. Oh well it was only $5.

I won't even really do an after picture because I'm not sure you would even be able to tell the difference. Her natural bangs are cut more evenly and the ends are a bit healthier but I'm not sure that could be conveyed in a picture anyway. Suffice it to say we both survived her 1st hair cut and no one was traumatized so we will be going back every few months for the next 18ish years :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kids Krafts {Baby #3}

Since opening an Etsy store I find myself needing a creative revitalization every January. The holiday season can get a little crazy and just to be honest monotonous. By January I really need to release some creative juices, so I take a little bit of me time to make a few new projects.

I also thought it was high time baby #3 got a little attention. When Sawyer was a newborn and had jaundice he had to wear gowns to accommodate his bili blanket. They were so convenient and comfy, but not so cute.

When Nora came along I knew I wanted a few cute gowns so I made a few using girly, soft fabric on the bottom and a repurposed onesie on top. Here's a picture to refresh your memory (how cute and tiny…can't believe there will soon be another one that small)

This time around I knew I wanted a more masculine gown. When I saw this Rockin' Baby Gown on Pinterest from This Mama Makes Stuff I knew it was the perfect solution.

The first gown took awhile as I had to put together the pattern and get a feel for the tutorial. But once I made the 1st one (it probably took 3 hours) the other 2 were simple and were completed within an hour. Here's my interpretation of the repurposed t-shirt baby gown.

Baby Gowns made from re-purposed t-shirts

I purchased all 3 shirts at Goodwill, but this would be a terrific project to use old shirts from your favorite sports team or your alma mater (must indoctrinate them early). But one bit of advice if you want your gown entirely made from one shirt it needs to be at least a Men's Large.

This one is actually made from a polo, but it wasn't big enough so the sleeves are from a different t-shirt. I actually kind of like the contrast of the solid sleeves with the striped gown.

 This one is my favorite and he will probably be wearing it home from the hospital :) In this picture you can see the cuff on the sleeve. I love this added detail as my newborns are always scratching their faces.

This was my 1st practice gown. Sawyer was super excited that baby brother has a shirt that matches his t-shirt cape :) Plus every boy needs a super hero shirt.

And here's a sneak peek at my current and probably final craft for baby #3. More details to come when I'm finished...

Monday, January 20, 2014


Before becoming a parent I could imagine having a baby and even a toddler, but I never envisioned having a 4 year old! It just seems so old…almost school aged! It's crazy and I know when baby #3 arrives he will seem like a giant.

While Sawyer seems big he still fits his womb name, LG…Little Guy. He weighs 31.4 pounds (10%) and is 38.25 inches tall (11%).

He may be small but as he will tell you he is mighty with his "super duper muscles"

Your most oft used phrase is "I love you, insert name." It's always melts mommy's heart. You say it so often that sometimes I think it is your placeholder phrase. Like during an uncomfortable silence or when you get nervous instead of saying "um" or something like that you go to "I love you." Whether it's because you feel the need to constantly profess your love to your parents or to fill silence I'll take it either way!

You love preschool.

You are a very protective big brother. If Nora is with you in a new situation you will always make sure she is included.

You're not always full of smiles and love...especially during meal times. If you could live on PB and J's you would. You also LOVE cheese roll-ups or cheese quesdillas. Put any other food in front of you and it's probably going to be a battle. At least 1 meal a day involves tears and bribing to get you to eat. Typically once you try it you like it. And sometimes you will surprise us like during your birthday dinner after the meal and cupcakes you ran back into the kitchen and started eating spinach. You munched on that the rest of the night.

You can be quite OCD at times. If something is typically done a certain way it really throws you for a loop if it is done in a different way (i.e. having a wet cup or wet sleeves, even driving a different route to a familiar place)

Your current favorite characters are Spiderman, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Woody. Every now and then I will catch you watching Sesame Street. While Elmo and Big Bird may not be your favorites anymore they still hold a special place in your heart.

You love technology and are quite adept at figuring things out. Put any kind of electronic game in front of you and you will figure out the game quite quickly.

You love to play board/card games. You are always up for playing any kind of game. And you are getting to the point where all play must be turned into a game. For example, you can no longer just run around you have to play tag. Even eating has become a race to you.

When I ask who your best friend is you always say "Nora."

Your energy is limitless. I have yet to see you stop playing because of fatigue. You could literally run around in circles for hours.

You are at your happiest when you have room to run and explore.

You have phased out of napping :( but do have a rest time for approximately 2 hours. If you do take a nap the earliest you will go to bed is 10 pm.

You wear size 3T and 4T pants and shirts. Most of the 3T shirts are getting too short. You typically wear a 4T pant, but I don't think you have ever truly grown out of any pants evidenced by the fact that last week you wore size 18 month shorts to gymnastics. And you wear a size 11 shoe. Your underwear are still size 2...what can I say you have a very small bum :)

You LOVE to run, jump and kick. We got you a soccer ball for your birthday and you LOVE to play and are even taking instruction from Daddy well.

You learn best by listening. You can repeat whole monologues from movies. You remember song lyrics easily. You always remember the Bible story from Sunday school when we ask you to recall it. It may not seem like you're always listening but I'm always surprised by how much you pick up.

After Christmas I decided it was time for a toy purge and I thought it was be a good idea to include you and Nora for the 1st time. I explained how less fortunate kids did not have many toys. Then I explained that we were going to go through the toy box and give away the toys you no longer play with. As we went through each toy you wanted to give them all away even your new Christmas presents. I explained that you didn't have to give the toys you play with and you wouldn't be able to play with the toys anymore once we gave them to the other children. But you were still determined to give much of it away. Your sister on the other hand was the exact opposite :) I hope you always have such a giving spirit!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

28 weeks {Baby #3}

Again I'm a little behind, but we've been doing so much celebrating I haven't had a chance to update.

How far along: 28 weeks
Total weight gain: 20 lbs.
Maternity clothes: Yes
Sleep: pretty good despite frequent bathroom breaks for myself and Nora (I think both of our bladders are about the same size :)
Best moment this week: Celebrating Sawyer's birthday
Movement: Yes, all the time, especially at night or when one of the kids is pushing on my belly he will push back
Food cravings: nothing specific, I haven't been very hungry, but my sweet tooth is definitely back in full force
What I'm missing: being able to bend over comfortably
What I'm looking forward to: Same as last month…switching Nora to her big girl room so I can finally pull out the baby gear and get it arranged

My doctor's appointment this month was short and sweet. I'm measuring right on. His heart rate was in the 140's. I'm slightly concerned by my weight gain thus far. I am currently at the weight I gave birth to Sawyer and Nora, but this time I still have 3 months left. Oh well, what am I going to do? The doctor is not concerned so I'm not going to stress. What's a few more pounds to lose when I get to finally hold this precious boy? This appointment was my final monthly visit. Now it's bi-weekly visits! We're getting closer…just wish we were closer to naming this fellow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Day of Celebration

Since Daddy was out-of-town for Sawyer's actual birthday we decided to celebrate the weekend before (he didn't even know the difference). The day began with chocolate chip pancakes which is always a crowd favorite!

We originally planned to have a small sledding party. Sawyer adores sledding and I loved the idea of having a party away from the house :) However, when the day arrived it was rainy and all the snow was gone. So we changed plans and let Sawyer invite 1 friend to the new trampoline arena. We had never been, but we knew if it involved jumping Sawyer would LOVE it. And as you will see from the plethora of pictures below it was a total success. Sawyer was in his element and Nora (who we weren't sure would even be able to participate) also loved it. And sorry in advance for the super blurry pictures it was pretty much impossible to get a clear picture even with my DSLR.

running from trampoline to trampoline


playing dodgeball

jumping into the air pad

this was probably his favorite activity even though I think he made everyone in the building nervous because he was so small, but he LOVED it
Nora taking a snack break
this boy doesn't know the meaning of taking a break, more running

Nora in action

she caught on pretty quickly

jumping into the trampoline wall

bouncing off said wall :)
They jumped for an hour which was the perfect amount of time. As the hour came to an end Nora was getting tired and the boys were getting hungry. Plus the facility was starting to fill up with much bigger kids so it was time for us to head out.

Nora trampoline from Kristen Schenk on Vimeo.
The party crowd

Sawyer Trampoline from Kristen Schenk on Vimeo.

After leaving the trampoline arena we headed to Chick-fil-a for Sawyer's lunch of choice. We ended it with Spiderman cupcakes (Sawyer's 1 birthday request) of course. Sawyer doesn't like frosting so that is why the cupcakes look a little plain :)

And my other child only likes the frosting…as it you couldn't tell. She will lick ever last bit of frosting, but leave the cake

After lunch and a little playing we said good-bye to our friend Jake. Even though it was a very small party I couldn't resist a little party favor. Taking Sawyer's cue Spiderman was the "theme" of the day. I purchased Spiderman notebooks and Spiderman crayons at the Dollar Tree and stuck them in a bag for each of the kids. Sawyer and Nora played with that for several hours the next day.

After returning home and taking a nap it was time to prepare for a family dinner with Uncle Cliff and Aunt Jess. Sawyer requested tacos and of course Spiderman cupcakes. He was very excited that his party was continuing through the evening :)

Sawyer's other major request was party hats, so of course I had to oblige. He was quite happy and made everyone join in.

Our little family in our party hats

getting embarrassed during the Happy Birthday song

Blowing out his candles
And to round out the evening Sawyer opened his gifts. He was so excited about each one. I love this age! He is so enamored with his new toys! He got several things to use during his rest time (since he refuses to take a nap most days) including Legos and a LeapReader pen. We also got him a soccer ball and he has been practicing every day.

The parents were exhausted by the end of the day, but it was all worth it because Sawyer loved every minute of his little celebration. It was nice to have a small celebration and to spend our time really celebrating this amazing boy. We are so blessed that God entrusted us with him 4 years ago!