Friday, April 30, 2010

How I Digi Scrapbook

I've had a couple of requests both on here and facebook on how I'm doing the digital scrapbooking, so I'm just going to post a little blog. Feel free to click off if you aren't interested.

1.) Software/Program: I'm using a program called to put together the pages. It's a free program that you can download from their website. They say it is very similar to adobe photoshop and has a lot of the same tools. I could never figure out photoshop, no matter how much I played around with it, plus it's expensive. I find to be SOOOO much easier to use. I adore it.

2.) Scrapbooking Kits/Papers: You can find these downloadable for free all over the internet. I basically just did a google search for digital scrapbooking papers/kits/embellishments until I found what I was looking for. Of course, there are also several sites that offer kits for a price too, which is usually pretty reasonable. We're talking like $1-$2 for a kit that would cost anywhere from $8-$15 if you bought it in paper form at the store. That being said, Shabby Princess has some really great kits that you can download for free.

3.) Tips/Suggestions: Um... well, I really just got started, so I don't really have a lot to offer by way of tips. I just downloaded everything I wanted and went through hard drives of pictures to find the ones I wanted, and then just started playing around with it. I will tell you that if you want to put an embellishment on your paper with a transparent background you have to click "paste into new layer" on or it will just paste it in with an ugly white square behind it. There are plenty of tutorials and lay out advice on the net though if you get stuck or need help, just google it. That's really the best tip I can give. That and just keep playing with it, you'll figure it out. That's pretty much how I do it.

This is a page I did of Nadia as a baby using a few of the different kits from Shabby Princess! Have fun with your digi scrapbooking!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking:

It's addicting. I can't leave it alone. It all started with trying to redo my blog layout... and then it just took off from there. Thank goodness I have a crock pot that I started dinner in yesterday morning or we all might have gone hungry yesterday. I've already done our first year as a family.

No more buying expensive printed papers and embellishments. I can download them for free. No more cutting and punching out thousands of tiny paper pieces. No more pages of stickers roaming the house waiting for Nadia to put them on the walls, the tv, the bathtub. No more searching for glue sticks. I have gone digital and I am obsessed. It's so EASY! And then it's just a matter of printing the pages and shoving them into the many scrapbooks collecting dust waiting for me to DO something with them already.

I can use the same stuff to do blog layouts. I can use the same stuff to make greeting cards. And the best part??? It's all FREE. The program I'm using, the paper kits I'm using. All downloaded free off the internet. Why didn't I do this SOONER?

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

I had THE BEST plans for today. First, I was going to sleep in a bit, and then get up and kind of pick at the house work. I planned on staying home all day and nursing my sun burnt, crispy shoulders by doing very little of anything. I planned on having a nice relaxing day with the kiddos right here at home. But you know what they say about "the best laid plans...."

Usually, the baby will chill in his crib for a bit first thing in the morning and talk to the birds outside of his window, or Nadia will go in and entertain him with puppet shows and things for a bit so I can get a little extra dozing time. NOT SO this morning. Nadia woke up early and immediately started demanding breakfast. Quick on her heals was Calvin who decided this morning that he wanted OUT. NOW. So much for my extra 30 minutes of snooze time.

I rolled out of bed and changed the baby, brought him into the kitchen and strapped him in his chair. While he entertained himself with the high chair toy attachment thing, I popped Nadia's waffle into the toaster. While it was toasting, I made the baby his oatmeal and applesauce. I spread peanut butter on the waffle (this is something Nadia LOVES to eat for breakfast, and quite frankly she could use the extra protein and fat, so we go for it), and fixed some juice for the baby and then sat them both down for breakfast together. I fed Calvin while Nadia ate her waffle, and then turned them both loose in the living room to play while I did clean up.

I wanted a cup of coffee SOOOO bad this morning. I haven't been able to drink it since day uno of this pregnancy. And not just because of the caffeine, but because every time I've tried to cheat for one cup, it's made me horribly ill. I went for it anyway, I could literally taste it just thinking about it. Got it all the way brewed and realized my creamer had expired MONTHS ago, so had to substitute some fat free milk. It also happened to be the last 1/4 cup of milk we had left, and an attempt to make toast revealed we were down to one piece of bread. In the process of throwing out the expired creamer I also remembered we were out of garbage bags.

So much for staying at home, I was going to have to make a trip to the store. I decided to put it off until after the baby's morning nap, during which I spent an obscene amount of time trying to edit my blog layout on paint.NET. I'm still not entirely sure if I'm happy with it, but I'm happier, so at least there's that. Once the baby woke up, I dressed both kids and managed to make myself look somewhat human and then headed to the store.

Nothing really interesting happened while at the grocery store unless you want to count all of the near misses I had with other people's grocery carts. I'm hesitant to say it was just me, since after all I'd had a cup of coffee that morning.... but it was CRAZY in there today! We got home just in time for me to fix lunch and then get the baby down for his afternoon nap, during which I spent an obscene amount of time playing with my blog layout. (yes, again) Right before the baby woke up, my younger sister called to say she was on her way to town and wanted to know if me and the kids wanted to go swimming with her, Jeff, and his daughter Haylee.

Remember, I'm sun burnt from yesterday, but I didn't think it was bad enough to miss out, and I could always chill under the umbrella while the kids splashed around with Aunt Allie, so I agreed. AFTER I agreed, Allie mentioned she would need me to go pick up my niece Anita from day care so she could come with. When I got there, there was a bit of a mix up since they were expecting Allie. Figured that out. Back in the car. Onwards and sideways!

Once we got to the pool, and a gust of wind lifted the umbrella and threw against the house (no lie) I decided to heck with it, and doused myself in SPF 70 and got in the water. After all, swimming is the ONLY exercise I'm allowed to partake in right now. As I'm packing up the kids and all of our gear to head home, my other sister calls and asks me if I could take Anita home with me and give her a bath since her bathroom is still under reconstruction. Before I knew it, everyone was coming over for dinner. Er..... chicken and rice anyone????

So I came home, I cooked dinner, I fed kids, I bathed kids, I cleaned off the table, I put kids to bed. Now I'm going to spend an obscene amount of time playing with my blog layout. (just kidding!..... maybe.....) Oh well... there's always tomorrow!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Day at the Lake

Last Sunday, the hubs and I were discussing how we just couldn't wait to start celebrating the warm weather months with barbecues and beach trips. We've been barbecuing with several of our friends for the last couple of weeks now, and we decided it was time to get to the water. Instead of trying to a make a large trip to the beach, we just loaded up and headed over to a local lake instead.

It was GORGEOUS! We had some thunderstorms the last couple of days, but today was full of bright sunshine and nice breezes. We didn't have to worry about the kids getting dragged under by the waves, it was TONS less crowded than the beach, just laid back, easy FUN.

Even Calvin got in on the water action. He LOVED it. He just kicked back in his little boat and splashed in the water, and just enjoyed himself. While us girls were swimming with the kids and soaking up the sun, the boys manned the grill and cooked up some hamburgers and dogs.

We munched on some snacks and played in the sand. We just had ourselves a grand ol' time.

Right before we loaded up to leave, some ducks made their way over to the shore. The kids went nuts and threw them an entire bag of puff corn, which made for some very happy ducks.

All in all, it was a simply fantastic day and yet another reminder of why I could never move away from here. I LOVE my friends. We have a great time wherever we are and the company is always enjoyable. I can't wait to go back. We are all thinking of buying some season passes so we can head on over whenever we want.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What's For Dinner:

Tonight I'm making this enchilada casserole stuff based on the Taste of Home cookbook's slow cooker version. Momma used to make the slow cooker enchiladas, but I can never remember to put it all together in the morning so I found a neat way to cheat.

Enchilada Casserole:

1 lb ground beef or turkey (we are doing turkey because we are trying to be healthier, and of course, you could omit the meat all together to go vegetarian)

1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 can of pintos (drained and rinsed)

1 can of chili ready diced tomatoes

1/2 cup salsa

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cumin

Chili powder to taste (depends on how spicy you want this)

6 flour or corn tortillas, medium-ish sized

2 cups of shredded cheese (I used colby and monterey jack)

*Note: You can used chopped onion and garlic if your husband and kids don't pick at their plate and complain about the "bits" in their food. Mine do, so I've just resigned myself to using the powdered versions.

Brown the ground beef or turkey and then drain the fat. Re-add it to a large deep skillet or in a medium sized sauce pot. Add the tomatoes, both cans of beans, the salsa, and the seasonings. Stir well and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
Spray a medium sized casserole dish with non stick spray. I used a 9x9 square baking dish, because that is what I had that would fit everything. You could use an oval one or a circular one or whatever, just make sure it's nice and deep.
Start by placing one tortilla in the bottom of the dish. Layer on a cup of the meat and beans mixture, and then sprinkle on a layer of cheese. Add another tortilla and repeat until you run out of stuff or room. The top layer should be the meat and beans, and then add the remaining cheese. I crushed up some tortilla chips and topped it with those as well.
Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 for 35 minutes.
The Taste of Home version says it serves 4. Um.... yeah... Momma used to feed 4 teenagers and 2 adults off of ONE of their casseroles, so I would say that this would feasibly serve 6. Especially if you serve it with a nice salad on the side. YUM! And now... I'm going to go shove some of this in my face and then head on over to Beth's for a MUCH needed GIRL'S NIGHT! YAY!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby Update:

I just got back from my baby check up with the doctor, where I got the report from my ultrasound last week. According to Dr. B, pretty much NOTHING has changed from the ultrasound done immediately after the tear. I was really thinking that after a month, 3 weeks of which were spent on bed rest that there would have been much more healing going on, but Dr. B says it looks pretty much exactly the same. There has been a very tiny amount of reparation, but not anything to get excited about.

Dr. B also said that the area that tore was/is a very LARGE area, so it is just something we are going to have to watch for the remainder of the pregnancy. I will have an ultrasound once a month until delivery, so that we can keep an eye on it, and anything else that might (but hopefully WON'T) develop. It was really kind of disheartening because I was hoping to hear that it wasn't that bad of an incident and that things were healing up just fine. Dr. B kept saying he doesn't expect for there to be any other incidents, and that as long as I continue to watch and limit my activity we should be okay, but the overhanging need for concern and watchfulness sort of puts a damper on things.

On a brighter, happier note, I can feel baby Lena moving around all the time now. She is still growing and developing at a healthy rate, so it doesn't seem as though the tearing is affecting her any. She keeps me up at night swimming around in there and when I talk to her she bumps back. Also, if I'm being honest, I'm kind of happy about the frequent ultrasounds and getting to see her every month. I cannot wait for this little one to make here, safe and sound and healthy. I'm 19 weeks along as of today, so right at half way along.

Happy Earth Day Give Away!

In honor of Earth Day, I am giving away the above bag, which was made by recycling t-shirts! Even the flower accent is made from a strip of t-shirt left over from making other bags. Hooray for up cycling and re-using!! I used this tutorial for making the bag, but made some changes. I found after making the pink bag yesterday following her instructions that the bag was difficult to situate on the shoulders for carrying. So I used a different method, but still the idea was hers originally so credit where it's due and all that.
BUT! If you want to win it and have a neat little stretchy, Earth friendly tote for going to beach, the pool, the gym, the store or wherever, you can enter my little give-away. Only 1 entry per person, so just leave a comment to enter. If you don't follow or have a blog/website attached to your comment, please leave an email where I can contact you if you win!
Entries will be open until Monday, April 26th. Then I will enter every one's names into a random name generator and let it pick the winner.
Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Stuff:

Tim bought me a brand new water bottle with a straw. It's exactly like the other one I had, but a little better. So he's off the hook.

I made this stretchy bag out and the flower out of old t-shirts today using this tutorial, from Between The Lines.

Then I went and got my hair chopped off because I was tired of how long and thick it was. I never have the 45 minutes it takes to blow dry it and fix it, so I called my favorite hair lady person EVER and begged her to fit me in, and she did.

Yay! It's so short and cool now! She even went through with those little choppy shears and thinned it all out for me. I love this woman. And no, I'm not telling who she is because then everyone will want to go there and she won't be able to take me at a moment's notice. So there!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Big Girls Don't Cry:

This morning I had a joint dentist appointment with Nadia. I LOATHE the dentist. I always feel like my teeth are a lot more gross AFTER they clean them than before I get in there. Because of my complete cowardice concerning having my teeth cleaned, it has been a little over 5 years since my last cleaning.

The tech who did our cleanings thought it would be a wonderful idea if I went first, so Nadia could watch and see what to expect. Well, needless to say, since I am preggers, my gums bled. A LOT. Five minutes into my cleaning, Nadia was horrified and cowering in the chair in the corner of the room. I thought for sure they were going to have to sedate her with laughing gas just to be able to clean her teeth.

Surprisingly, though, she did REALLY well! Of course, we know now that she is not doing the best job of cleaning her own teeth, but we had already kinda figured that anyway. We've been helping her with her teeth for the last month or so, but we're still going to have to go back in May for her to get a filling. Also, her teeth are apparently coming in REALLY early. She already has all of her 6 year molars, and a permanent tooth half way grown in where she lost the other one. And hey, I didn't cry either! So we both did great!

Afterwards, the rest of my day was kinda... not really... BAD. I was just really emotional, and everything seemed a lot worse than it actually was. For example, I had a complete crying meltdown because my doc told me I am not allowed to do even light walking. Not even a stroll through the park and then I couldn't find the straw to my water bottle. The water bottle was the most upsetting. It was MY water bottle, and Tim lost the straw and now I can't use it. And I can't walk around the park or drink water EVER AGAIN so I'll just have to spend the WHOLE SUMMER feeling like a MOO COW. UGH!!!! (go ahead and have a giggle at my preggo hormone drama, it's okay. I would.)

On the upside: We decided on the baby's name. Surprise, surprise, it's not one that even made it to the list I posted a week ago. We are going to name her Helena Nicole (Hel-leena, NOT Helen-ah), and we are using Lena as a nickname which I LOVE. The suggestion for Helena came from the baby's godmother to be, my dear friend Barb. And Nicole is Barb's middle name which I thought flowed really well with the first name. So I'm excited, I love it. The hubs loves it. The Godmother loves it. WEWT!

Monday, April 19, 2010

With the Sweet, Comes the Sour

And vice-a-versa apparently. Today was glorious compared to the last two stress filled ones. Tim was off of work today, so I got to sleep in a little later than usual while he did the kids' breakfast and such.

We went to Walmart and the Tractor Supply Store to get a new blade for the lawn mower. I had no idea how much cool stuff is in the Tractor Supply store, and at really awesome prices too. Why didn't anybody TELL ME?!!! I got a new wall hangy bit for my front door, some cracked corn for filling heat therapy packs and boo-boo packs, and I probably would have spent Tim's entire paycheck in there if he hadn't dragged me to the car.

Then we went out for lunch at the new Mexican place in town. It was DELICIOUS! After we got home, my sister Allie called and said she was in town and headed over our way to go swimming at a friend's house. Only, these friends are more like family because their daughter, Katie, baby sat for us from when I was the baby's age until I was in high school, and then we baby sat for her children... and now her kids are old enough to babysit our kids..... you get the picture. So, anyway, she was headed to Mary's to swim and me and the B went with.

It was so nice to relax and lounge by the pool and float around in there. Mary (or Grammy to the kids) has been a nurse for years and reminded me that swimming is the best exercise for pregnant women because it takes the pressure off of the legs and reduces swelling and back pain and all that other wonderful preggo stuff. So I now have an open invitation to go over and use the pool whenever I please, and since they live literally 5 minutes away, I'm thinking that is going to be pretty often this summer. How awesome is that?! I had A LOT of swelling last year with Calvin's pregnancy, like to the point where I couldn't even wear flip-flops without cutting off the circulation in my feet. He was born in August, so I was the most pregnant at the hottest time of the year down here in the South. Since this baby is due early September, it will be more of the same, so I'm excited to have an outlet for a little relief.

In any case, the day was overall very relaxing and distracting and just what I needed. Now if I can just remember to make my appointments to use my spa gift certificates, I'll be relaxed in NO TIME!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not The Right Place

They say that the internet is not the acceptable place to air one's intimate family drama. I'm inclined to agree... especially when it comes to more social sites like facebook and myspace, but the last couple of days it has been SOOOOO hard not to come here and post a rant or even boo-hoo-ish post.

I will go so far as to say it's not problems between me and the hubs, or me and the kids. But it is family, and as such, that is as much detail as I will disclose on a public blog space. In any case, the last couple of days have been EXTREMELY stressful for me, leaving me feeling wrung out and hung up to dry emotionally and I could really use a hug. *sigh*

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Really, I DID!!!!

Today was my first day officially off of bed rest, and was also the first day that I've had the kids and the house all to do by myself in 3 weeks! The order to "take it easy" still stands, however, and it was REALLY hard to stick to that today. Not only have I been cooped up and antsy for the last few weeks, but there are a million little things that I do, that haven't gotten done and it's been driving me CRAZY.

Don't get me wrong, my hubs, he's a one of a kind man. He TRIED very hard to be me while he was home. Very hard. See, keeping house and taking care of the kids and making dinner, is my "job." And hang on, all you feminists who are about to get all horrified, I LOVE it. This is my CHOICE. My hubs doesn't care one toot if I want to go out and have a career or go back to school or get a job or stay home and take care of our little ones, as long as I'm happy doing it, he's 100% supportive. I feel very blessed that a little over a year ago, our situation became such that I am able to stay home full time, and we can still live comfortable lives. We aren't rolling in big money, and we still have to budget for me to be able to do this, but we always have enough, and that is a blessing that I am quick to acknowledge and be thankful for.

The last few weeks, I've been trying very hard not to pay attention to the little things that have been going undone. After all, Tim has been trying to stay on top of his job and mine. I felt too guilty to sit there on the couch and tick off things for him to do, so unless it was major, I just let it slide. But NOW, oh now that I can DO things, I've been all over the house today exclaiming things like, "When was the last time someone SWEPT IN HERE? OH MA GAH!" and "Why does no one ever scrub the TOILET?! EWWWW!!!!"

Tim seems to have this thing about cleaning where he just does surfaces. He'll do dishes and wipe counters, but not sweep. He'll clean out the sink and wipe out the tub, but not sweep or scrub the potty. He'll dust, but not vacuum. Keep in mind, I'm not complaining. I get told all the time that several women would commit murder for a hubs who does the dishes or folds laundry. However, at our house is an 8 month old on the GO and if floors don't get swept and vacuumed, he is forever putting whatever he can find in his mouth.

So I did dishes, and ran the vacuum, and swept, and scrubbed the bathrooms. I wiped counters and tables and made dinner. Now I know what some of you are going to say, but trust me, I DID! I took it easy! For example, I didn't move the stove and refrigerator so I could sweep and steam mop under and behind them. I didn't get on my hands and knees to scrub base boards. I didn't do any laundry, and I didn't climb on chairs to wipe the dust from the ceiling fan blades! So see?! I think I did pretty good. Oh, and I also cheated on dinner. I made spaghetti but got bread sticks from Pizza hut to go with. ... and okay, I'll admit I also ordered some of the chocolate dunker bread sticks for desert... but only because Nadia begged for them. Ahem...

In any case, I really did take lots of breaks and such and even got a little reading done. It was really nice to be able to take care of the kids all by myself again, and to be able to sweep up crumbs instead of having to look at them until I could get up with someone else to get at them. Now, as soon as Tim gets home if he'll just move some appliances around I can get things back to normal around here!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!

Although how the ultrasound tech could tell what anything was is beyond me. Baby is all scrunched up in a tiny little ball and is lying horizontally across my stomach, which I was told makes her really difficult to scan. Her profile is pressed right up against the uterine wall, and she was very uncooperative.

I know you can never tell what is what in the pictures, but I'm sharing them anyway. This first one is of her two little feet, and one of her hands, which gives you an idea of how scrunched up she is!

Here's the one of her profile. I outlined it in a little yellow so it would be easier to make out. Because of her position, it was difficult for the tech to find all of her measurements and we had a bit of a scary moment while looking for the heartbeat. Apparently the tech shot the spine instead of the heart so when we were expecting the rapid little heartbeat, we heard a very slow pulse instead. She moved the wand around a little and found the actual heartbeat, which was just as fast and strong as it should be. WHEW!

If I'm being honest, I think I knew this baby was going to be a girl. I can tell from my hormones and my moods. All that extra estrogen is taking it's toll, lemme tell ya! Anyway, we are all VERY excited! Especially Nadia who soooo wanted this baby to be a girl as she "already had a brother, and didn't need another one!" *laughs*

Also, Dr. Bowen has taken me off of bed rest for now. My new orders are to simply play it safe and take it easy. No heavy lifting, of course, and no over-doing, but I'm allowed to get back to some semblance of my normal routine and can pick up the baby. However, Calvin is the only thing more than 5-10 pounds that I'm allowed to lift, which is FINE with me! YAY! So all in all, lots of good news today!

I am now taking suggestions for Baby Girl Names, too, as I'm still unsure of what to name this baby. With Nadia and Calvin, I just KNEW, right off the bat what their names would be. I just haven't found a name yet that really gives me that feeling for this baby, and by this time in both of my other pregnancies I had long since chosen. It's making kind of anxious. So suggest away!

Names we've considered:

Stella Rose
Stella Grace
Moira Grace
Zaria (middle name meh??.. but I love the Z, and it's also Russian, like Nadia)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Budding Artist

So, rather than post any more of what I've been doing lately, I thought I would share with you some of Nadia's latest art work. Like me, when I was young, she just can't seem to get enough of paper, paint, markers, crayons, pencils... you name it.

Here is a rainbow she painted with some watercolors the other day. There are trees at the bottom and a sun in the sky. Rainbows are her FAVORITE recently.

This is a picture of a "pregnant cheetah." Ever since we found out about the new baby, there have been drawings of various "pregnant" things.

Here is a drawing of some zoo animals. There is clearly a giraffe, a cheetah, a tiger, a zebra, and a lion. There is also a tree which the giraffe is snacking on. It's a whole safari!

This is a picture she drew of me. I am pregnant in the picture. See the circle with the dot in the middle? That is my pregnant tummy and the dot is the baby. I don't know why, but I think it's hilarious! It hangs on the fridge.

This is her latest painting that she did today. There are flowers, a sunshine, and the animal to the left is a horse. The giant purple bug in the sky is a "flying lady bug."
I love her art. Yesterday she spent ALL DAY printing out pictures from PBS kids and coloring them. Each picture was of a different room in the house, like the kitchen, the living room, the bed room, etc. She colored each one and then glued them all together to make a "house out of paper." It's HUGE, and she is so proud of it! I think my ultimate favorite is going to have the picture of me pregnant though. Or the preggo cheetah. That's kinda funny too. LOL

More of the Same, But Different

Are you tired of seeing the stuff I've made yet? Well, then probably this isn't the post for you. Also if you are tired of seeing this beautiful yellow print, then probably you want to just move along.

I made this aroma/heat therapy rice pack the day before yesterday. I had seen a few tutorials around the blogosphere on making them, and remembered the one Mom made when my sisters and I were teenagers and my older sister started suffering from monster menstrual cramps. Hers was made out of an old towel and was ugly as sin, but hey, IT WORKED! I used an old t-shirt to make the inner pack that houses the rice and scented my rice with essential oils so it would smell all pretty. Then I made it a nice little slip cover out of some left over fabrics I had. Mine is version 1.0 and I made the cover like a bag that velcros shut at one end. You take the inner part out and put it in the microwave and out comes yummy soothing heat! It's kinda hard to get the rice bag in the cover though, and requires a lot of shaking and moving stuff around. But, again, it works, and has been WONDERFUL therapy for my aching shoulders, lower back, and sore hips. I'm going to make a mini one for head aches too. I had a major head ache and neck ache last night and Tim entered the living room to find me with this thing wrapped all funky around my head and neck and stuff and started laughing. In the future I'd kinda like my headaches to be taken a little more seriously, So I'll make a small one. When I got finished, I posted pics and explanations on my facebook like I always do, and can you believe in less than an hour someone ordered one?!

This is the set I made for her. I can't believe I'm getting paid for this, but I'm not going to complain. I made Tim go to Glenn's yesterday and buy some unbleached cotton muslin. Then I went by the local wellness center and bought some new essential oils and some raw flax seed. Cyndi's set is version 2.0. I made the inner bag out of cotton muslin instead of old t-shirt. I filled hers with a mixture of the raw flax seed and rice because I read that the flax seed helps to cut back on the "cooked rice" smell as well as helps the pack to hold heat longer. I scented hers with a relaxation blend of essential oils, and now my whole sewing room smells AWESOME. I made the cover for this pack more like a pillow sham with a pretty cotton print on the front and a muslin backing. You can slide the inner pack in and out much easier that way and I don't have to waste my time with velcro. I made her an eye pillow with the same fabrics and fillings that can be put in the fridge or freezer for a soothing cool eye mask. I think I need one of those too.

Tomorrow is my ultrasound day! So hopefully tomorrow I will have a little more news!

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Stuff:

I actually made this tee pee for Nadia last summer... or was it the summer before that? Heck, I don't remember. Anyway, for one reason or another, I never got around to posting any pictures of it. I had actually spent like 2 weeks online looking at other people's tee pees trying to figure out how to make one. Then I purchased a pattern. I got anxious waiting for the pattern to get here and decided to just wing it. I still have never opened the pattern. I kinda want my $15 back. We've gotten a lot of use out of this thing. It collapses to be put in the corner, a closet, under the bed, etc. And you can put it up ANYWHERE. It's large enough to be an outside fort, but not outrageously large enough that it can't be used inside too. We've even taken it to the beach for the kids to have a little extra shade.

I made this shoulder bag today for my Mom. She has been asking me for a bag since.... Christmas? Thanksgiving?! Despite countless attempts to get her to purchase a reusable tote for like $1 (they are seriously everywhere, even Bath and Body Works had some super cute fold-able ones for $1.50), she insisted she would just wait until I made her one. I used some of the left over fabric from making Nadia's outfit. I LOVE these prints. Especially the yellow and white one. I still have a good bit left over of both fabrics. Who knows what I'll do with them. ANYWAY, I used This Tutorial, sort of, to make it. I changed the dimensions and stuff, but used that shape and her instructions. Mom came over just as I was finishing it up. She pretty much snatched it as soon as I pulled it off the sewing machine. I had to distract her with the baby to be able to snap this photo of it, and obviously I didn't get time to iron it to make it look more finished. Oh well, at least I know she likes it!

The sewing thing is keeping me busy without breaking the "no long time on your feet" rules. I just do a little bit, in between spurts of sitting with my feet up on the couch or propped up in a lawn chair outside. That pretty much allows me one project per day, or every two days. I've also been spending an obscene amount of time on the internet looking up free tutorials. I am going to send the hubs to Glenn's(my favorite discount fabric store)to get me a yard of muslin on tuesday so I can make some of those heat therapy rice bags. I want one for my lower back and shoulders, and I want to make one of the cold therapy ones for a "boo boo" bag. I'm thinking I might do an eye pillow too. I'm going to break out the aromatherapy oils and scent them too. That's my project for this next week, along with making two outfits similar to the one I made Nadia with the pillow case top and shorts. My friend wants one for her little girl, and my sister wants one for my niece. I should have known better than to ever make a pillow case ANYTHING.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Things I Made Today:

Made this outfit for Nadia. Reversible criss cross pinny and ruffled capri's. My camera ate the last two AA batteries in the house so I had to take these pics with the cell phone. Boo for crappy photography.

Here's the reversed side of the top and a better pic of the print on the fabrics I used. I figured out how to make the top without it having to tie at the shoulders. Eventually I will figure out how to make the shoulders without tying or buttoning at the shoulders. I refuse to spend $10 on a pattern that I have already figured out on my own for just that ONE piece of knowledge!!!

I made this pie for dessert. It's from Prevention Magazine's 400 Calorie Fix book. I don't own the book. YET. I bought a copy of their magazine that had a sample pull out of the book. I'm obsessed with the sample pull out. As soon as I come across some extra cash, I'm buying the book. ANYWAY, this pie is so easy, and it's kinda sorta "diet-ish." It's just graham cracker crust, 2-6oz containers of low fat yogurt, and 2 cups lite cool whip. Mix up the yogurt and cool whip, spoon into crust. Freeze to set. I made tonight's with raspberry yogurt. The next time I make it I'm using the key lime pie flavored yogurt. Oh. Yeah. 1/8 of the pie is 210 calories. The book says to eat it with a homemade latte to make up one of your 400 calorie meals for the day. It's good all on it's own though.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only 6 More Days!

I have 6 more days until my next ultrasound, and I. Can't. Wait. Not only will I be far enough along to *hopefully* find out the baby's gender, but we will also be able to see how things have progressed in the healing department. I am really hoping that things will be healthy enough to warrant at least a partial lift of the bed rest. At least enough that I can pick up Calvin and maybe run the vacuum cleaner now and then.

I have been fairly good at following the Dr.'s instructions if you ask me. I keep my feet up most of the time, and don't walk around or stay on my feet for long periods of time. I haven't picked up the kids, or done laundry, or bent over to load the dishwasher. But there was just NO way I was going to make it through another week in the actual bed. So I kinda took my bed rest on the fly: sometimes on the living room couch or propped up in a lawn chair. At least that way, I've been able to feel like I'm still a part of the every day world and enjoy a little sun shine.

However, I'm still more than ready to see the end of bed rest, so I'm hoping that after the ultrasound Dr. Bowen will just tell me to take it easy. I don't mind being banned from doing the laundry for a few more weeks, but I need to be able to pick up the baby. Plus, I really want to go grocery shopping. I ALWAYS do the grocery shopping. Not because the hubs is in any way incompetent, but because I LIKE to the shopping. I like looking at things and buying things and cooking dinner. The most depressing day of this last week was when I didn't get to go do the grocery shopping. I actually contemplated calling the Dr. and asking if I could go. Tim said I should have went and used one of the power chair things they have available for the elderly and such. I was tempted. You have no idea how tempted.

In other news, Nadia got the rest of her shots needed to attend Kindergarten this week. She still refuses to take off the band-aids for fear that her "blood will come out." It's been 3 days. I'm thinking of snatching them off while she sleeps tonight. I also decided that she is through with pre-school for the summer. I'm still not sure it was the BEST decision, but I'm okay with it.

What have you all been up to?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pillow Case Thing-a-ma-bob:

So, this was my first shot at the pillow-case top/dress thingy-doo-hickey. I've never made one before.. mostly because they aren't exactly my fave. I don't know.. they just tend to look unfinished for the most part. For whatever reason, though, they are INSANELY popular around here. I mean, you sew your own wedding dress and people are all, "Hey, that's pretty nice!" BUT, make a pillowcase dress and they think you are GOD. Okay... well, maybe not God, but considering how easy they are to pull off, I think the hype is kinda over the top.

ANYWAY, as I said, they are popular around these parts, so I thought it was high time Nadia had one. Plus, it's already hitting the mid to high 80's here, and quite frankly, I wouldn't mind wearing a light and breezy pillow case myself. Perhaps a maternity version is in order?

I didn't want it to look all weird at the armholes, which is where I find they generally look unfinished, so I used left over fabric from making the shorts (which I call baggies, because they are a bit longer than shorts and kinda baggy, I know, I'm insanely creative!), to make my own bias tape which I then used to line the armholes. Then I used some more fabric scraps to make the ribbon ties. Since I STILL had scraps, I made the little star applique' for the front.

I'm pretty pleased with it and I think it will be cute for some 4th of July photos in the next few months, provided Nadia miraculously keeps it stain free between now and then. Maybe I should make a back up one just in case because I do still have scraps of that red stuff left. I need to find a similar print in blue and white to make the baby a matching romper. Too bad boys can't do pillow case thing-a-ma-bobs, or he'd be all the rage!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What I did Today:

I cannot sit in the bed ALL DAY. It's not just boring, it makes me feel .... moldy. So today, I wanted to sew. I made Nadia this little outfit. It's a criss-cross pinafore or smock or whatever and matching cropped pants. The top is reversible and the other side is the same lime green as the trim on the pants. The top is PERFECT for the hot weather we get down here. She doesn't even need a shirt under it. When it gets cooler, the little smock shirts look cute over a long sleeved shirt too, so she can really wear it all year.

This is the most satisfying outfit I've ever made. It comes together FAST and EASY. The whole outfit maybe took me two hours from start to finish. Start being cutting out the fabric, and finish being DONE, hems and all. I spread the work out over the course of the day, just doing a little bit here and a little bit there, so I wasn't up for the whole day. Besides which, I was sitting down to sew... and I don't really think sewing and lifting mere ounces of fabric counts as strenuous activity.

I love the print on the fabric too. It's tea-pots!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Well the Easter Bunny definitely visited our house last night. My first clue was Nadi-B running up and down the hall every 2 seconds to show me each individual item from her basket. My favorite part was that the Easter Bunny brought her a Golden Egg.

Last Thursday her preschool had an egg hunt for the kids in her class with ONE golden "prize" egg. Then the stooopid teachers wanted to act like the kids who were upset that they didn't find it were somehow abnormal. Um.. HELLO?! These are kids aged 3-5. And you have ONE special prize egg? Just ONE!? Of course, they always act like my Nadi is abnormal. She gets put in time out for asking too many questions. Seriously. So, anyway, she came home all upset and sat on the foot of my bed and told me all about the golden egg and how she was a loser because she didn't find it.

Well, obviously, the Easter Bunny thinks that Nadi is indeed a winner and not a loser, so he brought her her very own golden egg. In other news, I took some pics of the kiddos this morning and thought I'd share a couple. Mostly because I'm really kinda impressed with myself. I have a photo editor that I downloaded for free off of the internet and it makes all of my amateur photos look awesome. I think I'm going to even frame some of these. Of course, Nadi's dress really helped make these pics. It is a beautiful little thing that was given to us by a friend.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am trying so hard not to get discouraged and depressed. The last two days were really rough. It is just so hard to see every one's lives going on as normal when mine seems to be stuck in the same place.

Yesterday and the day before were the two hardest days so far because the kids were being kept away from home all day Wednesday. They spent the night with my Momma on Wednesday night, and were there for the majority of the day on Thursday. Since Tim was working that pretty much just left me here all by myself.

The having to lay still in basically the same place for the last week or so is starting to really get to me. Last night I was just so uncomfortable that I could not sleep. I ended up watching re-runs of The Nanny on nick at night until I got a head ache and finally passed out around 1 or 2 am.

I have been trying to keep myself entertained and busy with some sort of project or other, but after about an hour of coloring or crocheting, I start getting bored and restless.

It's still hard though. I find myself getting really cranky and touchy and having my feelings hurt over absolutely nothing at all. Some days are not so bad... some are. I guess that is the way of it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How I'm Passing the Time:

So this is the latest way I've found to pass the time. After I took that henna class up in Michigan, I bought a box to take home with me. It's pretty much just been sitting in my suit case ever since, and to be honest, I had forgotten about it. Yesterday, while on the phone with Barb, she mentioned doing henna with her kids and I thought, Hey! I could do that while sitting in bed!!

So I broke out the box, mixed up my paste and set it aside to let it cure. Henna is a process, m'kay? It takes awhile. First you have to sift the powder. Then mix the paste. Then terp the paste. Then wait for it to cure and release dye. THEN you can whip it into a cone or squeegie and apply it.

I mixed the whole 50 g package... which apparently makes a TON of paste. I mean... like enough to henna a small elephant. I had been researching it a lot on the internet, so at least I know that if I keep it in the freezer, it will actually keep for a long time. All I have to do is defrost it as I'm ready to use it.

The above is my left hand. I henna'd it last night. I'm actually kind of satisfied with my paste. It came out pretty stretchy and smooth and sticky. It didn't skip like the paste I used in the class, and since it wasn't as grainy, it didn't crack and split as it dried either. I will still need to practice a good bit though to get better control of the cone thingy so that my patterns are a little more uniform.

I've been working on one of my feet today. Feet are much harder. At least MINE are anyway. It would probably be easier to do someone else's feet because then I could reach better and work closer like I do with my hands. Also, my feet are really narrow and bony, so the surface is a lot more irregular than the top or palm of my hand. Anyway, though, it's actually been a lot of fun.. and since it takes awhile, it's also helping me to pass the time satisfactorily.

I'm wanting to get a lot of practice in and get better at it so that hopefully in the future I can maybe set up a booth at some events or something to make a little extra cash now and then. Maybe I'll open my own small business out of the home and take clients. Since we live so close to the beach, and people love wearing Henna to the beach, maybe I could at least get decent business. Nothing to live off of mind you, but just a little extra now and then. But first... I'm going to need A LOT of practice so I can get really good.