Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Boy, oh Boy!

It's a...

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We were so excited to find out that this little peanut is a boy!  Gray is going to have a best buddy, which is perfect for him.  He's surrounded by girls right now with his sister and all of his girl cousins.  And Layne gets to be the only Princess in the house, which is very appropriate :)

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Getting these shots were a bit of a challenge.  It was sunny and ~50F when we headed for our ultrasound.  After we left, it was overcast, windy, and 40F.  We had big plans for the setting, hoping to have the Cincinnati city line in the background.  Nothing worked out quite as planned. 

Layne was freezing.  Gray kept looking to the left.  The balloons were blowing.

Out of 60 shots, we had two that worked :)

Here are some outtakes!

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And one of my 16 week baby belly.

Monday, February 27, 2012

$2.50 Scarf!

I've been dying to make a scarf all winter.  I love scarves.  They make your outfit look "finished" and accessorized.  It can dress up a plain tee and jeans.

One of my favorite scarves is this maroon ruffly scarf.  It is so cute on!  So, I thought I'd make one like it. In purple :)

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I decided to use knit fabric because it would be so comfy.  I purchased 1/4 yd at Hancock Fabric.  On sale  - $8.99/yd.  = $2.38

I for it home and cut it in half in lengthwise.  Then I sewed the ends together to create one long piece of fabric (112" long).  I added two ruffle stitches 1/3 of the way along the width and 2/3 of the way along the width.  It still wasn't quite ruffly enough, so I gathered it a bit more before tying off the ends.

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Super easy.  And super cute.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snow Day!

Our winter this year has a been a little less than ordinary.  We live in the midwest.  Kentucky. So we usually have a good amount of snow.  At least 1-2 snows of 3+ inches.

This year, it's been about 40-50 degrees most of the time.  We've gotten snow three times, but the amount is pathetic.

And of course this is the first year that my kids got snowsuits :-/  They want a snowstorm so bad that they have pretend snowball fights and make pretend snow angels together.  Gray even calls his snowsuit an Angel Suit.

Last week, we got a dusting of snow.  And it was supposed to get up to 38 degrees that day, so we had to take advantage of the snow while it lasted.  They got all bundled up and headed out.

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They ran around, but got bored pretty quickly.  I showed Layne the snow accumulation on the picnic table and helped her get on it to make her snow angel.

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Gray made snowballs and threw them at me the whole time.  I wasn't very successful capturing it since he fell and hit his head right on the edge of the bench behind him and we had to go inside.

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To make it all better, we made hot chocolate!  Yum!

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And two cute kids had to add ice cubes because it was so hot.  Then made a huge mess by drinking it from the spoons.  It was totally worth it though!

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And while they are still holding out for a big snow, this momma would be totally okay if the winter stays like it has been until Spring!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Covered Porch Designs

Last month, I read about The Covered Porch Designs on my friend Sarah's blog.  I headed over to check out their site right away!

The Covered Porch specializes in amazing stationary, invitations, and upcycled pillows.



When I found out that she offers a sample stationary design especially for bloggers, I signed right up!  I was so excited to get a chance to get my own set!  Jenn sent me the Chloe Monogrammed Stationary.  It arrived packaged beautifully with a super cute personalized note on a bookmark.

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The quality was impeccable!  The stationary is designed on a beautiful thick card stock.  The envelopes are uniquely lined.  It's the special little extras that make all the difference.

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And I love the variety of having several different color combinations to choose from!

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So...what are you waiting for?  Go check out The Covered Porch Designs!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby Rielynn's Quilt

I told you a few months ago that quilting is my new thing.  I've officially completed three quilts (this will just be the second that I've shared here) and I have three more in the works (either in my head or in progress).

I am so excited to share this quilt!  It turned out exactly like I imagined. 

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are due any day now with my new niece and I knew that I wanted to make her quilt for her room.  My inspiration from the momma-to-be was owls, aqua, and pink.  Totally doable!

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I started with cruising Pinterest and Etsy.  I'd see things here and there that I drew inspiration from.  Next I picked fabrics.  This was tough!  I narrowed to my top 8-10 prints in the color scheme and enlisted the help of my sister-in-law to choose.

Next was the designing process.  And then, my favorite part!, the appliqueing!  I really stressed over how to do it.  Do I applique the quilt top before combining with the quilting and back or after?  I went with before :)

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I also bought this new Free Motion Foot to do the embroidery and quilting with.  It was super intimidating at first, but after I practiced a little (a very little), it was super easy to use!  It's a million times easier to applique a circle with this baby!

{via Amazon-$12.99}

I pieced the back together too...mainly because I screwed up my original plan and cut my fabric wrong...so I improvised!  And I loved the finished back.

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The hubby and I had a long "discussion" about how I should do the quiliting.  It turns out we were both suggesting the same thing...just describing it differently :)  But he did have the brilliant idea to use a very subtle thread color for the quiltiing instead of white and I loved the finished look!

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Here's a few pictures I stole from my sister-in-law's facebook page :)




Okay...we're ready for you now, Rielynn!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vows

Last weekend, we had date night!  It doesn't happen as often as it should and it was so refreshing!

We planned to go to a nice dinner and movie, but every place we went was packed!  That's what we get for trying to go out the Saturday before Valentine's Day :-/

We ended up settling for Penn Station (warm, yummy subs), which was a nice change because we can't eat there as a family since they use Peanut Oil.

Then stopped by United Dairy Farmers so this preggo could get her ice cream cone fix and then headed to a less crowded movie theater (that still had lines out the door). Yes, I ate my ice cream outside waiting in line in the 30 degree weather.  It was a good ice cream though!

We saw The Vow.  Yes, thank you to my wonderful husband for being willing to go along to the chick flick - even though he did complain a little.



I loved the movie.  It was a little predictable.  And definitely a chick movie, but I loved it.  Does it help if I tell you that my favorite movies of all time are Sweet Home Alabama, 50 First Dates, Time Traveler's Wife, Dear John, etc.?

My favorite part of the movie was their wedding vows to each other.  Totally made this hormonal momma cry.

I thought I'd write a few vows of my own :)


{INSERT PICTURE OF HANDSOME HUSBAND}

To my husband:

I vow to not put your picture on my blog unless I get approval from you.  I know how much you hate this and how much it makes you want to take a picture of me with tissues hanging out of my nose stopping the snot from running and post it here.

I vow to make more time for us.  Because last weekend was fun.  And there was no figuring out who's brushing who's teeth or read who's story.  It was just us, like it used to be. 

I vow to love you whole heartedly, no matter what, for the rest of our lives.  I'm in this until the end.  And I love you more than you'll ever know.

 
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{Can you tell I've been sick? :(  I need to take new pictures of my kids!}

To my Laynie:

I vow to TRY to let go a little more.  To let you be more independent like you want to.  I'm trying to be okay with you going to school in the fall.  I'm really trying.

I vow to do more crafts with you.  To let you take control and do what you want.  Even if it means that my original vision of our project turns out differently than I originally planned.  And I'll let you cut.  And sew (by hand).  And glue (but still not hot glue!).

I vow to teach you to love.  And to be kind.  Because that's the kind of daughter I want you to be. 


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To my Gray Gray:

I vow to read to you every single time you ask me to.  And I vow to do it right away instead of asking you to wait a minute.

I vow to try to find a better way to discipline you.  Because what we do now leaves us both frustrated.  I vow to find a way that works and shows you that I still love you.

I vow to laugh at you all the time.  Because, after all, that's what you want.  You want to make us laugh and you do a darn good job of it!



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Allergy Friendly Candy

Since it's fairly well known that I'm a "Food Allergy Mom,"  I frequently get questions about what is safe for school treats. 

Here's a list that Confessions of a Slacker Mom pulled together.


I typically focus on Peanuts (duh!  That's what my kid is allergic to), but her list is free of the Top 8 allergens - soy, dairy, wheat, egg, peanut, tree nut, shell fish, fish.

If you are just avoiding peanuts, most Hershey plain chocolate (kisses or mini milk chocolate bars) are safe too.  As are Oreos and Marshmallows if you want to make Oreo Pops or Marshmallow Pops ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Momma's Intuition

Trust it.  That's all I really have to say about that.

Well, besides a story I have for you.  You know I couldn't make a post that short, didn't you? :)

Layne has snored for quite sometime.  My gut told me that it wasn't normal, but the few people I mentioned it too acted like they wouldn't be concerned.  So I let it go for a while.

Then in December, I noticed a few bouts of apnea as she was sleeping with us.  Nothing too major, but enough where she stopped breathing for 5-7 seconds.  So, I got a little concerned.

I started with our pediatrician who wanted to see us to check her out.  We went in for a visit and he took a look.  "No, she doesn't look sick."  "Her tonsils look fine."  "Are you sure she had apneas?"  But they took me seriously and sent us to an ENT.

We scheduled a visit to the ENT and this whole time, I started to doubt myself.  Was this all in my head?  After all, I just told my husband that I'm pretty sure he does this too.  Surely I didn't make this up, right?

Well, visit to the ENT and they sent us for a x-ray of her adenoids.  We wait.  She gets the x-ray (by herself too because mommy couldn't stay in there because I'm pregnant.).  We wait more.  Then we find out that her adenoids are huge.  Almost totally blocking her nasal airway.

And everything started to make sense.  Her restlessness at night.  Her mouth breathing.  Her constant thirstiness all night long.  Her stuffy nose when she wasn't sick.  Her snoring.  And her sleep apnea.

Today, she had her adenoids removed.  She was a trooper.  The surgery was simple and quick.  Only about 15 minutes.  She ate 5 popsicles, 2 little boxes of cereal, and 6 squares of graham crackers in recovery.  And the Dr. said they were huge!

{Leaving in her car/wheel chair}

And this momma was glad that she trusted her intuition.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mommy Guilt and a little light.

I've been brewing this post for a long time.  This has been on my heart.  I've written the post in my head multiple times on my way to work.  So...why haven't I posted it?  Well, I didn't have an answer. 

I could have written it to vent.  To reach out to other moms who can relate.  But honestly...this has been on my heart because I realize that it's a problem with me.  Something that I need to conquer.

I'll jump right in.

Mommy guilt.  Wife guilt.  Employee guilt.  We all have it, right?
  • I've only cooked dinner once this week.  And it was spaghetti.  Yep.  I'm mom and wife of the year!
  • I resulted to bagging all of Grayson's books up in a garbage bag and threatening to throw them away if he didn't pick them up.  I know that I'm not disciplining in love.  I'm disciplining in frustration.
  • Cereal bowls from two mornings ago were still sitting on the counter last night when I finally dumped them and put them in the sink to soak off the caked on Cocoa Krisipies.  I just haven't felt good enough to do anything.
  • My kids sometimes wake up just as I'm getting ready to walk out the door.  I give them a quick hug and pass them off to daddy with an, "I'm sorry baby.  Mommy has to go to work."
  • "You didn't play with me today." from a pouting girl who has to go to bed.  And you know what?  She's right.  I didn't.

I could seriously go on and on and on and on.  I feel guilty about each and every one of these instances.  And they are all just from this week. 

And there's work guilt too.  And friend guilt.  Family guilt.  Church guilt.

I used to feel guilty when I couldn't attend an important meeting at work because I was taking a vacation day that day.  Or feel guilty when I couldn't respond to a text or phone call or email right away from a friend or family member.  Or saying "no" to a request to help with something at church.

I've learned to let that guilt go.  Last year at a work training, we talked about our purpose and priorities in life.  And I mentally set my priorities. 

#1 - God
#2 - Matt
#3 - Layne and Gray
#4 - EVERYTHING ELSE!

After that, my guilt went away for the "everything else" things.  I no longer feel guilty for leaving work early to take a sick kid to the doctor.  Because you know what?  They are more important than work.  Yes, they have always been more important than work.  But when I realized that I couldn't please everyone and say yes to everything, it's been easier to let the guilt go.

{Quick sidenote:  To me, God is my relationship with God.  Yes, I love my church and church family.  Yes, I want to help out.  But if it interferes with my relationship with God, Matt, or my kids, sometimes you have to say No.}

At that training, I also learned a great way to say No.  Before agreeing to anything, say that you have to check your schedule.  If it interferes with God, Matt, or Family, I simply say that I have a conflict.  I love this.  There's no need to make excuses or stretch the truth.  The truth is simple.  Certain things will conflict with your priorities.  And it's okay to say that.

But back to the Mommy Guilt.  And the Wife Guilt.  And the God Guilt for that matter.  I still haven't found a way to let go of this guilt.  Because these are my priorities.  And I feel guilty for not keeping them first and letting other things get in the way.  It's a balancing act.  And as much as work is in my "everything else" category, it still takes 40 hours of my time away from my family every single week.

I still don't have a solution.  I am going to try to work on making sure that my time that I spend with my kids, my husband, and my God are quality time.  Even if I don't have a huge quantity of it.  I'm also learning to pay special attention to what the Love Languages of my family are.  For Matt, I know what means to most to him.  And for my kids, it's changing all the time.  Right now, Layne wants one-on-one pretend time.  Playing dolls or house or kitchen.  And for Grayson, it's reading to him.  He could let us read to him for hours.

I also read this blog post today.  I found it on Pinterest.  And I'm so glad I did.  It doesn't call out that it addressess mommy guilt, but it spoke to me.  It is a change in mentality.  And I'm bookmarking it to go back and read often.

Please let me know that I'm not alone in this!  Do you feel mommy guilt?  How do you address it?