Monday, March 31, 2014

Picture Frame Barrette Holder

A friend recently mentioned to me that her daughter needed an organizer to coral her hair barrette and clip collection. Since the little girl's birthday was coming up, I filed away this information and turned it into a birthday gift.
I used the same basic concept that I used for the girls' holder that I made several years ago.
This time I started with a decorative frame that I purchased at Hobby Lobby, on sale, of course. Since the glass could not be removed, I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the opening of the frame. Using my glue gun I covered the cardboard with a piece of fabric that I had cut to be 1 to 2 inches larger than the cardboard.
After the cardboard was neatly covered, I wove ribbon on top of the fabric and wrapped it around to the back side and once again used my glue gun to secure the ribbon ends. Finally I glued the entire cardboard piece on to the glass front of the frame and we were done. (If you were to use a frame that the glass could be removed, I would just place the cardboard piece into the frame in place of the glass.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sweet Smiles

I grabbed these sweet pictures yesterday and had to share them. It appears that our sweet boy has learned to turn on the charm.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Preschool Butterfly Projects

We are welcoming spring this week with some fun butterfly projects. These projects are great for multiple age levels. I also love that they are, for the most part, open-ended. I threw the fabric butterfly project in for mommas or older kiddos. (The local fabric store had an origami butterfly demonstration the other day and I thought that they would be a great way to use up some of my scrap fabric. This method is a bit different, but the different fun fabrics are great.)

1) Paper Plate Butterflies: Allison McDonald shares this fun activity on the blog No Time for Flash Cards. We always have plenty of supplies around for a simple project like this and I know both girls would love it.

2) Fabric Butterflies: This project is from Fancy That. Every Christmas Nikki makes a different fabric ornament, love that idea. In 2012, she made these fabric butterflies. It appears that the tutorial she used no longer exists, but if you search the internet or Pinterest, you will find plenty of other options.

3) Contact Paper Butterflies: Another fun project from Allison McDonald at No Time for Flash Cards. Once again, something that we have all the supplies on hand for a no-mess fun project for all ages. I think I would hang these on the window as a sun catcher of sorts.

4) B is for Butterfly: I have recently started to think about introducing letters to Cream in a little bit of a formal/fun way. A project like the B butterfly from Cindy at Along the Way would be perfect. I would have the girls use daubers on a large sheet of paper and then cut out the B shape for the butterfly. (I would even have Peachy cut her own.)

5) 3-D Butterflies: Using a pencil to make art 3-D, love it! (I am sure dowels would also work well.) These butterflies from Krokotak look so pretty and fun! The symmetry folding is also a fun concept to introduce.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Foodie Friday: Quick and Easy Meals

Some days I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen. And other days I would rather just get a meal on the table quickly and be done with it. Today I am sharing some quick and easy meals that we have been enjoying on our table lately.
1) Wraps: (Image and recipe from Exos) Wraps are great for the days when you don't feel like a sandwich, but you don't feel like making anything either. Spread some mayo, mustard, cream cheese, or whatever suits you on a tortilla, throw in what you have on hand as far as meat and cheese, add in a vegetable and roll. If you need a little inspiration, just do a quick search on Pinterest and you will find more than you need.
2) Chicken French Bread Pizza: (Image and recipe from What's Cooking with Ruthie) Here is a great way to use up some left over chicken, or even turkey. Spread on some Alfredo sauce onto a loaf of french bread cut in half and top with chicken, tomato pieces, and mozzarella.
3) Pizza Quesadillas: (Image and recipe from Land O Lakes) We love quesadillas in our house. We love pizza in our house. Why not combine the two? A little mozzarella on a tortilla topped with pepperoni and whatever other pizza toppings you like. After cooking, serve with pizza sauce to dip.
4) Taco Casserole: (Image and recipe from Bombshell Bling) This is a great way to have the taste of tacos or taco salad with an easy to prepare, serve, and eat casserole. When I made mine, I added some green chilies to the meat and you could really add whatever you wanted to the casserole or when serving.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Shortcake: One Month Old

Last week Thursday marked one month from Shortcake's arrival. As usual, it is hard to believe that it has been that long.
Mr. Shortcake has been very good to us. He is a very chill baby who really only cries when he is alerting us to some sort of discomfort. The Lord knew that with the two girls at home a relaxed #3 is what this house needed.
He continues to be a good eater. He averages about three hours between nursing, but will sometimes go longer. He has had some good nights where he only woke up once. I have no doubt that he is well over 10 pounds by now as he was already 9 pounds 14 ounces at his two week appointment,
He spends lots of his days napping so we really haven't tried anything like tummy time or playing on the floor mat. In time, all in time.
He and I were able to take an infant massage class together this month and the few massages I have given him have been fun. He also doesn't mind his baths as long as we time them right.
People are always asking how the transition to three is going, and really, it is going more smoothly than I anticipated. I was most worried about Cream, but she really loves her little brother and likes to help out with him.
Peachy is a very good helper and fetches things for me when I need them. (She even, unbeknownst to me, changed one of Cream's diapers one morning after they had gotten up and were getting dressed.
All in all, we are feeling very blessed at the amazing miracle of not one, but three little kiddos that call us mom and dad.
And here are pictures of Peachy and Cream both at one month. He is really a good mix of both, minus the hair, of course.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung, well in our house at least. We've had a few tastes of spring in the air as well, and it feels wonderful! I added a few touches of spring to the house in honor of March and hoping that the outside gets the hint and joins in.
I finally got the Christmas hanging off the front door and replaced it with this springy wreath. It started with the hello cutout and a Styrofoam wreath. I added scraps and other tidbits I had on hand and came away with this wreath. I just searched Pinterest for inspiration and there was plenty on there.
Of course I had to redo the chalkboard. (This only went back as far as Valentine's Day.) I used the method that you print the message out on the computer and trace it onto the chalkboard by covering the back of the paper with chalk and then going over the top. I like how precise the font turns out this way and will be trying it again.
By searching Pinterest for Easter printables I came away with two great pieces for the bookshelf and our entry way shelf. I also had the perfect frame for the Hosanna egg print (found here). I added in a decorative bird's nest and eggs I had on hand and finished it off with some blue Mason jars I had around wrapped with fabric scraps.
I used some stand jars filled with grains to go along with the I Know That My Redeemer Lives print also from Pinterest (found here.)
There you have it. Some simple touches of spring with little cost to me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Fancy Ladies

The girls were recently invited to a Fancy Nancy birthday party. They were encouraged to wear their Sunday best and we had fun getting all fancied up.

Peachy wore a nice spring ensemble with a netted skirt and a sequined shirt. She completed the look with a darling aqua headband and hand mirror along with a bubblegum necklace.

Cream wore a sleeveless black dress accented with gold glitter flowers, gold sash, and black accent flower at the waist. The dress was topped with a fur stole. She accented the gold in the dress with a glad bracelet.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Foodie Friday: Banana Bread Pancakes

I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to breakfast. I guess it really is the most important meal of the day to me! The other morning seemed like the perfect morning to try out this recipe I had pinned from the blog Food Fanatic for Banana Bread Pancakes. Of course by the time I had the pancakes made I had too girls who were crabby because they were hungry and one child who was crabby because mom hadn't been paying attention to him. However, these pancakes were worth the brief moment of crabbiness! (Oh, and I couldn't leave well enough alone and I added mini chocolate chips and walnuts to a few. And since I don't care for syrup, I topped mine with whipped cream. No wonder I love breakfast!) Go and try the recipe, with or without my additions you will love them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hospital Pictures

When we were at the hospital with Shortcake, my friend came to take pictures for us. I had seen some neat ideas on Pinterest and wanted to try a few. (You can see some ideas here (we did the popular "Hello My Name Is" and I love it, here, and here.) While I am not a big fan of having myself photographed in labor, I think there are lots of sweet moments to be captured at the hospital. And while I got a few good picture on my own, I knew I wouldn't be able to get all of the shots myself. So, here are some of the great images that she captured.

And this, my friends, is real life!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Baby Gift: Blanket and Burp Cloths

I knew when I made this blanket for Shortcake that the self binding blanket would become one of my go to baby blanket patterns.
When a friend at church had her little girl, I made another self binding blanket using this tutorial. I also decorated some pre-fold cloth diapers to be used as burp cloths with the extra fabric. (And this time I even got the corners right!)

Monday, March 10, 2014

March: I'm Loving It (Baby Edition)

This months loves are all about the new little one in our life. When it comes to baby gear, there are plenty of options out there. The third time around we are going with some that are tried and true and a few that are new. Here are five items that we have found very useful in the first few weeks of life. (All links are through Amazon simply because I am an Amazon fan, however, all products can be found elsewhere.)
1) The Boon Winter Grass Countertop Drying Rack: We never had a drying rack for baby items in the past, but when a friend was getting rid of their Boon drying rack, I grabbed it up. I also purchased the Twig accessory to go with it. In addition to being a great system for drying bottle and pump parts, it is cheery, especially in the drab winter days.
2) The AVENT Soothie Pacifier: My children all seem to be dependent on their pacifiers. (Part of that may have to do with my pacifier pushing tendencies.) Before Shortcake's arrival I thought about trying to get him used to a different style of pacifier because Cream still uses her Soothie. However, I quickly remembered that the Soothie is the perfect pacifier for a newborn. They seem to love them, and I often find myself inserting my finer into the back of the pacifier to keep it in their mouths.
3) Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator: I was just as skeptical as you when I first saw this contraption, however when the girls shared a cold with Shortcake within a week of bringing him home, I quickly realized that the aspirator that we brought home with us from the hospital wasn't working for us. It always made him really mad, and really didn't seem to be doing anything. While he doesn't sit and smile while using the Nosefrida, he does tolerate it much better. And it also seems to work much better on his little nose.
4) Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper: I had my eye on this bassinet for a while before we were even expecting Shortcake. (I may have seriously considered picking one up that I saw on a Target endcap, but passed.) Instead, I grabbed this one on an Amazon Lighting Deal around Christmas. This is where Shortcake spends his nights and many of his naps. It sits right next to our bed for easy access and he seems to enjoy the cozy position it keeps him in.
5) The First Years Infant to Toddler Tub with Sling: We received this tub as a hand-me-down with Peachy and have loved using it for each of the babies. The sling insert is super convenient when bathing a newborn and the two other positions work well as the baby grows.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shamrock Playdough

'Tis the season. The season for green and mint and pinching! Welcome March! I decided to make up a fresh batch of homemade playdough to celebrate the green.
I used my favorite homemade playdough recipe and made a few fun March modifications.

Shamrock Playdough Recipe

-1 cup flour
-1/2 cup salt
-1 cup water
-2 Tbsp oil
-1 tsp food color
-2 tsp cream of tarter
-1/2 tsp mint extract
-glitter to taste

Cook first six ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly until it forms a ball. Remove from heat and add in mint and glitter. Kneed until smooth. Store in covered container.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Along Came Shortcake: A Birth Story

Sweet, fresh baby
I love to read and hear other people's birth stories. And as a mother, I love to tell the story of how each of my children was born.
Such a sad little guy
This time around, I was hoping for another quick labor like I had with Cream. In fact, I was a little afraid of it going too fast. You always hear stories of each subsequent birth going faster than the one before. In actuality, Shortcake's birth more resembled Peachy's especially in the beginning.
I had an OB appointment Tuesday morning, and while we scheduled my next appointment for the following week, my doctor was thinking I would go within a few days. And sure enough, I got home and started to have contractions. I was going around the house getting last minute things done and decided I had better call the hubby to come home. I also called my mom to tell her to be on stand by for the four hour drive to watch the girls and texted some friends to see who would be able to take them in the mean time. Of course when I sat down to take a little rest, the contractions stopped.
I love this one. It is like he is asking us if all of this is really neccesary
My husband decided to stay home just in case and that evening we told my mom she may as well come since it had to be soon. Well, the contractions stopped and started Tuesday night into Wednesday and Thursday. So much for soon. I did a lot of walking over the next few days. I walked at Target, at the hospital (they sent me back home), and around the inside of our house.
We made our way back to the hospital on Thursday around 6:30 pm, after walking for about an hour and taking a bath. This time we got to stay! After being checked in triage, we were put in a labor room and checked in before shift change at 7. (Record time considering the last time, they were still checking us in when Cream was born.)
Obligatory scale picture
I opted for an epidural again and they had the anesthetist there in record time as well. She was good and gave me an excellent epidural. Then we were able to nap/rest until it was go time. The nurse had just checked me and I was at about a 4 when I felt my water break. (New territory for me since it was broken with both the girls.) It wasn't all that much later that I decided I was starting to feel the need to push. Sure enough, I was now an 8 or 9!

Snuggled in with momma
The nurse called the OB on call and by the time he checked, the baby was ready to come. It was fun watching them scramble to get the room ready for a delivery. Once everything was in place, I was told to push and in just a few short minutes, the baby was born! The doctor let my hubby announce that we had a boy! A boy with lots of dark hair! The nurse who was with us was awesome and was excited to see him born before she was off at 11.
With the proud papa
The assembled team had to leave relatively quickly after checking Shortcake out to tend to another birth. (The hospital was hopping that night. I didn't realize it when we went in, but it was a full moon.) It was nice to have bonding time with just the three of us. Shortcake was enjoying his skin on skin time with me and I decided it would be a good time to breast feed. He latched right on and went to town. (Such an amazing miracle!)
When they came in to weigh him, I was thinking he might have been 9 pounds. The girls were both over 8 and he looked a bit chunkier than either of them. He was close, but ended up weighing in at 8 pounds 14 ounces. (And thanks to his two sisters who came before him, I didn't even tear this time.)
Love those first few alert moments before the sleepiness sets in
I ended up spending the night in the labor room as they didn't have a postpartum room available for me. The next morning I was actually moved to a different floor of the hospital in an overflow women's wing. The great thing was that this wing had recently been remolded and the rooms was really nice, that and the floor was much quieter than the labor and delivery unit.
Snuggled in at home with mom and dad
The rest of our stay was uneventful. (The perfect kind of hospital stay.) I think since we had been through this all two other times, they let us lay pretty low. We had Shortcake circumcised (more uncharted territory for me) Friday morning. We also had him baptized in the hospital. (Just something that we choose to do with our children.) We did have to stay a full 48 hours since I was Strep B positive and I didn't get the full two doses of antibiotics before Shortcake's birth. So, we weren't home until 10:30 on Saturday night, but other than that it was such a smooth labor, delivery, and recovery experience.
Love how punk his hair looks here
And in the end, it really doesn't matter how long you labor, when you are finally holding your new little blessing. Every time I am completely humbled by the miracle the Lord has granted our family.
You can read Peachy's birth story here and Cream's birth story here and here.