Thursday, February 28, 2013

[Crafty Lady] DIY Confetti Garland




When redecorating Ashlynn's nursery for our new home, I knew I wanted to make some changes.  Of course, keeping all the big items - crib, dresser, chair, curtains, and framed prints - I worked with easy changes.  Biggest player being a different paint color.  After that, it was rearranging the layout of her art to give it a fresh feel.


It'd be easy to hang the three Amanda Catherine Design prints back over her crib, smaller frames over the dresser, mirror over the bookcase... you get the point.  While I loved the three prints over her crib, I loved the way they looked over the larger bookcase.  I decided to add a confetti garland in the newly bare space over the crib.


I followed this tutorial found on pinterest and used tissue paper picked up at Target.


All said and done, it wasn't complicated or difficult, but it was a bit of a pain in the ass.  Now that I have a rotary cutter for my sewing supplies, I think that would definitely make cutting the fringe a breeze compared to snipping with scissors.  The twisting and gluing of the centers could have used a third hand (wait, I'm a mom and I'm supposed to have one?!), but it's hard to see the faults from far away.


I'm really happy with the way it turned out and plan on using more for her birthday celebration.  Speaking of, I'm not sure how, but between all that we've been doing, I've been crafting like crazy!  Expect lots of party planning and crafty posts in the new few weeks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 45




Health:
Happy and Healthy.  The usual battle against dry skin and some flares of diaper rash, but nothing concerning.



Sleep:
Naps.  Amazing.
She really hit a stride with her naps in December, but this month she's been solid.  Napping about 3 hours a day broken up into two.  Morning nap from 8:30-9am to 10-10:30 and afternoon from 1:30ish to 3pm.



Night Sleep. Improved.
She's been transitioning herself to waking once a night.  Sometimes she'll wake more, but she'll put herself down.  She's had a few early mornings, but we just did her morning feeding in bed and snuggled until it was time to get up.  Also, sometime around Christmas, she really transitioned into being a belly sleeper... which I hate.  I still put her down on her back, but she rolls and at this point she's old and strong enough that it really isn't an issue.  I know a lot of people place their younger babies on their tummy to sleep because they prefer it and they are all fine.  What I really hate, is this last month she's really taking after myself and is sleeping on her face.  I don't care if her head is turned, but seeing her face down on the monitor stops my heart.  I'm constantly checking the screen to make sure she's breathing.



Clothing:
Get this, so I was looking at her Gender Reveal dress that I have hanging on her closet door thinking maybe it'd fit as a cute tunic, if it wasn't too small across the chest.  It's a 0-3M afterall.  We are having pictures taken for her 1st birthday, and I thought i'd be cute with jeggings and a denim jacket and if I could button it, the jacket would hide that.  Well, the damn thing fits. Almost perfectly.  It's 0-3M, she's 10 Months and probably pushing 20lbs if not more. Buttons no issue and falls right around her knees, which isn't surprising because she's short, but she's also a lot taller than a 0-3 month baby should be.  So, other than fitting in Baby Gap 0-3M dresses, she's grown out of her Old Navy 6-12 jeggings and her Baby Gap 6-12M Jeggings probably have a month or so left in the tops.  Onesies fit no issues.


Social:
Over the weekend she showed off some new tricks to daddy's friends who came over to help him finish the basement. On Monday, Dad took a three day weekend and came to Gymboree with us.  Yesterday we hit up Ikea to get a few things to finish off her room.  Going to have an Ikea Hack post coming up and then of course I'll finally reveal the nursery. After that I had to pick up some mail at our old house and stopped over at our old neighbors.  They loved seeing her and how much she's grown in two months.




Diet:
I started giving A blueberries this week.  She's had them pureed, but never whole.  I still cut them in half, but she LOVED them.  I haven't been buying them since they aren't really in season, but gobbles them up.  Looks like this year, I'll be stocking the freezer when they are in season.



She's also continued to eat things from my meal and mix of chopped up steamed veggies and some purees too.  And pancakes.  Girl, loves her pancakes.


On Monday, I also let her try a small amount of scrambled egg yolk.  Her pediatrician recommended we wait until she was 1 year, but after hearing so many other people give their children eggs before 1, and reading up on the subject, it seems like waiting is the old school way of thinking.  That its rare for there to be an allergy to the egg yolk, more so the egg white so I thought we'd be safe.  She seemed to really like it, except later that day she had a bit of an odd diaper rash.  I don't know if it's related, but I decided to hold off a little longer on trying it again.


Gear:
Found some new uses for her Music Walker.  Like, actually using it to walk!  I didn't get the best video, but girlfriend is on the move!



Crying:
A few random early wake ups, like an hour or two after going down for the night, where she'll wake screaming.  Some kisses and cuddles and watching her rainforest crib soother make it all better.




Milestones:
Walking with her push walker!  She's standing solo for a tad longer, but still working on her balance.  Actually, I think she's really just working on her confidence, when she has something to hold onto, she stands so sturdy she'd be fine letting go, she just has to get used to it!



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

[Crafty Lady] Mantle Makeover

Now that we have a fireplace, we more importantly have a mantle!

I wanted to decorate it for St.Patrick's Day so I threw some things up there.  Most of these items had homes where they belonged in our last house, but since we still haven't hung much on the walls or decided where tables, shelves, and bookcases will live, I have a lot of random decor floating around.

I'm on the hunt for some permanent decor (a salvaged window sash, please), but this will work for a few weeks before I change it up for Ashlynn's Birthday.



It started like this, totally mishmashed and just a parking lot for breakables out of baby's reach.  Now it's a bit more festive and I'm still planning on tweaking it.



I decided to makeover our old and ugly Target painting.  It was bought on a whim to fill a spot in our last house and we never really cared for it.  So with a foam roller, some chalk board paint, and of course a napping baby, boom we got new art.




I'll be the first to curse pinterest for single handedly killing all things chevron, bunting, and chalkboards, but what can I say, it was an easy answer to upcycling and making a free project.  Plus now we can change it up for the holidays or swap it from different places around the house with it always fitting in and not clashing colors.

The rest of the items are old.  Crate and Barrel vases, an Ikea hurricane, Michaels bud vase, Target shamrock, and my DIY lucky blocks and pennant banner (made before pinterest came crashing into our lives!)


What's your favorite decor for mantles?  Frames? Art? Are you over chalkboards, yet?

Monday, February 25, 2013

One Month

It's been exactly one month since we got the keys and moved on into our family home.  In that time, I've been fairly quiet around here, but crazy busy around the house.  The Husband and I were going through all that we've accomplished and wore ourselves back out thinking about it!


Carpets steam cleaned*



Unpacked!



Painted the nursery (SW Sea Salt)
Painted the nursery trim and closet



Hung Ashlynn's curtains, frames, shelves, and mirror



Made a confetti garland to hang over the crib (I'll post more on this later)

Ripped up the carpet in the basement (the prior owners had a cat pee problem, thankfully as soon as the carpet was out of the house, so was the smell!)
Installed new hot water heater * (previous one was leaking carbon monoxide - not okay!)
Painted the basement, trim, banister, spindles, and all doors
Replaced almost every stinkin' light bulb since they were all burnt out
Mopped tile floor and clean out sand from closets... don't ask, we don't know
New carpet installed*
Sump pump replaced and back up installed*



Painted the dining room (SW Grays Harbor)



Painted the family room and trim (BM Revere Pewter)
Attempted to decorate the mantel and hung frames over couch



Bought new couch
Ordered new media stand (last one was damaged during moving process)



Started to remove wallpaper from kitchen
Scrubbed kitchen cabinets, inside and out
Cleaned the appliances and fixed the streaky stainless steel
Purchased new faucet to install
Purchased a microwave
Removed decorative metal vine from pendant light

Scrubbed the grout floor and shower in master bath
Scrubbed the soaking tub
Reorganized toiletry bins and guest bath linen closet

Organized His and Hers closets, dresser, and chest
Picked up desk for sun room
Set up sewing machine and craft area
Set up printer and organized office supplies

Installed new roof and new sky lights*

*professionally done


WHEW!  While we are definitely planning on slowing down a bit, especially since all these improvements completely massacred our wallet, we do have some projects on deck.  Hopefully I'll get better at picking up my camera (and not my iphone) and writing up posts about what we are doing in real time.

Our motivation is to be done with the following my Ashlynn's 1st birthday.


Finish removing wallpaper
Paint kitchen
Install new faucet
Add beadboard to island
Paint living room, foyer, upstairs hall
Hang curtains in dining room, kitchen, and family room
Hang shelves in dining room (decorate!)

and a big one, possibly installing hardwood flooring in the first floor!




Thanks for hanging with me!  I promise to get back into more regular posting... I hope.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 44



Stats:
Not sure, roughly the same I'd imagine.  Clothes still fit, still seems short.

Health:
Happy and healthy.  Battling dry skin.


Sleep:
Get ready....

On Friday, she slept through the night.  Like went down at 7pm and didn't wake until 5:30am.  I on the other hand was up at 2 all like WTH, but she slept!  This is seriously the first time since maybe when she was sleeping 10-4 somewhere around the 10 week range.



Since then she's been closer to her usual 2 wakings.


Clothes:
Same, 6-12

Social:
Mimi came to visit in the middle of last week and Ashlynn had a ball.  Even though Mimi hasn't stayed  with us in months, Ashlynn still had zero problem being handed off to her.  Not her usual character, but so sweet to see her go willingly into her arms.  (Yes, we have a stage 5 clinger)

We hit up Gymboree on Saturday while Daddy went and got me a craigslist ikea desk so I can get to work on my sewing projects (Mimi brought down my gift, too!).

Sunday we celebrated Nana's birthday with the extended family and even though it was scheduled smack in the middle of naptime, A was a total trooper only getting a bit cranky at the end and sleeping in the car on the way home.



The rest of the week we've been locked up in the house as we had the roofers here Friday, Monday, and Tuesday morning, our contractor here replacing our sump pump all day Tuesday, and the carpet guys here this morning. We are itching to get out and the fridge is empty too.


Diet:
A's really starting to eat what we are eating.  We seem to do pancakes every other day (sometimes fancing them up with some banana, pumpkin puree, or cinnamon applesauce).  We tried out some homemade ground chicken meat sauce and pasta, but after a few bites she had enough.  She loved eating the cannelli beans, diced tomatoes, and onions from our homemade ribollita soup, along with some (dairy and soy free) wheat bread.   Still, her favorites are her greens. I steamed up some green beans and she just can't get enough.



Crying:
Had a little incident on Saturday.  I was going to place her on the floor and she was about a foot from the ground when she decided to plunge head first to the floor.  I caught her in a odd grip right by her hips, but she managed to scratch her cheek like the Joker and balled for 5 minutes probably more from being shook up rather than hurt, but my heart broke into a million pieces.



Milestones:
Standing went in the baby book!  We've been working on letting go when she's holding my hands and standing in front of me, and she'll be good for a second or two before leaning forward and losing balance.  While at Gymboree on Saturday, she was so wrapped up in watching our class leader start class she just stood there in front of me for probably 5 seconds before turning to me and losing balance. She's done a few times since, everyday getting sturdier.

Also sleeping through the night, clearly was huge!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Paint Swatching



If you didn't notice during our little house tour, take a second look, this house has some BOLD paint choices.  Butter yellow in the main living, fruit punch red in the dining, celery plus wall paper in the kitchen, teal and mint in the living room, and that's just down stairs.  Upstairs includes a sage green master with a yellow and navy bath, a yellow brown would be nursery, and plum purple guest bath.

We immediately painted Ashlynn's nursery, and just a few more tweaks and I'll consider it 'finished'.  We chose Sherwin Williams Sea Salt and I'm in love. It's exactly the color I wanted and looks great with her decor from her first nursery.

The basement is the Husband's man cave of sorts.  I picked out the neutral, but modern, BM Valley Forge Tan for the majority while he wanted a some Phillies red (actually closer to the 1970s maroon) for the behind the bar and pool table area.  Knock yourself out, man.

The living room is BM Revere Pewter a taupe-y gray that's a great base to layer upon.  I originally wanted to do the kitchen at 50% of Revere Pewter, but since the wall connects, we think we are just going to take down the wallpaper divider strip and just extend the paint through.

We primed and painted the dining room the second weekend we were here, getting rid of the 90s red and going for a dramatic grayish navy, Sherwin Williams Grays Harbor.  We still haven't decided on a color to replace the main living area which extends up the stairs to the upstairs hallway.

The basement should be finished by next weekend.  The tan portion is complete, and the red area is primed and ready to go.  New carpet is being installed this Wednesday.  Speaking of installions, we now have a brand new roof over our heads, and seriously, Ashlynn napped in her crib the first day they were here no problem.  Her room sounded like the epicenter of the pounding and the dumpster shoot for demo was literally outside her window.  What a trooper!

Any suggestions for a foyer/livingroomwillbeplayroom/stairway/hallway color?  I'm becoming totally indecisive!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bottle it up






It has become completely apparent, I am in love with my almost 10 month old.  

Don't get me wrong, I've loved her since I got two pinks lines on that little stick, and I loved her the moment she was placed in my arms.  This isn't one of those posts about not having that immediate bond and connection with my child, because I had it, bad.  Some might say annoyingly so as I rarely leave her side and prefer her company to most adults. 

Instead, I find myself on repeat with "I love this stage!".  I usually caveat it with something like I'm sure I'll be saying this until she's 12 and talking back and being a pain in the ass, but I really freaking love this stage.  


When thinking of adding another child, all I can imagine is wishing away the lack of head of control, fussiness, poor sleeping, constant eating, super drooling, and let's face it, general being a blob of human form.  Which I know won't be true when it happens, but at this moment, all I want is my 10 month old forever. 


She's such a joy.  Almost always happy.  And so fun to play with, she 'shares' and makes sure I'm paying attention when she's cruising around, grabbing things, and pushing buttons (literal and figurative).  She grabs books and looks at me in way of telling me to "read to me now, mama".  She dances and 'sings'.  And is ticklish on her back under her arms, and loves it when tickle monster attacks.


She eats like a champ and meal time is now so fun that she loves to feed herself.  It's easy to get out of the house and she's always stopping traffic on whatever errands we are running with her adorable smile and loud "I want everyone in a 1/2 mile radius to hear me" screeching. 


 She's trying so hard to stand on her own, but she's not yet mobile in the sense where I have to literally chase her or never take my eye off her.  I can sit her down with some toys and grab my coffee and watch her play, alone. With wheels turning, learning cause and effect and fine tuning her motor skills -as best a baby can.



I just want to bottle this up. 


I know in ten years when I told I am told I am hated, eyes rolled, and doors slammed, I'll think of this girl who wants nothing more that to give me a hug around the neck and slobbery kiss on the mouth. 




I want to remember this forever.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 43


Sorry for the absence, friends.  I am completely exhausted.  Between keeping up with my playing, moving, and eating machine and working on the house when said machine is napping or sleeping, I barely get any screen time.  That's computer screen and tv screen.  I've fallen mad behind on Revenge and keep forgetting to set the dvr.  Silly Super Bowl and Grammy's distracting me...

Anyway, on to the child... it was a big week!




Stats: 
Same ballpark.  Maybe 27" and 19lbs, dunno.


Health:
Awesome.  Healthy and Happy.  Only issue is her flaring eczema.  Her chin is dry from drool and hand chewing, her cheeks just chapped from the weather and dryness.  Her hands are also beat up from probably the hand chewing and weather, too.  What was getting me was this random thumb print sized spot on the back of her neck.  It first came about two weeks ago and I thought it was a scratch.  It was taking longer to heal, so I kept some ointment on it and then one day I noticed it was in the same spot as the tag on her sweater that I always throw on her when we go out.  Duh.  Well, I stopped putting the sweater on her and when it was almost healed, one day after a nap it was bright red again.  At this point I was thinking allergic reaction.  I called the Pedi and they didn't think it was since it wasn't all over nor was it hives.  It's healed again with some aquaphor.  The only things I can think that would be causing it allergy style are cinnamon or her new vitamin.




Sleep:
No sleep training needed.  Girlfriend figured it out all by herself.  We are back to two wakings a night (her usual) around 11 or 12 and 3am.  She sleeps until sometime between 6:30-7:30.  I'm going to start weaning the 3am feeding and maybe, just maybe, we'll get an official stamp of Sleeping Through The Night!


Clothes:
6-12.



Social:
Finally getting back to Gymboree a few times a week and on Saturday night she got to play with her friends Fiona and Hazel.  Now that we moved we are even closer to the girls, so hopefully lots of play dates are in store (hear me E?!)

Currently, she's getting lots of Mimi time in.  Mimi came down yesterday and A's been showing off all she can do since!


Diet:
Mixing lots of finger foods and purees during meals.  Finger foods including steamed up cauliflower and broccoli, pastina and coarse chopped steamed carrots, and more kiwi, pears, banana and pancakes.



She's also weaned herself to 4 daily feedings.


Gear:
She's in love with books.  Typically, she's been the kid trying to eat the book not let you read it, but now she'll sit in my lap and watch the pages go by.  She'll look back a lot and watch me talking as if she's putting together that I'm actually telling a story.



Some of our favorite board books of the moment include this, this, this and of course this.


Crying:
Meh, she's a happy honey!



Milestones:
We finally swapped out our infant carseat to the convertible.  No wonder 70% of people install them correctly, definitely a task that is harder than it looks.  Thankfully, I'm scheduled to have it checked out this week.

Another milestone is clapping.  Sunday night A finally clapped back when I was urging her on.  The Husband was down in the basement painting and said since I didn't capture it on video it didn't happen. So the next day, she wanted to prove her daddy wrong and we captured this.


Later that evening, completely unrehearsed, she did this on cue.



Yep.  I have the smartest kid, EVER!  Totally kidding, don't love when parents act like their kid's a genius because they stuck some puffs in their mouth and not their ears?

I feel like something else happened, but I'm losing my mind among the paint fumes.


Happy Valentine's Day, Lovers!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 42




Stats:
Seems like she's thinning out a bit.  I'd guess she's still in the 18-19lb range and maybe growing a little in height.


Health:  
Back to 100%.  Cough is gone, unless you count the fake one she does to grab my attention.




Sleep:
Ouch.  Finally got her back in her room after we finished painting and wow, it did not go smoothly.  The first two nights she was up every 90 minutes or so.  Finally Saturday night, she only woke at 10, 12:30, 3, and 5:30... and I counted that a win (yikes).  The next day we painted the trim and I had her back in the pack and play in our room.   Finally we seem to be getting settled with the new nursery.  She's still waking about 4x, but I'm going to give her until the end of the week to figure it out. Then no more Mrs. Nice Mommy.  Sleep training will commence, you read it here first!



Now naps on the other hand, ridiculous.  She's good for routine, nap #1 about 90 minutes after waking. That one lasts roughly an hour and the second nap is after lunch usually lasting 90 minutes to two hours.  On Sunday, she napped from 12-3.  She hasn't taken a three hour nap since she was a newborn.


Social:
Wednesday the movers came, hallelujah!  Friday, Auntie Maria came over for a play date with 4 month old Mini Vin.  Ashlynn loved showing off how she stands and screeches and loved looking at the cute little baby.  Over the weekend, we had some friends help around the house - mainly in the basement (ripping up carpet, sanding baseboards, and painting trim and doors) and for the Super Bowl, one friend came back over with his wife and we had a little mini Super Bowl party.

The rest of the week was spent running around doing errands and getting stopped by what seems like every other employee or shopper at Wegmans, the post office, and Lowe's to comment on A's adorableness, chubby cheeks, big gummy smile, or loud screeching.  Thank you world for bloating this momma's ego that it's not only her who thinks he kid is stinkin' cute.


Diet:
Lots of new finger foods this week!  We had our first try of pancakes this Sunday (starting our new tradition of family pancake Sunday), and she loved them.  We also tried avocado again, which we haven't had in a long time, and this time I let her self feed and she was back on the bandwagon.  Also tried some chopped up kiwi for the first time - another big hit.



She also had a Ella's Kitchen Four Bean Feast for her first try at beans, wasn't a fan.  I think maybe the tomato flavor turned her off.  Going to try some soft mashed beans for her to self feed and see how that goes.  I also have some pasta for her to try later this week.



A's consumption has really jumped.  If into the meal, she'll easily polish off 4oz and still want more at almost each meal.  Sometimes I'll just give some puffs, other times if she's fighting a meal (typically something with meat in it) and I start giving her some veggies instead, I'll mix the offending meal inbetween the bites and she'll just keep on eating.  I was thinking maybe she's waking up so much because she's still hungry so I think I need to figure out how to start giving a more "balanced" meal that will fill her up.


Gear:
This week I focused on child proofing.  Mainly outlet covers and plugs to start, but also going to install cabinet locks and start bolting the furniture to the walls.  She's pulling up on everything, so safety first.




Crying:
Just the middle of the night screaming.  Otherwise she's so happy and loving it makes me melt to a puddle.  She'll play and turn around to give hugs and kisses and then go back to playing, so cute!




Milestones:
Crawling.  It's on.  She's not moving too fast and she usually goes from all fours to an army crawl after a few moves, but she no longer sits still.  Hence the childproofing.

Also, A starting shaking her head 'no'.  When trying to feed her something she's not into she shakes no, or if I'm trying to get her to do anything she does want (diaper changes, getting her in the highchair or carseat).  I want to say she doesn't "mean it", but the fact that her reflex to something she opposes is to shake her head, I think she means it.  Luckily she can't say No quite yet, hopefully that's not one of her first words!