The Butterflies Flutterby

For Christmas, Jeremy gave one of his sisters and 3 of his cousins, a whole bunch of butterflies.

…Paper Butterflies, to be exact!

This is another inexpensive gift, and once you have the tools…..you can make this gift for any number of people that you know that might enjoy them….

DSC_0038

We had a small butterfly paper punch and I took another 40% off coupon to Michaels (Don’t go shopping there without one. You can google for one and print it out yourself.) and bought a large butterfly punch. I think that it was originally about $23 and with the coupon, I paid about $14. I had Scrap booking paper at home but in the pictures that you see here…..I actually used some paint chips from Home Depot that I got for free.

Angelica hasn’t put up the color co-ordinated butterflies that Jeremy gave her yet. (Disclaimer: I very quickly and with out too much thought threw these butterflies up on Xandra’s wall before Christmas time – this was actually the “idea” behind Jeremy giving the “wall decorating butterflies” as gifts. In the future, I would probably take a bit more time to place them better, but I was rushing and basically just threw them up therel.)

DSC_0040

I think that we need a little back story to go along with this post…..

Angelica and Alexandra were sharing the rec room in the basement as their bedroom when Angelica was diagnosed with Leukemia. After spending the month in the hospital with either her mom or her dad, Angelica was feeling the need to be closer to us. Jon and I and the boys have the rooms on the top floor. Xani had been staying up on the top floor with us while Geli and Jon were in the hospital and so it seemed like the right thing to do, to re-arrange the rooms so that Geli and Xani could be upstairs and close to us.

This was a very good move. Geli was SO sick and needed to be close to us and Xani really needed to be close to us as well. We got a bunk bed and moved the girls into the room that we had been using as the TV/office room. The boys stayed in their room and Jon and I stayed in our room with Judah. 7 people in 3 rooms. Hah! It was awesome.

Angelica has been feeling the need for some space recently and has been feeling independent and strong enough to want her own room. We finally moved her down stairs into one third of the rec room. The TV is in the middle third and Xani is behind some bookshelves in the final third. So, the 2 girls have their own spaces and they are loving it. We have placed a monitor down in the hallway close to the bathroom and the girls rooms and so if they need us in the middle of the night, they just have to call and we can come running.

Wouldn’t you know it that since we’ve moved the girls down there, we’ve not needed it…..until a couple of nights ago and for whatever reason, the receiver up in our room was turned off. Angelica was having a bad night coming off of the steroid and was in so much pain and we couldn’t even hear her to go to her to help her. Finally Xandra woke up and came up to get us. Now we make sure that it’s on before we go to sleep at night.

DSC_0039

We’ve moved Jeremy into the room that the girls had been in and now he finally has his own space which is HUGE thing for him right now. In the last while, he was getting quite frustrated sharing a room with his 3 year old brother who is struggling with the whole “respect your siblings property” concept. We are working with him on that one….it’s not exactly a quick learn. Not Fun!

We are still unsettled on what exactly we are going to do with Josiah and his big bedroom; and Judah is not quite ready to move into a room with Josiah and so for now…..Josiah has a HUGE room to himself, while Jon, Judah and I share the master bedroom, and……we’re all okay right now.

Okay….back to Xani’s space/room.

There is a horrible wall paper border down in the rec room (see photos above) AND the walls are painted a really nasty putty color AND….it’s kinda dark and icky down there.

DSC_0045

I went to Home Depot the other day because I was dreaming about painting different rooms in our house. I have absolutely no energy or time or ability to be painting rooms (at this point in our lives) and yet the fact that I was even dreaming about what I might like to do in the future…..pretty amazing. I picked up a bunch of paint chips to see how the different colors looked in the different rooms and to see which of the colors we all liked.

I sat down at the table one evening and punched a bunch of butterflies from the paint chips. I put a pop dot on the back of each butterfly and then took them down stairs and stuck them on Xani’s wall. I was just hoping to brighten up the drab-ness of her space a little. After I got the few that I had, punched out and stuck on the wall – I ran upstairs to punch butterflies out of the rest of the paint chips. It is just a hodge-podge of color.

Xani was away when I did this and was thrilled when I came back. One day when we do get the rec room done the way that we would like it to be, I’ll probably punch out a bunch more that are color co-ordinated to a color palette that she chooses, but for now….there’s just a little bit more color in an other wise very un-colorful corner.

DSC_0042

Depending on whether or not you had paper at home to use or had to buy some…or if you went and picked up some big paint chips….this is a fairly inexpensive gift and one that is easy to make and do, even for younger kids to help with.

To make this craft idea, you would need:

– Paper (card stock or heavy gauge paper works best)
– Pop dots (or some other raised double sided adhesive)
– Paper Punch (we went with butterflies but I saw a really cute elephant and I also think that different size circles as polka dots would be SO CUTE, too.)

Jeremy and I worked together punching out the butterflies and attaching the pop-dots. We put together sets of 120 small and big butterflies and packaged them as gifts. Jeremy even made origami boxes for them to be given in. I wish I had thought to take a picture. They were so cute and so very much, from Jeremy. He LOVES origami. Anyway, I think there are about 70-ish butterflies in those pictures (above) from Xani’s walls.

In all of my dreaming…..I was dreaming about painting my laundry room a bright cheery yellow color and I would LOVE to put a bunch of white butterflies on the wall to brighten up my teeny, tiny dismal little laundry room. It’s one of those things that I am looking forward to for the future, and knowing that I can just punch them out when I want them, is so much fun!

Do you have any craft ideas for decorating your house or place or work space or even just ideas that you are looking forward to using in the future? I’d love to hear some of our favorite ideas.

Siah’s Gifts for the Babies

Josiah received a bit of help with his gifts…

Well, honestly, I wanted to be able to give these to the babies and Jon and I worked on them together and in an effort to make things as easy as possible – we gave them to Siah to give to the babies.

He helped to play with them before hand and also to wrap them up and well……that counts doesn’t it?

This year, it counts! It just does.

DSC_0055

I bought a wooden teething toy for Josiah when he was a baby. I loved that it was all natural. These are made from Maple and are finished with Flaxseed Oil.

DSC_0067

There are tons of these wooden teethers available for purchase on the internet and I wondered if we would be able to re-create some for ourselves.

DSC_0070

We purchased a piece of hardwood and decided which designs that we wanted to create and Jon started cutting.

DSC_0077

I love this hippo. I think he’s absolutely adorable. I have been trying to come up with an elephant design as I LOVE elephants and I’d love to be able to design the cutest elephant. I just don’t want it to have too many small pointy or sharp(ish) edges.

DSC_0079

I also love these guitar’s.

DSC_0089

Which design is your favorite? They were so much fun to make and I will definitely be giving these out as gifts in the future.

I love that the babies get a kick out of sucking and chewing on these, but a bonus surprise has been that Xandra and her cousins have enjoyed playing with the camera & keys; and that Josiah has loved playing with these also. I love the fact that they are using their imaginations to play with these. I also love that they are being used my children from infancy through to 12 years old. I’m wanting to make more wooden toys to encourage them in creative and imaginative play.

This gift was a lot of fun to create and even more fun to give.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

I spent a few moments yesterday going through my Christmas Cards and hacking them all up before I got rid of them.

I’m one of those people who don’t keep Christmas Cards, in fact – I will probably start to put all of my Christmas decorations away today. I like to set the decorations up a month before Christmas and then celebrate until Christmas rolls around and then as soon as Christmas is over, I’m ready to pack it all away.

This is not to say that I wasn’t so thankful for your Christmas Cards. This year, more than ever, I needed the cards as a reminder that I wasn’t alone. I have so much more to say on that topic, but not is this post….it deserves a post all on it’s own. I hung the cards through my venetian blinds and looked at them every day. Thank you to everyone who sent me one. It meant so much to me and that made it even more difficult than normal to just get rid of them….which is why I was so happy to put them to good use….

Earlier this year, I used a 40% off coupon from Michaels and bought a gift tag punch. I think this punch normally sells for anywhere from $15 – 20 and with the coupon, it is considerably cheaper. It’s great because you can use it year round for gifts and also for scrap booking. I will never buy gift tags again.

All through the month of December I kept looking at my Christmas Cards and thinking about how beautiful they were and how it’s sad to just look at them and then to get rid of them. I know I could keep them, but I have this thing about storing stuff. I just don’t like to. I’m not a pack rat. I keep a very few, select, sentimental things and the rest -I get rid of.

But, I was so excited when I realized that I could totally re-use those Christmas Cards and be “green” about it all.

DSC_0005

1. I was able to reduce the amount of material that I was going to dispose of.

2. I was able re-use the cards to make pretty gift tags for use next Christmas and even some that I can use on regular (not holiday) gifts.

3. I recycled the rest of the cards.

Some of the tags are “good” on both sides and I can use a hole punch and tie a ribbon through those to attach to a gift. There are some that have writing on the back side of them and I think that I’ll just use tape or pop dots to stick those to the gifts so that the “underside” doesn’t show.

Paper punches are a great tool to have. Especially one’s like this that are so functional.

I will just pack the Christmas Gift Tags in an envelope along with the rest of my Christmas Wrapping Paper and Decorations. Then next year – Voila! Christmas Gift tags and I get to remember all your love again.

Speaking of gift tags – I had a moment this Christmas where I was wrapping presents and I had run out of pre-made gift tags. We had a a set of gift tags that had come from the Cancer Society and I figured that I might as well use them up. You know the kind….the little rectangle ones that are about 3/4 inch by 2.5 inches and they have a small picture of some Christmas wreath or candy cane or snowman or snowflake…..do you know what I’m talking about?

Well, I was sitting there wrapping presents and I picked up one of these tags to use and I had a great memory of my Grandma Kennedy. She ALWAYS used those little tags and my mind flashed back to an image of her living room with her Christmas Tree with the tinsel that was perfectly placed on the tree one strand at a time and all her fragile old Christmas ornaments. I have some of them hanging on my tree now. I remember wrapped presents with tags placed on perfectly in the corners. My grandma was very precise in everything that she did. I’ve been told that I’m a bit like her sometimes. I remember her handwriting and for a brief moment I wondered if I had a tag from one of her presents upstairs in my memory box. Something that I could hold on to and look at and remember. The memory came flooding in so fast and then I was left wanting more. I’ve replayed that memory more than a dozen times over the past 2 weeks. My Grandma died when Jeremy was 6 months old (he’s 10 now) and I often think of her when I’m dealing with my boys and wonder what she would have done. She had 4 boys and raised them all to be amazing, wonderful men. I hope and pray that I raise my boys (and girls) as well. I miss her and think of her often. It’s so nice to have these memories that come and bring such gifts with them.

Giving

Christmas is over and was amazing. We are terribly over tired, but managed to do what we needed to do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and now today is for recuperating……for some of us – quite literally.

Geli woke up this morning barfing. I’m not sure what the deal is, but there is no fever and so we are just hoping that whatever it is passes quickly. She is feeling a bit better than this morning as so……we carry on.

I had these great ideas that I’d post regularly over the past week or two and yet, when it all came down to it – there was JUST. NO. TIME.

I chose to be as wise as possible and to work within my limits and I’ve managed to not only make it through the Christmas chaos, but I’m not completely stressed out (well, not any more than what seems to be “normalish” for right now) and I have a whole ‘nuther week to relax before the kids all head back into the school madness.

So, if I can, I’d like to share what some of our handmade Christmas gifts were this year. I have a few other things to say and I’ll probably throw them in around some of the fun things that we did or are doing and it should be quite a party over here.

Last year we had our first “handmade Christmas”. The kids (my kids) were responsible to make gifts to give to each other. I wasn’t opposed to helping them to buy or get material to make their gifts for each other as long as it was inexpensive and was something that they could mostly do on their own. It was SO MUCH FUN that we’ve decided to carry on with this tradition. This year I made an effort to try to use materials for the projects that we already had on hand. We did end up spending some, but very little for the 30+ gifts (in total) that the kids ended up making for their siblings and their cousins. This year, we started making the gifts earlier than last year, but even then we ended up leaving things to the last minute. I think that I’m gonna try to get the show rolling a little earlier this next year and try to have things finished by the 1st of December. It’s always good to have goals, isn’t it? Anyway………

Xani's Quilt

Xani’s Quilt

Angelica was given a quilt back when she was diagnosed with Leukemia and its the kind of thing that she can have here at home and then take to the hospital and then it’s the same and has the reassuring qualities of “home” and “comfort” regardless of where she is. Xani has ooh’ed and aaaah’ed all over Geli’s quilt and I mentioned that in the new year, we could think about making one for her.

Well, Angelica really wanted to make a quilt for Xandra for Christmas and so she did.

She had a bit of help from her Nana Karen and from her Momma, but she made this quilt for her sister.

The Front

We used bits and pieces of material that we had on hand (oh, except I did buy one piece of fabric on sale for $1.99 per meter), an older blanket for the inside filler and an old sheet for the bottom piece. We had everything to make this gift on hand except for the $1.99 purchase.

The Back

Xani had mentioned that she really wanted a purple and yellow quilt and Angelica made it happen. The biggest frustration with this project was that Geli left it a little too late and we were rushing to get it done before the kids finished school as it would have been difficult to work on it while they were home.

Geli spent ages working on the pattern she wanted to do and trying to make the fabric that we did have to fit within what she envisioned and she did it. It’s really pretty. It’s not a HUGE quilt, but perfect to snuggle up with, on the couch or on your bed and the best thing……Xani LOVES IT!!!

She was so happy on Christmas Day when she opened it.

Truth be told, she did download a bunch of photo’s from my camera and these pictures happened to be on there and she did see it in advance. Regardless, she hadn’t got a really good look and compared to what she thought she’d seen…..the real gift was a lot better.

Geli had so much fun making and giving this gift and Xani got so much pleasure from receiving it and so this handmade gift was a GREAT success.

In fact, Angelica had so much fun making this quilt that she whipped up two more smaller quilted blankets for her two baby cousins. We were in such a hurry to get them finished and wrapped that I never even got any pictures of them, but they were really, REALLY cute. You’ll just have to take my word on it. She used a bunch of the fabrics from the stuff that I used to make Judah’s quilt back in the spring…..

Fabric Pile

They turned out really well, and again….she just used material that we already had on hand.

It was a great distraction for Geli in the middle of some down days. We did have some obstacles to overcome and the whole process would have probably gone a bit quicker, if my machine hadn’t broken in the middle of our sewing frenzy, but a HUGE thanks to Aunty Linda for letting us borrow hers. We are so thankful.

I love that we were able to thin out my fabric stash, to not spend money (well, not very much) and to make AWESOME presents to give away.

I especially loved just how excited Angelica was to be making these gifts and how excited she was to give them away. I want to teach my kids to be thoughtful to others….to give gifts that they’ve given of themselves into and that they believe the other person will appreciate or will have meaning to them. I think that we are on that track.

Pixies and Dimples

So, this post is the equivalent of me sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, “la la la la la la la” really loud. Things are not really great, but they’re not really horrible, and right now I don’t want to talk about it so…..yah….anyhoooooo……

I said that I had some things that I had been working on to show you, and here is the first of them….

(mostly, this is just a post with a lot of adorable pictures of Judah.
I wish I could bottle up his giggles, they make everything disappear for one moment.
)

DSC_0068

This little hat knits up really quickly and requires only that you know how to knit and to purl. I managed to knit this up over 2 days and I am NOT the worlds fastest knitter. I think I used size 7 needles and this is a wool that I picked up from Michaels….none of that is very exciting at all, is it?

DSC_0058

I like to have a fun, simple, not time critical, knitting project that I can just work on whenever, because I can take it with me in the car and knit while we drive….well, while Jon drives. Although, I’ve not been out a lot recently and man, has that ever cut into my knitting time.

DSC_0087

Do you not want to just eat those dimples up?

If you are interested in knitting this hat, just google “Pixie Hat Pattern” and there are TONS of links for this hat. Oh, and Judah is HUGE and is typically wearing between 12-24 month sizes and I used 62 stitches instead of the 50 that the pattern calls for.

I added a brim to the bottom edge which is amazing because it comes down and keeps his neck nice and snugly warm even if there is a gap between his shirt and his coat. I also used a snap closure because I didn’t want to be dealing with any strings.

This would make a great gift for a cute baby in your life, don’t you think? And, it is super stretchy and Josiah can fit this, and well, honestly Geli can get it on her head, but it’s a bit too short and doesn’t cover up to her face like it should…..I do have another one on the go, in pink, and I’m using around 100 stitches. If it works out size wise, then I plan to add a really LOOOONG braid to the bottom with tassles at the end. It should look darling on Geli or Xani….I may even end up having to make 2, because they’ve both expressed an interest in having one of their own.

Oh, LOOK! Judah is waving bye to you all.

DSC_0088

Just for fun, what is one of your favorite memories of Christmas?

Feeding on Creativity

That post last night comes pretty close to the worst post I’ve written yet. It’s so disjointed, and really has no point, and look….hey…..cookies.

DSC_0007

My coffee table at this exact moment. What does it say to you about me?

In my defense it was late, I had just made way too many fussy cookies, I was watching a show and chatting with Jon about something or other……all the while dreaming about my bed.

See, I probably should have just gone to bed early again, but I’d been in bed and sleeping the previous 3 nights at 9pm and seeing as we “get things done” after the kids go to bed, I’ve been feeling pretty useless and like I’ve accomplished NOTHING. And so I chose to stay up and “get some things done” and posting was on that list.

But, hey, we’ll just go with the fact that I was able to cross one thing off my list. Sometimes, it can be about quantity and not quality, right?

Even I don’t believe that. I’m much more of a quality over quantity type person, myself…..most of the time.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Not in a bad way, more that I’ve got a lot of thoughts inside my head and I’ve not had enough opportunity to get them all out of me.

I love to be creative. I love to make things. I love to find things to make my life and my family’s lives more healthy and more beautiful, and easier and more enjoyable and if I can do so in a simple manner, then I get even more excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to find the energy or the time to be creative. Recently, I’ve been feeling antsy to be able to make and create and while I think this is a good thing…….. with the chemotherapy, and 5 kids and the back load of stress, it’s a little frustrating and has me wondering if I’m just trying to “escape” from things.

I think that it’s important to do things that “feed” you and over the past 5 months, there’s not been too much time or energy for that, and so I’m trying to make sure that I allow myself some time for things that “feed” me and at the same time I’m trying to make sure that it doesn’t become all consuming.

So far, I’m able to work on some things and then put them aside when I need to focus on the kids and family and then to be able to pick them up again. I feel…..well, as corny as it sounds, I feel more alive. I’m excited to try to accomplish as many of my daily chores and tasks in a decent amount of time, but then to be able to stop and give myself a few moments to be creative. I’m trying to find the balance in all this chaos. Most of the time, it’s easier said than done.

But, with Christmas coming up and gifts to be given…….I’ve chosen to work on gifts to give and I’m pretty excited about some of the ideas that I’ve come up with. Some are old ideas, and some are new, but I get to be creative and so for me……it’s fun!

I love to be able to see what other people make and do. I love to look things that others make because I am always trying to see if I can come up with ideas that I can tweak to be able to make things. I like to be able to use things that I have or that I can obtain easily, so I’m constantly on the lookout for new ideas that are fairly simple. I like simple. I’m not so big into complicated. But I guess that’s all relative, isn’t it? What might be simple for you might be very difficult for me. We are all so individual and each of us have our own unique giftings and skills. That’s what makes this world an amazing place.

Some of the things I’ve made I can share and some I have to keep a secret, but I’m hoping to share a few of my ideas over the next little while and then maybe you can tweak my ideas and use them to create things of your own to give or to keep.

ps. those jam thumbprint cookies in the photo above – gluten, dairy and egg free. I used this recipe and used Vegan Becel instead of butter and Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of eggs. I also added about 3 more Tablespoons of Rice Flour than they called for as the Vegan Becel makes the dough a little oil-ier than normal cookie dough. Try them, they are amazing. Almost like shortbread.

It’s all about the Chocolate, Baby!

Living with food allergies can be difficult at times but it’s not the end of the world. Yes, there are definite challenges, but we manage work within the limitations and still live and eat amazingly.

Any effort that we have to go through is SO worth the vibrant health that we get to experience….ya know, minus that whole cancer thing….ummmmm, yah moving on….

Siah has an egg and dairy allergy and to look at him, you would never know that he has allergies. He doesn’t have dark circles and bags under his eyes or eczema on his skin. He is almost never sick and never seems to have “bowel issues”…trying to be subtle here. He is one healthy little boy.

In this picture, if you look, you can see all the little scratch marks on his face. He would claw himself all day and all night because his skin was bothering him so bad….I had already eliminated dairy from my diet at this point

Making a Funny face when talked to.

In this picture, you can see some of the eczema on his face. I remember when I saw this picture I was so excited, because he looked SO AMAZING. He was starting to heal at this point. At it’s worst, he was an oozing mess all over the top of his head, down his forehead, into his eyes and all over his cheeks and chin. It was horrible.

'Siah and Me

The rest of us, don’t eat dairy because it does not agree with us. It’s not an allergy like Siah, but more of an intolerance. When he eats dairy, he gets sick with vomiting and diarrhea and has eczema and it’s nasty. The rest of us might get bloated, or have tummy aches, headaches, or might just feel “off” or “icky” and most of the time, it’s just not worth it, especially when there are so many amazing tasting substitutes.

One thing that I’ve tried to do ever since we found out about Siah’s allergies is to make life as normal as possible. We eat ice cream, and pizza and have chocolate and pretty much anything that we want to eat…..we eat. I’ve just found dairy and egg free substitutes.

Special days like Valentines and Easter and Christmas can be difficult, but I’ve tried very hard to not have my kids feel like they’ve been denied “normal” while keeping things safe for everyone.

With the Christmas season comes Chocolate Advent Calendar’s and in past years, I’ve done many different things, from creating envelopes with different “things” to do or eat. I’ve put Jelly Beans into an Advent Calendar and that’s worked, but the best thing that I’ve done is to just “alter” the advent calendar’s so that they are dairy free.

First thing to do…..Get your Calendar and slice open the flap at the back, trying not to destroy the flap because you’ll want to seal it up again when you’re all done.

DSC_0039

You’ll need to open it carefully and pull out that tray that’s inside. It might be glued to the cardboard and so you’ll have to carefully pull it apart and away from the box in order to get it out.

DSC_0042

Then you’ll need to dump out all the original chocolates, and dispose of the original’s….I had 2 big girls that were willing to deal with a bit of an upset tummy to be able to eat the chocolates.

DSC_0044

Then you need to get yourself a dairy-free chocolate bar. This particular one is from Super store. You can find dark chocolate that has no dairy in it if you search and read a million labels. This one is great because it doesn’t taste too dark and bitter and *the bonus in my eyes* it has almonds in it. YUM!

DSC_0045

Break it into hunks and melt it down. I used about half the bar and melted it in the microwave for about a minute and a half.

DSC_0050

I used a spoon to drop the melted chocolate into the plastic try.

DSC_0054

You take your completed tray and pop it in the freezer to set the chocolate. It only takes a few minutes to set it enough to continue on with this whole ordeal.

DSC_0056

While you are waiting, you could clean up the dishes that you’ve used, or just use the time to finish up any of the leftover chocolate…..MMMMMMM Chocolate!

DSC_0059

After a few minutes, the chocolate is set enough to carry on. I pulled out my glue gun and heated it up and glued a few strips on the tray…..this will help the tray to stick to the box and then all the chocolates won’t fall out or slide all over the place.

DSC_0061

You have to work quite quickly here because you want to get the tray back into the box before the glue cools and hardens….so slide it back into the box and you’ve got to make sure that it’s facing the right direction….one way it lines up with all the little doors and the other way it doesn’t….I’ve learned the hard way. Not fun!

DSC_0065

You can just press on it gently to make sure that the glue is stuck to the box…

DSC_0066

This picture has nothing to do with anything….I just think he’s very cute and he was sitting watching me with this “What the heck are you doing?” look……

DSC_0067

Flip the box over and run a strip of glue along the back flap

DSC_0070

and then seal that sucker up…..My 2 big girl helpers managed to shred the top of this flap and so it required a little extra lovin’ to get it sealed up properly.

DSC_0072

Here are the calendar’s waiting for the kids to open them.

DSC_0073

Opening the special Dairy-Free Christmas Calendar that is totally safe for him……

DSC_0075

Everybody is excited about chocolate….

DSC_0087

These two have almost the same hair-do…

DSC_0090

I think he approves….

DSC_0097

These pictures would be so much cuter if he didn’t have that giant booger in his nostril…Oh Well…just keeping it real. I wonder if I coulda photo-shopped that sucker outta there….yah probably, oh well…..

DSC_0098

Definately a happy boy with his “daiwy-fwee chawclut”…….

DSC_0100

Even the older ones still get excited about their chocolate calendar’s….

DSC_0104

I love having my kids be able to participate safely in some of the treats and special things in life, and any extra effort that it might take to make this happen is SO worth it, to me.

Shifting Gears

Today was a down day and yet it was a great day, in it’s own way.

I got up this morning and get myself put together. In other words, I got dressed, did my hair and make up and had something to eat.

I find that when I do this (even if it feels stupid because I’m home by myself) “getting ready” helps me mentally set myself up for a better day. This is not to say that I don’t have days when I don’t “get ready” but more often than not I do “get ready” for the day.

I debated on driving Jon into work, but decided against it.

I’ve actually had quite a bit of Braxton Hicks over the past few days and while I hope they are getting my body ready to “do its thing” I’m actually quite tired. It’s a massive head trip, noticing that you’re having contractions, and not knowing if it’s the beginning of something or just a big tease.

In this case, serious tease and I’m tired of it.

So, I thought that I’d take a day to relax and spend some time on the couch; attempt to just chill out and get some rest.

Because I had no plans and because I’ve been working like a crazy woman to get my house tidy……I took some time this morning to just snuggle on the couch with Siah. It was nice to just enjoy some time with him as my baby, knowing that I don’t have this time for very much longer.

Then, he tired of the snuggles and we were off. He watched a movie on the computer in the kitchen while I made some playdoh.

100_5951

He’s been given some little tubs of Playdoh when we’ve gone to Ricky’s Restaurant but hasn’t had a chance to sit down and play with a decent sized clump of it and to just muck around. It ate up a bunch of time and he seemed to really enjoy himself. One thing that I noticed is that he wants or needs to be “shown” what to do. I’m hoping that with time and given the opportunity that he’ll start to want to “play” and “create” on his own.

We had lunch after that and then we sat back down on the couch. I figured that I could sit and cut some paper people and that it might entertain him.

100_5952

It was interesting for about the first 2 minutes and then…..well, then he ripped a head off one of the people and stressed out about it until I tapped it back on……

So, it took up some time, but not nearly as much as I’d have liked.

I’ve been trying to find some of the paint with water books that we used as kids and that I used with my older kids, but I haven’t seen any recently. I’m still looking though.

We did a bunch of painting….It’s funny how so many little kids paint in brown….all the colors mixed together. I hadn’t remembered that from when my other kids were little, but it’s funny how much of that comes back and so quickly.

100_5953

We painted until Siah had had enough and then moved on to making some cards. I got Siah to cut the straight lines with my paper cutter and to glue everything onto the cards.

100_5954

It’s been a busy day and yet a fairly quiet one.

I’m starting to shift gears. I remember when my days were filled with one craft or activity after another. It will be interesting to see how things “normalize” after the new baby comes.

I find that “this” being an at home mom is a little bit like riding a bike. I used to do this all the time and then life changed and I had to define a new normal. Now I have the chance or opportunity to do this again, but with more confidence and knowledge about where I’m headed and how long I’ll be there for. It’s makes it a little bit easier. I’ll have to keep this post handy to remind me of this when I’m back in the thick of it all and stressing.

But for now, things are okay. I’m okay. We’re slowly finding our groove….

And then it’s all going to change again, eh?

Wrapping Things Up

I’m frantically organizing and planning all the last minute admin stuff that I can think through to help things flow smoothly through to the end of the year and yet…………I’m certain that I’m missing stuff and that is seriously stressing me out!

Trying to come up with the planning/organization lists this far in advance is WAY different than actually working through the different projects in the months leading up to the actual events.

And so I went into the office today to try to wrap some things up BECAUSE……….as of close of the day on Friday, I am officially on Maternity Leave.

YAH!

I’m SO excited!

And yet, I do love my job and am a little sad about not having the challenge of fitting all the pieces and people together to come up with the most effective way to streamline everything without problems or issues. I love organizing and planning and scheduling…….

But…as of Friday – things, they are a’changing in my world. This is just one step closer to my newest baby arriving and I’m getting more and more excited.

In other news, I did manage to finish Siah’s pants and here is the best photo that I could get. He was ALL OVER THE PLACE! But, he loves them and they are so cute on him.

Somebody put a shirt on that kid!

Rainbow Pants in Action

We haven’t tried their wool “diaper cover” super powers for overnights as I’m still too chicken….which is so stupid…I should just give it a go, shouldn’t I?

I’m just so tired these days and the thought of a soaking wet boy attempting to crawl into my bed in the middle of the night sucks and having to get up to strip and change a wet bed is even worse….mind you the past few days we’ve had a 4am wake up call and it wasn’t because of our kids…..

There is some stupid, loud, noisy crazy bird that is singing as if his life depended on it RIGHT! OUTSIDE! OUR BEDROOM! WINDOW!

AND……even once we close the window…..we can still hear him. Stupid Bird! So that just adds to the tiredness! GAH!

Oh well, hopefully the bird moves on and we’re not stuck waking up at 4am for the entire rest of the summer. Can you imagine how brutal that would be?

I have my 36 week appt with my midwife tomorrow AND I’ve booked a Chiro appt for tomorrow so it should be a busy day. But I should be feeling fabulous by the end of the day, though and that’s a definite bonus.

Well, that’s enough blathering for one day. I have to figure out what’s for dinner and get ready for my exercise class and I have one hour to d it all in.

All I want to do, is to crawl into bed!

Creativity Feeds Me

So, even in the middle of all my angst and insecurity I have been “making things”.

I find that creating things makes me feel better. I went through a phase a few months ago where it felt like I’d done NOTHING creatively and starting up again….felt like drinking a tall glass of cold water on a hot summer day. I felt like I could breath again.

For whatever reason, crafting or creating seems to really feed me.

And this past week I’ve been working on two different projects….

I’ve been knitting like crazy. Working on Some wool diaper covers and they are so cute!

I made one a bit ago, but never managed to actually sit down and sew it together to finish it.

It’s just a plain chocolate brown underwear style diaper cover that will fit a newborn maybe up to 3 (ish) months.

Once I figured out what I was doing…..I attempted a pair of wool pants or “longies” for my 2 year old.

Wool Soaker

This is them not quite finished.

This past week, I did manage to finish knitting them, but I put them aside because the sheer number of ends that need to be woven in is brutal and that’s my least favorite part of knitting, (weaving in the ends). I know that these are probably not the best thing to have knit just heading into the summer, but they are big enough that they’ll fit him in the fall/winter and at that point, I might even try putting him in a thick pair of underpants overnight and trying to see if they’ll help with any accidents.

He is toilet trained (mostly) during the day and if we remember to toilet him before we go to bed, then he is typically dry in the morning so…it would be an accident “helper” at best.

Regardless, they will work for our upcoming baby when he’s a bit older….so I’ll get lots of wear outta them.

I then started knitting a “better” pair of the little underwear style diaper cover in the rainbow stripes for the new baby…..and I’m finished….(No picture yet)….but the ends……OH! MY! GOODNESS! the ENDS! So, it’s a car project. One that I’m working on in the car and so I should be finished in week or two.

And then earlier this past week, Jon and I stopped in at one of those cute little boutique stores for babies. I saw these burp cloths and they were gorgeous and unbelievably expensive.

I figured that I could make a bunch of them myself with fabric that I had on hand…….

And so I did…..

Open View

They are about 8″ x 13″ and the majority of them have terry cloth on one side and 4 of them have flannel. They fold in thirds to a wallet size and I’d like to get some labels to put on them and I’m thinking about selling them and a few other items, either on-line or for sure at a craft fair this fall/winter.

Wallet Size

To see the whole set, you can click here.