May 31, 2012

Mom Guilt

Sometimes mom guilt produces good things.  No really, hear me out.

I'd been feeling a little guilty about how much time I'd been putting into Josiah's room.  I involved Ella wherever possible, and have no worries...she's super excited about having a baby's purely my issue. 

I'd recently won mommy of the year award with her when I rigged up a fort behind her bed with sheets/blankets/tension rods/pillows and let her have her rest times in it.  I'm sure she'd have been content with that fort for the rest of her life.  But I was feeling crafty...and guilty...and crafty...

Sooooo, I made her this:

I'd seen similar things from Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, and on Etsy.  The cheapest one was like $125 bucks!  Ummmm, I don't feel THAT guilty!  But it got my creative juices flowing and I really wanted to make something special for my girl.   quick trip to Marden's scored me some sweet purple sheet sets for $9.99 each,  then I picked up a $1 hoolla-hoop, snagged an old papasan chair cushion off of craigslist and VOILA!  I used two queen flat sheets and a hoola-hoop for the tent part and covered the papasan chair cushion with one of the queen fitten sheets for the comfy tent floor.  Ella ADORES it!
Also, remember THIS pile of princess castle blocks that we scored for free at the "transfer station"? 

WELL, THIS is what it turned into!  WHOAH! 

May 29, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

What did you do for Memorial Day?  Ella and I?...Oh we were just in a parade!

A tad belated, but Happy Memorial Day to you all.  My objective for this day was to take Ella and get out of the house and stay out....Because Jason was trying to finish out the bathroom which includes (prime, paint, frame doorway, install closet door, trim door, trim floor, paint and in stall hwbb cover.)  That's a lot my friends.  He's amazing and I'm so grateful to him.  But we sure did miss him on this glorious day!
So, I was looking for parades that were close by. I found one that had a "Bike Decorating Contest" before the parade.  Well, Oooo BOY does Ella LOVE her new bike!  So we grabbed some crape paper and ribbon and went to town.  We had a ball and loaded up our bike. 

It turned out there was no real CONTEST (although I'm pretty sure we would've won darn tootin' cutest!), everyone got a free certificate for ice cream...pretty much Ella's #1 love language!  And little did we know...all the kids then get to ride their bikes IN THE PARADE! 
I was not so sure about this proposition.  I envisioned some little three year old so far behind she'd be holding the whole thing up, or perhaps a major collision, or even better, a serious melt down/freak out when the loud noises sounded.  I mean, only this spring did she learn to ride a bike and she was the youngest child there by at least two years.  I explained the plan and asked her if she wanted to do it.  She answered with an emphatic "YES!".  So, still questioning my parental judgement, I figured let's have at it!  Worst comes to worse, I'll just wheel her off and hit the sidewalk back to the van and leave my child scarred for life regarding parades.  It's cool.  Parades are fairly easy to avoid if need be.

SHE DID AMAZING!  She rode a whole mile all by herself insisting that I not put a hand on her because she "didn't need any help".  She kept up with the rest, stayed right where she was supposed to and totally made a group of old ladies day when they were oooing and ahhhing over her cuteness and she gave them all some adorable waves without missing a beat. 

I was pretty much tearing up with pride and joy at how much she's changing and growing.  Thankfully I had on some honkin sunglasses to hide the tears :)

She also did really well at the small ceremony.  A lollipop kept her quiet enough to be respectful during speaches and such.  I'm not sure how much she understands but she can tell you that we were clapping for soldiers who have kept us safe.

Some other highlights for her...getting to climb in and explore a fire truck and well as getting to see and hear a REAL LIVE marching band.  (The girl is pretty enthralled with them right now...especially the drum section.  Oh boy!)

May 26, 2012

Josiah's Nursery!

I feel a drumroll is in order.
And now..............for the unveiling of..........Josiah's Nursery!

This is the Skip Hop Tree Top Friends bedding that I FELL IN LOVE WITH and inspired the whole room!

View from the doorway.  Paint colors are Martha Stewart "Lemon Verbena" and "Ash Bark".

View from the rocker-glider chair corner.  Love the mobile abover the changing table!  Came out JUST the way I wanted it to!

Close up of mobile over the changing table.  LOVE.

Simple wooden letters, painted to coordinate and hung on wall.  When daddy gets around to it, there will be 3 or 4 ledge bookshelves below to display all of Josiah's books forward facing.  We love books!

Simple, contemporary Bible Verse Wall art. (1 Samuel 1:27-28).

Same as above (Jeremiah 1:5)

Paper lanterns.  Suprisingly cheap and hung with fishing line.  So fun!

Simple green argyle valences I sewed.

I am simply IN LOVE with this room.  I thank God for the time, talent and resources to create it for our little one!  I dreamt about it, pinned ideas like crazy, adapted them, saved money, dreamt some more, saved some more money and finally buckled down and did it!!!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to create.  I love knowing that my hands made so much of this with so much love.  I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to save money.  The better the deals, the more I save making my own, the more satisfied I feel in the end. 

I know we are fortunate to be able to have the financial means to do this.  But don't get to thinking we're loaded because we're SOOO not.  And we also do nothing on credit.  I plan, budget, save and do!  
So here's the breakdown if you want proof that you can do this stuff on a reasonable budget too!

Bedding - $180
TOTAL SPLURGE (because we're reusing pretty much every other baby gear item from Ella, and my mom actually contributed a good ol' chunk of that.  THANKS MAMA!)

Paint for Walls - $50
(I gallon of each color.  Bear Brand, Home Depot)

Fabric for Curtains and sleeve for mobile arm - $7
(thank-you Mardens, local surplus and salvage store!)

Paper Lanterns - $13

from (seriously check them out.  Ranging from .80 cents to $2.95 and 8" to 20" a Total of $9 for lanterns plus $4 shipping)

Felt for leaves on mobiles - $1.15
(5 sheets of felt at .23 cents each from Walmart)

Wooden Woodland Creatures for Mobile - $2.40
(.60 cents each Walmart)

2 11x14 Picture Frames - $11
($5 each frame and a .97 cent can of spray paint to make them white along with printing the verses on colored printer paper I already had)

Acrylic Paint for Tree leaves, Mobile & Letters - $3.50
(5 total colors ranging from .50 cents to $1 each from the craft section at Walmart)

Wooden letters - $12
($1.98 each at Walmart)

And there you have it.  Granted...I'll give you that we already had the crib, changing table and rocker from before...So if you count paint for the room, all the decorations and what WE paid for the bedding it comes out to a GRAND TOTAL OF...........

Now that's what I call design on a dime!
With a little bit of handmade hard work and some sweet bargain shopping you can do it too!

The Dump

I had the good fortune to grow up in a town that had a dump with a free for the taking shack...ahem, excuse me...a "Transfer Station" with a "Second Chance Shop".  And holy hanna let me tell you, I am SOME excited that the town we live in now has the same thing!  So what if my taxes are sky high and I still have to haul my own smelly trash to the dump in the back of my minivan...the "Second Chance Shop" makes up for it all.

So this morning we had a little family time whilst running errands and hitting up some yardsales (PS: remind me to ALWAYS yardsale wasn't the 3 year old that was a pain in the was the 33 year old.  Oooo boy!). 

First stop, the dump...I mean, "transfer station".  I always take a peek in the second chance shop and Ella learns quickly.  "Can we find something for me mom?" she called from the back seat.  I told her, "Only if we find something we NEED."

Welp.  We walked through the door and THIS is what lie directly in front of us:
Oh there was no going back.  How do you say "no" to this!?  Oh, you can't tell what THIS is?  It's one million GIANT lego like pieces that, put together, build a PRINCESS CASTLE!...Complete with windows and flags!  And thus my definition of "need" has clearlry expanded to mean things that are pink,purple and princess themed...that we would never in one million years buy for ourselves....that will take up the entire square footage of our playroom.  Oh but how I love to get things for my daughter.  And so now, they lie in our yard, waiting to be washed by one very eager little girl when she gets up from rest time!

I've clearly lost my mind this memorial day weekend because I also let her bring home THIS:
...And whipped up and attached a fabric strap so that (in true Calliou fashion) she can "Be in a marching band."  I am SO gonna regret this one.  But kids are only kids once...and so I shall embrace the chaos.

May 24, 2012

Creepy Crawly Lessons on Life

A few months ago, after tucking Ella into bed, I rounded the corner in the hall and started down the stairs only to have my foot slip out from under me.  I went flying, skidded a few stairs and caught myself on the railing, but let out a high-pitched, startled little yowl when it happened.  Jason came running, found me flat on my back and had me go sit down (I was fine).  But Ella had heard and was hollaring from her bed, "I WANT TO SEE IT!  I WANT TO SEE IT!  I WANT TO GET OUT OF BED AND SEE IT!"  

Jason went to her room and said, "Everything's okay honey."
"No!  I want to see it!" She continued to demand.
"See what?"  Jason asked.
"The spider mommy saw,"  She replied confidentnly.

If you know me, you know that I am...jump out of my skin, dance around like a crazy woman, screech at the top of my lungs...afraid of spiders.  (Mostly if they sneak up on me.)  I just always have been.  I have tried SOOOOO hard not to pass this on to Ella.  But I swear, if one of those buggers drops down from the celing next to me, or I catch one crawling across me, I screech like a little girl out of pure reflex.  So like it or not...Ella's caught on.  And when she hears me scream, she does not automatically wonder what's wrong or if I'm okay.  She just thinks..."must be a spider."  Grand.

Ella has totally picked up my fear of spiders and I DO NOT want her to be the kid who shreiks and runs and goes "eeeew" at every bug or insect.  So I've totally overcompensated by telling her "Bugs are neat.  Hey this is cool.  Come see.  Touch this one.  It won't hurt you."  And ya know what?  It's worked.  REALLY WELL.

Ella is ENTHRALLED with all things creepy crawly.  I never thought this petite little blond who, to my dismay, ADORES the color pink and all things girly would ever be this into creepy crawly things.  But she is.   If it's slimy, squirmy, jumpy, slithery, crawly fluttery or swimmy, she wants to discover it, see it, hold it, and touch it.  (except for spiders...that's my girl!)

I've always thought fish, frogs, snakes, worms etc were cool.  I wasn't really into them though.  I don't mind bugs, most don't scare me.  But I've never been one to seek them out and desire to pick them up with my hands and study them.  But now I have a kid who does. 

It is stretching me out of my comfort zone and opening my eyes to the world in a wonderous new way.  This morning my adament three year old had me out the door in my PJ's, before even a sip of coffee, trapsing through the dewy grass and digging through the dirt to find food for Queen (the wood frog).  Before I had even fully rubbed the sleep from my eyes I had helped capture 5 slugs, 4 worms, 3 grubs, and 5 tiny grasshoppers.  Never.  Thought.  I'd.  See.  This.  Day.  And I love it!  She is learning and growing so much...but OH what our children can TEACH US!  If open ourselves up and let them :)
So...what is the centerpiece on your dining room table?  This is ours.  Inside our centerpiece lives Queen the woodfrog.  (She started out as Princess but moved up the royal ladder in just a day).  In there is also Fuzzy the tent caterpillar and a multitude of creepy crawlies for Queen to munch on. (Which all have names too.  Until they get eaten and then we have to think up new ones.)

May 21, 2012

32 Weeks!

Welp, I'm actually 33 weeks but a little late in posting so the pics are from somewhere midweek.  Much has been happening around here, and blogging just hasn't made it to the top of my list often!  But here are some super sweet pictures that I really wanted to share with you!

My 32 week check-up was just glowing.  "Weight, perfect.  BP, perfect.  Protein, perfect.  Belly measurement, perfect.  Baby's heartbeat, pefrect."  The midwife's words, not mine.  The blessing of the ease of this pregnancy does not escape me.  I am so very grateful to God for this smooth sailing, knowing the many possible complications that can occur and knowing people who've endured them!
And while all the numbers and stats are great, I still say this second pregnancy is so much different than my first and so much different than I expected.  The biggest thing, which the midwives say is totally normal but holy hannah let me tell you, is when this baby moves inside me these days, it is NOT the warm and fuzzy wondrous event that it was with Ella.  IT HURTS!  (Even though he's head down) it feels like he's doing a dance on my nether regions and playing kickball with my tail bone.  It keeps me up/wakes me up at night and I'm sure people in the grocery store wonder why my face randomly contorts as I wince with pain.   And it's throwing my hips all out of whack.  They say it's ligament pain caused by the pressure and the pelvis opening up and all the relaxin coursing through your body, but there are many a day when I walk like a 90 year old!  Any mama's out there who've had more than one and want to give me a shout out on these fun things?...please let me know I'm not the only one!  The end is just 7 (+/-) weeks away and I cannot wait to hold this one OUTSIDE of my body! :)
The nursery is DONE!  Ohmygosh it came out just the way I wanted it to!  I can't wait to post pictures to show you all.  And I've been crafting up a storm for my little Ella as well.  You'll get to see that too.  Eventually!

May 8, 2012

Tiny Two Wheelers and other things

Well, I dare say I'm back on an upswing and hope to stay here.  My energy seems to be returning very, very slowly after two weeks on my iron.  I had an OB appointment yesterday and my wonderful midwife confirmed that the baby is now head down, right on cue, and all the cramping and backpain is from said transition.  And those seem to be easing now that we're settling into this new normal.  And my weight gain has slowed...for now so I'm quite happy with where I'm at!

I think it was just sheer determination that made me get going painting Josiah's room.  It's a staggaringly slow pace, but it's going.  Of course I decided to do two walls one color and two walls another...which means more work.  I've got all four coats of edging done and one coat of brown rolled.  One coat of brown to roll and two coats of green and a birch tree and owl to paint and we'll be good as gold.  Sheesh.  What was I thinking!?  Pictures for sure to come when it's all said and done!

And last but certainly not least.  It's high time for a little update and video of our darling first born.  I cannot believe how grown up she is.  She's developing quite a sassy (mostly a good kind of sassy, sometimes spilling into the bad kind of sassy) funny little love.  She's just so smart.  The huge vocabulary words and phrases that she uses...and uses correctly...constantly crack us up.  She has a way of tilting her head to the side and down while looking up at you with her eyes and stating things so cutely and matter of factly that it's forever making Jason and I giggle.  One of my favorite things right now is family devotion time.  We read from her story Bible each night after dinner while eating dessert.  Sometimes Jason and I forget...but she ALWAYS reminds us.  And she alwasy begs for another story after the first one. 

I think I always knew she'd be great at memorization.  And boy oh boy is she!  So during this family devotion time we're starting to memorize short Bible verses.  The frist one she learned is "Never tire of doing what is right" 2 thessalonians 3:13.  She says, "Never get tired of doing the thing that is right. 3:13."  Pretty darn good!  Now we're working on, "Jesus said, I will be with you always..." Matthew 28:20.  It brings such joy to our hearts!  It also brings us such joy when she comes out of Sunday school and can tell us what she learned on the ride home.  This week she said, "I learned that God takes care of the flowers and the birds."  And sure enough, her papers and coloring were from Matthew 6.

This year is the year of the bike.  She mastered her tricycle and then Jason and I went a little overboard on Easter and got her her first two wheeler!  It's so hard with her birthday and Christmas being so close together.  I don't want to wait for those times to get her a big present.  And although this is huge to her, I was really suprised at how easy a 12" two wheeler with training wheels is on the wallet :)  So with out further ado, enjoy these videos of her reciting her memory verse and riding her trike and two wheeler.  (Don't worry, she bounces right back from the fall off the trike :)

May 4, 2012

Falling to Pieces

Miss me?  It's been a while I know.

After the first trimester I (naively) thought my pregnancy would be smooth sailing from there on out...because it was with Ella.  Not so my friends.  Not so.  The short of it is, in the past few weeks I've been diagnosed with severe anemia, started taking the hippiest, most absorbable, all natural iron suppliment out there but it still seems to have thrown my whole digestive tract from one end to the other into a major rebellion, AND in the last few days some excruciating low back and pelvic pain has entered my world (perhaps because the baby's gone head down and is now putting all sorts of pressure in all sorts of fun new places).  I feel like I've fallen to pieces in a VERY short period of time! 

Consequently, I've not been blogging.  In fact, I've not been doing much of anything.  This whole anemia things is really not for the faint of heart.  Sure it may sound unassumine, but it makes lifting my arm feel like a major undertaking.  (That wasn't even a joke.)  So I've been doing my best to just make it through the days... being a half okay mom, mustering something that resembles order and cleanliness in this house, attempting to keep food around, and trying to stay awake until Jason gets home.

Can I just say how INCREADIBLY thankful I am that Jason gets home from work at 3:30.  I DO NOT know how I would survive if he did not.  Because he pretty much comes in the door, I give him a kiss, and directly go take a nap.  Even WITH a nap, I have literally gone to bed as early as 6:30pm some nights.  Lately it's more like a rockin' 8pm but holy hannah.  It doesn't matter how much sleep I get, it doesn't make a dent.

Apparantly that's normal.  I've only been taking the extra iron for a week.  It takes at least 3 to build up a new supply of baby red blood cells and and AT LEAST a month, they say, to start regaining energy.  Are you kidding me!?

So here I am, shuffling about my days, wearing my super hot fannypack strap-on rice heating pad (because it's the only thing that even begins to touch the back pain) and praying that this too shall pass...more quickly than not!

So if you want to send up a little prayer for me that'd be much appreciated!