Monday, November 15, 2010

Diaper Bag

It's one of those days. I really just don't want to get into it, so I am going to share with you a diaper bag I made a couple months ago- in easier times. I used another amazing Amy Butler print that I bought, not knowing what I would do with it. It just called to me. It turned into this:Complete with side and front pockets, a zipper, and nice long straps.

The inside is lined with clear vinyl (for easy cleaning) and has two large pockets with cute bicycle fabric.
It was a fun project!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Bubble Moment

Ever have a moment that reminds you why it is you do what you do? A moment that melts away stress, anxiety, frustration, and anger? A moment that reminds you just how great your life is? Today, for me, it was a bubble moment.

Something about these bubbles turned my previously whiney and cranky kids (and self) into the two cutest little people enjoying the simplest of pleasures.
Or maybe it was the fact that their baby sister FINALLY stopped screaming and went to sleep, so their parents were able to enjoy a quiet moment with them.
After coming down with a bad cold at the end of one of the hardest weeks so far, I needed a bubble moment.
Here's to more bubble moments and less crying, screaming, and whining! We all need a break from that!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Favorite Project

My oh my! I feel like I've been in a swirling vortex of babies, housework, and sewing! I have SOO much to blog about, but find myself using the few moments my hands are empty to sew. From Burp cloths, baby toys and lovie blankets, to diaper bag and skirts, I have been busy! I've decided (thanks sister!) to not get overwhelmed with the plethora of projects to share and just show one at a time... starting with my favorite.

Now that I see this photo I am kicking myself for not taking a 'before' photo, so imagine a drab, twice-used black and white toille car seat, turned into this!

I found this amazing Amy Butler fabric at my new favorite fabric store and snatched it up, not knowing what to do with it. Then after reading how Dana at MADE (seriously, if you haven't seen her blog yet, you must must!!) takes old car-seats apart and makes them cute, I thought, hey, I can use my new fabric to do that!

Ok, really I thought, "I want to do that, and I'm scared to death of ripping apart my car seat to make it happen!" On a boring Monday afternoon I decided to bite the bullet and go for it, not knowing if it would look halfway decent when I finished. I figured I might as well do it when I am stuck at home with the babies anyway.

After one day to pull apart the old seat and three more days to cut out and sew the new cover, I ended up with a fun new seat!! I have to say, I love how it turned out. It makes me happy every time I see it.

I used bias tape for the strap holes and made little strap covers too.

I found a co-ordinating satin for the contrast fabric. I was unsure how to make the shade cover, but once I took the old one apart it was pretty easy.

Amelia looks adorable in her new seat. It brings out her already pink skin tones.

Coming soon: a new diaper bag, baby shoes, and a new business venture!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amelia's Birth Story

This pregnancy took me on a personal journey unlike any of my other pregnancies. At the starting line was me, in my bathroom, starring blankly at a positive pregnancy test in shock. At the finish line was me, surrounded by people I love, welcoming a new love into my life. I'd like to give you a little peak at my journey, focusing mostly on delivery (we don't have all day, do we!).

I must admit, I handled the little double pink lines better than I thought I would. I was a bit shocked, but mostly relieved. You see, I had been feeling quite sick and was thinking, I either have some weird disease, or I am pregnant. So yeah, I was relieved that I was not seriously ill! I walked around in shock for a couple days, because I had a four month old, and really had not even processed through his birth (you too would take a while to process through giving birth to a 10 1/2 lb. baby), and here I was making another baby! Most people have more time to recover from (and forget about)the labor, the pain, the recovery period, the newbornhood, etc. It was all too fresh in my mind. I'd like to point out here that we were being responsible and using birth control, but there's not much we could do when that failed us. We won't be using that brand anymore! 'Nough said.

Over the next few months, as the reality of having 3 kids under 3 set in, God just took me by the hand and led me through the feelings, one step at a time. It was a process, but I felt more prepared for what was coming, and excited to complete our family. God is so good- he really gave me a peace about it all. He also assured me that this delivery and this baby would be different, and easier than the last.

In my third trimester I decided I just couldn't do a hospital birth as I had planned. After having 2 homebirths, and seeing how different a hospital birth is with all their silly rules, I decided it wasn't going to work for me. Since a home birth was not an option in Redding (I couldn't find a midwife I was willing to trust with our lives), I decided to travel to Sonora to deliver with Ellie, the midwife who delivered my other babies. She graciously agreed to take me on as a patient, my parents agreed to me having baby in their home, and Daddy Man's boss graciously gave him the time off he would need to have the baby so far from home. Everything was set and ready.

God helped prepare my heart for the birth as well. As I experienced with my other births, if I can stay focused and calm labor is manageable, but if I am afraid of what is happening, it hurts like heck!! This time around I was determined to have an easier birth with less pain. The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear. God is love, so what better thing to focus on than Him during labor? I knew God had something special for me in this delivery, so I prepared myself to focus on Him and His love, and just have "God time" with Him during labor. So when my contractions finally kicked in and got more intense around 2pm on Saturday, July 31st, Daddy Man put on some worship music for me, and I felt God's presence so strongly. So I labored, with tears of joy in my eyes, experiencing God's perfect embrace and enjoying his presence so much. I sang along (in my head) with the songs during contractions to keep my head and heart in the right place. The songs that most helped me were "Liquid Love" and "I Love it When You Sing" by Janna Adams (check her out on or iTunes) and "Healer" by Leah Valenzuela (on Bethel's "Here is Love" CD). Not only did I experience God's love in a powerful way during active labor and transition, but I experienced no pain. Yes, the contractions were super intense, but manageable. around 20 minutes before Amelia was born, I was still speaking the words of the songs in between contractions. "I believe that You're my Healer, I believe that You are all I need...." When I started pushing a few minutes later, my declarations and "God time" sounded more like "JESUS HELP!!" It's a good thing that I only pushed for 8 minutes, because oh man did that hurt! In the moment she was crowning (head almost out, in case you don't know) I felt that awful burning that feels like it will never end (all the mom's out there, feel free to cringe now....I know you remember the burn!) I said, "get her out!!" and she came out (you can breathe now). I pulled her up out of the water (forgot to mention that I did a water birth) and instantly felt relief and joy and pride as I gazed at my beautiful, crying, red-haired, itty bitty baby! God had prepared me, walked me through, and loved me through the whole process, leading me into such intense love for my new baby girl. What an amazing time. She cried for about 10 minutes before we could calm her down, and I jokingly said, "maybe she's getting all her crying done now, so she'll be done after this!" But in the back of my mind I thought, "uh-oh, is she going to be 'a crier'?"

After my other births I was light headed, dizzy, and exhausted. I had to sit on a stool in the shower. But this birth was different. I felt so much better, and almost immediately was ready to take a shower and be up talking to people. Since I didn't need stitches this time (yeah!!!!) I could even sit pretty comfortably. A few days later I was even walking around pretty normally. Wow, what a difference.

And baby girl? Well, she sleeps four to 6 hours at night (since day one) and goes 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours between eating in the day. She never cries, puts herself to sleep, and eats well. Wow, I have not had a baby like her before. I guess God knew that with two toddlers, I needed an easy baby. I am so thankful for her, and thankful that things are not as crazy as I had imagined. I have my sanity, I still have a little time to myself in the day (next post I will show you the diaper bag I am making!) and my kids are amazing. Don't think all is perfect, because I have plenty of freak-out moments, but the good times (usually) outweigh the hard times.

Welcome to the world, baby Amelia. You have brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Well, we have a baby girl! Her birth story is coming soon, I promise! But for now, just wanted to share why I feel so incredibly blessed these days.

I am so blessed for this sweet girl. Do we have a newborn, not yet 2 weeks old (2 days old in above picture)?? I'm not sure.... Aren't newborns supposed to cry? Aren't they supposed to wake up every 2 hours at night to eat? Aren't they supposed to take a long time or lots of soothing to fall asleep?

As for me, shouldn't I feel like I just had a baby? Shouldn't I be tired beyond comprehension with three babies at home? (Ok, well Muffin is not a baby, but she's is not even 3 yet!) Shouldn't I feel overwhelmed at home by myself with all of the kids? Hmm.....

The answer is, No, it doesn't have to be that way. God, in his infinite grace knew what I needed, and graciously provided: Angel baby-sleeps-4-6 hours at a time and at least 2 1/2 hours during the day-never cries-puts herself to sleep-girl.....quick labor with no stitches needed (Thank GOD!!) and super quick recovery....and a relatively sound mind! Even the kids are adjusting beautifully.
Above picture is the first time the kids met baby girl...she was about 12 hours old.
Proud big sister was soooo happy to finally hold baby sister.
And the biggest surprise of all: Mr. 13-month-old hasn't even said his first word yet Baby knew exactly what was going on! It was like he had listened to me preparing big sister for the new arrival, and already knew her and loved her so much! When he first saw sister all he wanted to do was kiss her. He was so gentle and loving- he proved to us that he knows WAY more than we give him credit for. He is such a loving big brother.

A sleepy Daddy man with his girls.

Other blessings: a super helpful Daddy Man who continues to get up early with Muffin before he makes us all lunch in the morning too!

An amazing 3 weeks spent at my parents house with love and help poured on us from all sides.

The best in-laws ever and their many days of helping with the kids while we awaited sister's arrival.

Having baby at my parents house with the best midwife ever and the best doula!

So, I am soooo blessed to have our family complete, and so far it is looking like it (or I) won't be as insane as I thought! Stay tuned, next week Daddy Man starts school again. Sure, lets add one more thing into the mix and see how we handle it! ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A productive weekend

Since this weekend is the last weekend before we head down to Sonora to await Baby Sister's arrival, we had an extensive to do list. Things like getting birth supplies together, packing bags, digging the moses basket out, and finding the car seat, along with finishing up some projects like the kid's curtains and Mr. Baby's wall decor. Somehow, and I'm still trying to figure this out, we got almost all of the list done....gasp!... and still had time to go to the lake, attend a little sidewalk craft show, and do fun creative projects too! Was it a three day weekend? It sure felt like it!

I whipped up these fun blocks for Baby Sister, using fabric I had already. These are sooo fun to make, and you can use stuffing, or foam like I did. I think I might make a few more in a smaller size. These are 5 inch cubes.
Each block has the same pink and brown dot fabric, and a different flannel and minky. For the one below I used another one of those receiving blankets from my mom (see last post). To make these blocks, simply cut 6 squares of fabric (mine were 5 1/2" for a 5" cube, and 1/4" seam allowance on all sides) and lay them out in a cross pattern; four squares tall and three across. If you use 2 of each fabric like I did, lay them out so the matching fabric is across the cube from itself. Hmm, this would make more sense if I had taken would have the two flannel pieces on the cross part, the center of the cross (minky) would be the same as the very bottom of the cross, and the top (cotton print) the same as the 3rd square down. Hopefully that makes sense.
I also finished Muffin's ponies! I love the yarn hair, and considering I let Muffin pick any fabric from my stash, I thought she did a great job at getting co-ordinating fabrics! And yes, the Mommy pony is made with another one of those flannel receiving blankets. ;)
It's such a great feeling to do a project using only things you already had in your stash. So fun!
Daddy Man wanted to get in on the crafting action, and decided to do a project with Muffin. (I know, how cute, right?) This is what it looks like when he does a craft.
At least he cleaned it all up when they were done. :) They made a castle for Muffin's strawberry shortcake dolls. (It has also housed the cubes AND the ponies) He made the structure with cardboard, then let Muffin glue paper and decorations to the outside. They were so cute together.
Here's what it sounded like:
Daddy Man: "What color should this tower be?"
Muffin: "Pink!"
Daddy Man: "Ok, how about this tower?"
Muffin: "Pink!!"
D: "We are out of pink. What other color?"
M: "pink !"
D: "How about purple?"
M: "Um, sure."
D: "What should we glue on next?"
M: "A heart!"
D: "What color heart?"
M: "Pink!"

It's a miracle he worked some non-pink colors into that thing. ;)
back view
So, we had a great weekend, and finished it off with a short trip to the lake. Mr. Baby loves to swim. He wants to be on his belly zooming around in the water. He will be swimming probably before Muffin, who says, "Mommy, I don't like it under the water." Oh Muffin. How desperately you need Teacher Cindy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh Deer

What was my favorite part of the 4th of July this year? Super sale at Joann Fabrics!! Well, I probably had more fun being with Daddy Man and the kids for three days in a row, but the sale was amazing!! Their patterns were on sale for 99 cents! We're talking about $12-$16 patterns here! One of the patterns I found was for three different vintage-style stuffed animals, in two sizes. I started with the Momma and Baby Lamb for Baby Sister. For the material I used some flannel receiving blankets that my Mom bought for me and told me to make whatever for her room. I wanted her animals to be soft and cuddly, so the blankets worked perfectly! The only downside- the sheep turned out to look like deer. Hmm....The long legs and neck, and skinny body make them look like deer, but hey, they are still totally cute!
I embroidered eyelashes, mouths and hooves, and used vintage buttons for the eyes. I made sure to cut out the Mama's body so I could use the cute butterfly that was on the blanket. Too cute! Muffin is excited about Sister's sheep, and is playing with them as I write, but asked me to please make her the pony ones. (the pattern has a lamb, giraffe, and a horse). I'll get right on that, Muffin!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Gilded Treasure

Today I would like to share with you a successful project, and a failed one.

First, the successful project:
Last December I picked up three of these crown ornaments thinking I would paint them and make something for my mom and Sister (sorry girls, I never got around to it!). Once I decided to do a castle/princess theme for Muffin and Baby's room, I thought they would be perfect in pink! I started out with the same color as the poodles, but it just wasn't popping, so I went a few shades darker.

From gilded......
To perfectly pink!
I even followed through on the project, and hot glued them to her cubby shelf. I'm hoping the glue will hold. If not, I will call in Daddy Man and his power tools.
Close up:
I took the opportunity to give you a little sneak peak of Muffin's work in progress room. I think I'm pretty much done, it's just that its hard to get photos of the whole room at one time (this would mean the whole room would have to be clean. ;) Asking too much, right?).
I found this cutest-of-all chairs at Ross, and got 25% off for a scuff on the leg! So girly and cute!
On to the failed project:

My third attempt at upcycling a men's shirt into a boy's shirt did not go so well. This time I used this tutorial for making a onesie, and modified it for a shirt. It was looking good until I sewed the ribbing on backward on the front half of the shirt. Arg!! At first glance it looks OK....
but closer inspection reveals a slew of errors. I'm new to sewing knit fabrics, so the neckline is all warbly (yup, made that up). As I said, the front neckline that you see is supposed to be on the inside of the shirt...the other side looks better, but since I used the existing hem of the old shirt, I couldn't turn it around. And, as you can see right by Muffin's fingers, I didn't catch the edge of the ribbing in the sleeve.
Well, I will try again. Hopefully I can get it right before this weekend's birthday party for Baby Keller! As for the fate of this shirt? It's not so bad to be doomed to the dumpster, so I think Mr. Baby will use it for a sleep shirt (just like the first two I tried. UGH!)

Monday, June 28, 2010


Last Friday Muffin, Mr. Baby and I went garage sale-ing. I know, quite the ambitious activity with two kids, but we had fun! One of my favorite finds was this poodle bookend set. It reminded me of a set we sold at Hibernation. Don't be put off by the gilded exterior. These poodles have potential!! The best part? This vintage treasure was only $1. Score.A few coats of spray paint later.....(don't tell Daddy Man, or Ellie, for that matter. I would be in big trouble for breathing these fumes! Sorry, I just couldn't resist!)
The perfect little girly pink poodle bookends. They are right at home in Muffin's room, and she is very attached to them.
It is very regal, no?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Outdoor Oasis

When Nana and Pa came to visit, Pa bought the kids an "outdoor oasis." I wanted something like this, but figured our little $5 turtle sand box would suffice as a pool. It worked, but was not really big enough for me to sit in. That's right, I (all 9 months pregnant of me) get right in the toddler pool with my kids. :) So this is perfect! We ALL love it! ;)

Muffin enjoys lounging on the slide.....
You can't tell here, but the yellow sides are filled with water, and it squirts out through little holes all over the edges.

They love riding the dolphin
Or sitting under the rainbow. The part you slide onto squirts out water too, as Mr. Baby is discovering.
It also came with inflatable starfish rings that stack on a tower that squirts water....or on the palm tree.
We go 'swimming' in the few inches of water almost every day! Thanks Pa!
It also provides lots of indoor entertainment. It was REALLY funny watching her try to walk with these on! Oh, and what is she wearing? A play shirt, pajama shorts, 2 different baby legs, and two different socks. Hmm, must work on the outfit co-ordination.
Lastly, I thought I would treat you to Mr. Baby, in all of his full glory. ;) Quite the tank, isn't he?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Surprise Visit!

Last Friday my parents came up to Redding for a surprise visit! It was so much fun! They came up so my Mom could go to my baby shower on Saturday, hosted by my Sister-in-Law and my friend Kristina. It was a lovely baby shower (and true to form, I took 0 pictures!) and such a nice time to focus on Baby Girl. The rest of the weekend was filled with fun and frolicking about with Nana and Pa, like our trip to Enterprise Park. It features a great Kid's Kingdom play area, seen below behind pa, and an awesome volcano that 'erupts' water every 15 minutes. So much fun, and exactly the kind of thing my little niece Madelynn would be all over. My kids? They prefer to sit and watch, and enjoy the nice overspray.
Thank you sooo much Nana and Pa for such a fun surprise! Ooh, and for the 'outdoor oasis!' Pictures to come on that!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A whirlwind week!

Last week we all went down to Sonora for a visit. The original plan was to go so Daddy Man could work at my Parents' house for the week, getting some much needed property work done for them. We would go down for a week, Daddy Man would work, and the kids and I would hang out with Nana and Aunt Sister. Sounds nice and relaxing, right? Well, my Mom and I decided that this would be our only opportunity to throw my Sister a Baby Shower, so we decided to plan it for Saturday. A couple days after deciding that, I realized that we would be in Sonora for Mr. Baby's 1st Birthday. I know, this should have been in the front of my mind, but alas, I had overlooked it. So naturally, we HAD to plan a Birthday party while we were down with most of our family. Can you see what happened? Our leisurely visit had turned into the party marathon week. Between planning a birthday party, a baby shower, and watching two kids (plus Madelynn for two of the days), it seemed my mom and I were going non-stop! Oh yeah, and I decided to have my baby with Ellie in Sonora(story to come on that one), so I also had two marathon appointments (we're talking 2 hours +!) with her during the week. It was crazy, but we had so much fun. I always love staying at my mom's house, but it was so much better since we were able to stay a whole week. I barely had time to take pictures last week, but here's a few of the parties.
Enjoying his favorite food.

The cake was not bad for Safeway, but nothing compared to the one for the baby shower!
He enjoyed the cake, of course!
After cake and presents (thank you everyone for the fun presents!) Mr. Baby gave us his classic Mr. Baby face. Time for bed!

On to the baby shower. Sadly, I failed to take pictures of the front of my mom's house, but we put flowers like these lining the driveway and walkway up to the front door. There was also a chain of three flowers on the front door, and all around my Mom's house. We used the tutorial from this blog to make these flowers out of different colored napkins.
The food table.....
I made a baby buggy fruit salad out of a watermelon. It was pretty cute. I got the idea from a picture I saw online.
The cake table. If anyone needs an amazing cake in Sonora, go to Kim Angel! I have her email address if you are interested.
She mimicked the design from our napkins. It tasted divine!
Miss Muffin was so sweet and had a great time at Aunt Sister's shower. She kept singing Happy Birthday to Aunt Sister. Super cute. Thanks to Mama Mockabee for letting Muffin hold her sweet baby girl. It was adorable.
Here is a not-so-great picture of my gift to Sister. I made her a car seat tent, burp cloth, 3 baby blocks, 2 binky clips, a toy clip, a bib, and a little dolly. I also included a wooden rattle, and the Love and Logic parenting book(more on that later). I just might do a little tutorial on the dolly, just for you Bobbi, and my 12 dear followers. ;)
I don't think dolly's eyes were sewn on at this point, but rest assured, she had eyes. :)
Well, that about wraps it up! More to come later about having baby girl in Sonora! Exciting!