Monday, September 26, 2011

3 Months!


3 Months?! Where has time gone? My little girl is getting so big!


She still loves her bath time. She's learning to splash with her hands and feet now, and she think's she's pretty funny when she gets water all over!

And like always, she still hates tummy time. 

She's long and lean! She wears 6-9 month onsies but still fits in her 3 month pants! 

She found her hands this month, and boy does she love to suck on them...LOUDLY! We can usually hear her all the way across the room.

She "watched" her first beaver game!
 Here's the most adorable OSU cheerleader you'll ever see:


We're still dealing with the lovely teething process, which has brought on mass amounts of drool within the last few weeks. 
Which has brought on her new talent of blowing bubbles:


We got her a little play mat with an arch for her toys to hang on, and she loves it! She's still working on being coordinated enough to actually grab at the toys, but she's pretty good at hitting them with her feet.
Here she is playing with her little gym:


We've also been working on sleeping this month. Every time we think she's gotten into a routine we get some rough nights. We're done traveling for the summer so hopefully now that we're home we can settle into a new routine, and get our sleep habits established! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reversible Carseat Strap Covers


I'd been meaning to make carseat strap covers for Claire since before she was born, and now that its been three months I finally got around to it! I wanted to make something soft so the scratchy straps wouldn't rub against her face, or arms when she's wearing short sleeves. I had some extra minky fabric laying around, so I got to work!

First cut your fabric into 6 inch squares. You'll need four squares all together. I decided to make mine reversible so I cut two squares from each fabric.


Take your squares and put them right sides together, pinning along the edges.

Because my minky fabric is thicker I didn't add any padding. If you wanted to use just cotton or flannel you may want to add a layer of batting in between.

Make sure you remember to leave an opening to flip your straps right side out. I use two pins to mark my stopping point so I don't forget!
Sew at a 1/4" seam around the edges. After you finish make sure you trim the corners so they have a nice clean point to them when you turn your fabric out.

*This is where I am lacking pictures since Claire started crying and I was juggling baby things. Oh mommyhood...*


After you turn your straps right side out, use an iron to press the edges. Tuck the edges of your fabric at the opening under so they are even with the rest of the straps. Pin to make sure they hold in place, then top stitch along the edges ( I did a 1/4" all the way around).

Cut your velcro! I did 5.5" of velcro; two of the soft side and two of the scratchy side (really technical huh!). Pin your soft side to one side of your strap, then turn your strap over and pin the scratchy side at the opposite end.

Then sew around the edges of the velcro, and your done! 

Here is my little chubby girl with her new, soft strap covers:


Thursday, September 15, 2011

DIY Framed Chalk Board



I've been wanting a cute framed chalk board for a while now, but getting one the size I wanted was expensive! So I figured it was the perfect time to make my own. 

Claire and I took a little trip to goodwill and found this lovely treasure
I know what your thinking, "That is the most beautiful frame I've ever seen! Look at the faux gold trim!"

Okay, maybe not, but I loved the texture around the edges of this frame and it was a great size, so I whipped out my $7.00 and took this bad boy home.

Then we took a little family trip to the Home Depot for some painting supplies. 
Here's what you'll need for this project:

Paint 
(2 Colors, one for the frame and one for the chalk board. Make sure your chalk board paint is a latex flat finished paint. I chose an eggshell finish for my frame)
I used the small paint samples, and those has plenty of paint. And bouns: They're only $2.59!

Un-sanded grout

A board for you chalk board 
(my frame only came with glass but if yours already has a board feel free to paint that!)

150 Grit Sandpaper

A cute baby to help you shop :)

Next came the painting! This is actually the part where I should recommend you buy spray paint for your frame if you can. They didn't have the color I was looking for so I bought regular paint instead. Because my frame had so many little grooves in the design, it look me FOREVER to paint it all! 

Here it is after the first coat:

I ended up doing three coats all together. While I was letting the frame dry, I made up the chalk board paint. 
Seriously, don't buy chalk board paint. It's so expensive and making your own is super easy, and you can make it in any color you want!

Mix one cup of paint with two tablespoons of the non sanded grout. Stir it all up until it's well blended. The paint will still be slightly lumpy and thicker than regular paint.

Brush your paint onto your board; once you start brushing it out, the paint will start to smooth out. I did two coats of the chalk board paint.
After you let everything dry you'll want to lightly sand the surface of your chalk board. Then take a piece of chalk and lightly rub it across your entire board. Wipe off the residue with a lightly damp sponge. This will help to condition your board.

Then put together your frame and chalk board and draw away


Other than all the hand painting on the frame, this project was so easy and really inexpensive, I even had enough chalk board paint left over to paint a few other things too!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My lesson in humility


Male family members and friends by warned: this post is about breastfeeding!

Let's start at the beginning shall we? 
When I found we were having a baby, I'll admit, breastfeeding sounded terrible. I was not looking forward to it! I knew that it was the best thing for our little one, but it made me so nervous; I had no idea what I was doing. So I set out to conquer my anxieties and found all the information I could. I talked with other nursing mama's, met with the lactation consultant, and read all sorts of books. When Claire was born, I made sure she nursed within the first hour just like the books said. Those first nights in the hospital I woke up to every little lip smacking noise she made, and made sure to feed her whenever she wanted. I thought to myself: "I'm doing everything the books said, this is going to be easy!"

Now cut to the first day home: I nursed Claire all day, but come night time she was crying like crazy and I was completely drained (milk wise and exhaustion wise!). I remember feeling this terrible guilt, with tears streaming down my face as I  gave her those first 2 oz of formula.  Let me tell you, she downed that bottle! Then I had the guilty feeling of starving my poor daughter all day! This was just the beginning of my lose-lose situation.

To make a long story short, we tried everything after that. We had a lactation consultant visit, we tried fenugreek, mothers milk tea, nursing every two hours, and pumping after each feeding, and still not enough milk for my poor Claire. My doctor and Claire's doctor both assured me that as long as she was getting some breast milk then she was still getting the benefits of it, and formula was fine for her. It's taken me a while but I finally had to come to terms with the fact that Claire has to eat formula too.

I guess what I'm most frustrated with, and the reason that I felt so guilty in the first place, is the judgement I get from others. If I'm nursing with my cover on in public I get the stares like "Thats disgusting, why would she do that in public" but then I go to make a bottle and I get the comments from women saying "You know breast milk really is the best option for your baby".

I don't understand why I get dirty looks for feeding my child, while covered up, but the lady on the other side of the store with her boobs spilling out of her shirt doesn't even get a second look. For heaven's sake I'm more modest than she is!
Then I turn around and I'm getting judged for making formula and I just want to scream "Look, I'm doing everything I can for my baby, but I'm not going to starve her just because I don't want her to have formula".

It makes me want to pull my hair out! I just can't win!

I think what this experience has taught me the most is humility. I'll admit, before I was a parent I would look at other parents and think "When I'm a mom...." and swear up and down not to make that mistake, or do such and such that way. Now that I'm a mother I realize, you do the things you do because you want the best for your child, and you'll never completely know anyone else's story so you have no right to offer your opinions or make passing judgements. 

Being a perfect parent was so much easier when I just had to do it in my head :)

And of course a picture of my very healthy chunky monkey; rolls and chunky cheeks courtesy of mama's milk and formula.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Memories Suite Giveaway!


That's right my friends, my first giveaway! 
The wonderful people over at My Memories Digital Scrapbooking are offering a free download to one of you lucky readers! I got the chance to play around with the software myself and let me tell you, this was so easy to use! I tried digital scrapbooking last summer but the programs I tried were hard to use on Mac's or didn't have very cute designs. This program worked great on my mac, and had some really great stuff. And what's even better, is that you can do so much more than just scrapbook, there are designs for cards and invitations too!

First you download and install the software, then pick your album options and designs. You can choose to create the layout completely on your own or have a pre-set layout where you can drag and drop pictures into. I have to say, I LOVE that you can just drag and drop and not have to wait for your photos to upload to the program.

 As you can see at the bottom of the screen, you can pick your different page layouts and styles. On the left hand side are other free designs offered on the website and on the right hand side is your edit bar, where you can edit text and photos and add embellishments to your page.


And here is a quick little page I threw together of Claire's adorable smiles :) I can't wait to play around with this more; hopefully it will keep me from getting too far behind with Claire's scrapbook!

How to enter:
Go to mymemories.com and pick out your favorite scrapbook kit and leave it in your comment below

Go the My Memories Facebook page and "Like" My Memories for an extra entry!

The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, September 9th at 12:00pm PST. 
Check back to see if you've won!

And as a special treat for all the readers My Memories is offering a $10.00 promo code for their downloadable kits. Use the promo code: MSV210D at check out.