Sunday, September 30, 2012


My sister, her husband and their two daughters hurried to St. Louis from Kansas City this weekend to meet little Iz and to see us all. It's really tough to be apart but so very wonderful to have had this time together and to have our babies side by side. They are so adorable and loved being next to one another.

It was so funny to see them together as Iz is larger than M even though she is five weeks younger. So strange to go from holding my squishy little gal to holding her less-squishy cousin, but also very wonderful to be holding that little sweetie once again. It might way too long before we all see each other again, but so fun to imagine them growing up together and thinking ahead to all of the adventures to be had.

So much love.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Recovering, Loving & Baby Wearing

Thanks to everyone for the love and congratulations upon announcing our girl's arrival. We are all doing well and recovering slowly but surely. I actually feel pretty great for having given birth just those short few days ago, but am still looking forward to feeling up for walks around the neighborhood as a family and for sitting on non-cushy surfaces. It shouldn't be too long. 

Today I dove in and gave the Moby Wrap a try. E had worn it the other day with much success, but this was my first try. After a little frustration at trying to figure out what to do with this long piece of material I figured it out and am so glad I did. Little gal loves it as she loves to be close and snuggly as much as possible and I love it as I can have my hands free while still continuing to snuggle her. I'm even able to type with two hands so I can actually check in with you all. Perfect!

Plus, we took our first trip out of the house to run to Target for some necessities and little miss did great. AND, when we got home her and I were able to bake the blueberry muffins I have been craving. Granted, I'm not snuggled up on the couch giving my body a break, but this whole baby wearing thing gave me just what I needed today and I am definitely on board.

Well, time to go scarf down some tacos and smoothies and chug a gallon of water. Seriously, I'm even more of a camel than usual these days. Hope everyone is doing well!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Ten Tid Bits

1. Our animals are super weird, but with the change in the weather our cat is finally acting somewhat sane again which is a huge relief. She still does things like tackling her brother into forced head baths, but that's part of her charm.

2. Last night I thought it might be go-time for having this baby, but that was a false alarm. I'm glad it happened though because it helped a bit more in the mental preparation department

3. My food has been super lame lately and I have the urge to indulge in every delicious food this weekend. I just want to eat every wonderful thing ever to exist. Realistic? Maybe not, but I'm sure I can scrounge up a few things.

4. We have been moving little things into Nugget's room and while I think we'll let the rest of the decorating and such happen a bit more organically as time passes and we gather and arrange things, I'm happy to have a happy little place to call hers.

5. I have been thinking of my post-baby plans a lot lately and right now they consist of caring for her just the best I know how, but also focusing on my creative pursuits (sewing, knitting, writing, drawing) and making sure to do things that stretch my brain. I don't think little one will mind me reading aloud from adult books, so long as I do it with varying inflections and that is definitely something I can manage.

6. I know I don't have any pants that are going to fit me once this baby has arrived and am starting to wonder what I'm going to wear now that the weather's changing, but am craving a warm pair of corduroys and a cozy cardigan for starters. Guess I'll need to figure that out.

7. I have been a knitting fool this week, having already knit a scarf and a hat for myself and making it halfway through a hat for E today. It's nice to be challenging myself with new patterns and to have something to keep me productive and busy. I'm very glad I pushed myself to take that knitting class last year and always find myself amazed at what you can do with some yarn and sticks. I have some trickier projects on the horizon as to challenge myself to learn if only I had an endless knitting supply budget.

8. Things are going pretty okay for us in a way that I feel I can relax and really enjoy this time in our lives. Far from perfection or from a place of totally carefree comfort, but I feel like we will be okay and that everything will work out one way or the other. Plus, we will always have each other and that is the most important and essential thing of all.

9. Unless our baby makes a sudden and speedy appearance in the next seven hours she will officially be born in the fall and that makes this lady super duper happy. I was hoping for that all along.

10. Truths from Ina May

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. We don't have anything planned other than a midwife appointment and doing whatever strikes our fancy, so it looks like it's going to be a good one. 


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Focus on the Positive

I challenge myself to start focusing on the good in my life. This isn't always a problem for me as I have worked long and hard at trying to live a life of positivity, but recent worries often have me talking about stresses when in the company of friends rather than focusing on the good things. Our society at large seems to be victim to quite an epidemic of this, with everyone joining together and talking about the struggles, which is helpful and often therapeutic, but less often are we joining together and focusing on all of the good that is in our lives despite the struggles. I wish this would happen more often and will try a bit harder on my end, for there is so much to be thankful for and to find joy in even on the days that it all seems so very overwhelming. What do you think?


Monday, September 17, 2012

Loving Well

E and I went for a long walk through the botanical gardens after our midwife appointment on Sunday morning. We revisited our wedding site, fed the koi fish in the Japanese gardens, and just generally took everything in and enjoyed the time together, just the two of us, yet it never really is just the two of us anymore and as much as I try to really focus on those moments she always seems to slip into my thoughts, into our conversation, into each second, and I don't see that as a bad thing. We are ready, we want her in our lives so deeply and love her more than I can even describe. Just today I was rubbing and patting her little bottom through my belly, telling her how much I love her. I found myself sitting and crying tears of joy at the thought that we will soon be meeting our daughter and while life will never be the same, I can cry happy tears at that as well, because while we've enjoyed our years together as a couple, we are ready to welcome our daughter into all of those experiences we enjoy so much and to show her how to love and how to be loved. 


Friday, September 14, 2012

Project: Stenciled Onesies

I am here with another project to share: stenciled onesies. These are such a fun easy project and something I really think anybody can do.

Supplies needed: Plain Onesies (colors would be fun, but I only had these white ones on hand), freezer paper, xacto knife, iron, textile paint, foam brush, tape, pencil, images or text you would like to see on a onesie.

The first step is to create or find your image or text and sketch or print it out on plain paper. After you've acquired your image you will place a piece of freezer paper (glossy side down) on top and tape it into place. Next you simply trace around the image or text and then using your xacto knife, cut away the portions you want to have show up on the onesie. For instance, for this image I cut away the house outline and the words and left the larger sections. If cutting out letters be sure to reserve their inner portions.

The next step is why it is important to be using freezer paper, for the waxy side will stick to your fabric when set with the heat from your iron. So, place your stencil glossy side down on the front of your onesie, including any small cut away pieces like insides of "O's" or "A's". Using a warm iron carefully press the stencil into place being careful not to shift your freezer paper.  I found it most helpful to sort of tack down the stencil in a couple places with a small tap or two and then to work from the inside out, being sure to keep things smooth. Once it's all on give it a good iron across the entire image making sure the edges are all tacked down to keep paint out. I promise it's not as complicated as I'm making it sound, you're just applying heat to keep the stencil in place, simple as that.

Next comes the fun part, applying paint. IMPORTANT, before starting, place an extra sheet of freezer paper or cardboard inside of the onesie so your paint will only be applied to the front portion and not leak through. Next, using your textile paint of choice and a small foam brush gently paint the openings. I used a light tapping motion and a few coats to make sure the paint was nice and even.

After the paint is applied you simply need to allow it to dry before tearing away the freezer paper and revealing your image. Take it in, enjoy it, and then following the instructions on your paint container, break out the iron again and heat set your paint. This is what will give it more permanency through washes and wears. 

It really is as simple as that. I went ahead and made a few more as well because I was having so much fun. If you have older kids this is a great project they could help out with to make their own t-shirts, and since it goes rather quickly and involves paint it would probably keep their attention for at least long enough to make one or two.

The three designs I ended up with are below:

So what do you think? Have you done something similar or do you think you will give it a try? Let me know if you do!


p.s. Yes, we are planning a home birth, and I'll eventually get around to talking about that, probably once sweet girl is here. I know not everyone agrees with this, but please keep it positive as her birth is on the horizon and we need lots of good love and support coming our way. Otherwise, back to the onesies!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Project: Dresser Redo

Now that Nugget's room is nearing being finished, I thought I would share her dresser. Working together (me choosing paint and knobs and giving guidance and E doing all of the actual physical labor) we brought her dresser from looking like a pile of junk to something customized to our tastes and needs.

It was important to us that we found something low (around hip height) and long so it could double as her changing station and also that the entire project stay under or around $100. So, after a few trips to various thrift stores we found this beast beauty for $25 and we were ready to get started.

As you can see, it was in rough shape, but we could see beyond the scuffs, blonde color, and missing knobs and were more focused on it's good solid bones. What the dresser was lacking in looks it made up for in structure with it's solid hard wood frame and sturdy surface.

E originally planned to just give the entire thing a rough sanding before applying the paint, but after trying that out and having the sandpaper come out covered with gummy paste, due to the varnish, he realized it would need to be stripped first. We made a quick trip to the local True Value and found this stripper that seemed a bit more environmentally friendly so decided to give it a try. 

It definitely was less stinky, yet I didn't hang around much due to being with-Nugget, but E did fill me in on how it worked. He would basically glob the stuff on rather thickly and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour and then wipe it off with shop rags and scrape it away with a basic putty/paint scraper, then wipe away the excess goop with wet rags or by spraying with a hose. This process was by far the most time-intensive, so he would do a bit each evening after work and slowly the entire thing was looking a lot less blonde and a lot more paintable. 

I don't have pictures of the in-between or the sanding, but after the stripping E smoothed wood putty into any grooves or holes and used a small hand-held sander to smooth the entire thing down, using plain old sandpaper for any curves or grooves he needed to get into. And after that it was on to the painting.

We chose to give it just one coat of paint to allow the wood's texture to show through a bit and we also chose to forgo sealing it as we prefer how it looks with more of a matte finish. 

Once the paint was all dry and ready, we added on these small ceramic knobs from World Market.   They each rang in at $1.99 each, but with a 10% off coupon we brought home all 10 for just around $20 even after tax. Not too bad for something cute and up-our-alley.

And although it took a lot longer than we anticipated due to having to add in the stripper step, it was still done in just a couple weeks of E working on it a bit at a time, and when I returned from the birth of my new niece, he surprised me by having it all finished up and in her room. My husband is definitely a keeper.

So, what's the breakdown? Well, we met all of our goals by finding something low, long, and under $100, even with the added stripper expense:

Dresser: $25
Stripper: $25
Paint: $25 (Awning MSL147 - Martha Stewart Living in Glidden Paint)
Knobs: $20 (World Market)
TOTAL: $95

I'm super satisfied with the cost, outcome, and functionality of this project and really happy to have a partner-in-crime who is always up for a little DIYing. Not only did we save money this way, we also have a solid piece of furniture (not a trace of particle board in sight) that will last a lifetime and that we were able to fully customize to our tastes. Hopefully Nugget likes it as much as we do!

Have you ever refurbished a piece of furniture for your own home? Did it go as planned or did you also find there were extra unanticipated steps along the way? Doing things yourself can definitely bring it's own set of challenges, but it also brings along it's own rewards and feelings of accomplishment and pride, don't you think?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Knitting Fever

The past two days I have done barely anything but knit. You see, I gathered beautiful yarns, chose a pattern and began a blanket long ago. Wanting the blanket to be larger than the intended size I chose to expand it. Well...that didn't go as planned and it turned out really funky and left me feeling majorly bummed. Hours and hours were poured into that blanket and I have this mental checklist of wanting to make a knit blanket and a quilt for each of our children, so I was really disappointed in myself for having jacked it up. Granted, it was my first time knitting a blanket, but still, so although I didn't have money for any new yarn, I did have some in my stash and some leftover from the first attempt, so I started a new one before bed Sunday night and have been knitting like wild. We'll see if the baby or the completed blanket is here first! Other than that I have knit up some little hats and also pulled out my stash of knit baby legs and a little sweater I made before baby was ever in utero. I was so excited to pull these things out and see that I do have a little stash of hand-knits ready to go for our little fall baby. I can't want to get her all snuggled up in them and to know I was able to create them on my own, just for her.

Have you ever had a project go majorly wrong and feel you must redeem yourself with a re-do? I'd love to hear your stories.


Monday, September 10, 2012

What's in store?

Last week left us all feeling a bit lazy around here. With my stomach on revolt and my energy down the pipes, a good number of days were spent snuggled into a nest of pillows while the animals joined in with finding snuggle nests of their own. Luckily, come Saturday morning I was feeling mostly back to myself, the ninth months pregnant version that is.  I threw a flannel on over my tank top as we headed out to a midwife appointment followed by a trip to Art Outside at a local brewery and with that and the cooler breezes I finally started to see Fall on the horizon. I make it a point to peruse Art Outside every year and bring a little tid bit home with me, this year's treasure being a jersey silk-screened scarf from Sprouted Designs, another little something to help me welcome in the Fall and this next season in our lives. 

With Fall already being my favorite season, I am thrilled that our family will grow and change just as the seasons do. I already look forward to crunching leaves with her every fall, making cocoa and muffins together with the windows open and a cool breeze blowing in, taking walks through the changing landscape as we explore bits of nature, all of it. This first year may be limited as far as her involvement goes, but just the thought of a crunchy Fall walk with her snuggled to my chest is enough to make my cheeks flush with joy. I think I have been waiting for this moment for even longer than I realize. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Late Summer Adventures: Apple Picking

E has a habit of making things happen that I have had on my wish list for years and with an extra day off this weekend, he did it again. St. Louis was subject to many rain showers throughout the weekend, but we found a clear patch of rain-free time on Monday to head out on an adventure in apple picking, a first for both of us. 

There were three different kinds of apples ripe for the picking, golden delicious, red delicious, and jonathans, but after a taste test of each kind we decided to stick mostly to the goldens and came home with eleven pounds worth. I have yet to enjoy any more of them due to my stomach being on revolt today, it has really taken me down for the count, but I'm hoping to dig into our big bag of deliciousness once the belly allows for it. 

This adventure has also made me even more excited for the coming fall season and all it brings with it, baby included. E is often greeted with the words "pumpkin patch" first thing in the morning these days. Yes, it's fair to say I'm pretty excited about going, and bringing our tiny little Nugget along with us.