Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Morning in Pictures

This is our classic Christmas morning stair pose.
Our living room door is closed and no one is allowed in until we're all lined up and ready.
We're supposed to be youngest to oldest, but I think Emily got a little excited.

Santa Presents: The fuzzy pickle and a pull along dog.



Feeling a little overwhelmed. Needed a little mommy reassurance.

Brrr it's cold!

The Bras(s) Clan 2008: Celia, Matt and Dean (and baby in tummy)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Best of Christmas 2008 (don't forget to read the end!)

I didn't get Christmas cards sent before we left on our 15 hour drive to AZ. Such is life.

I have been trying for about an hour to get Christmas pictures to post. I have them on my mom's computer, but her software is different than I'm used to and I'm trying to figure out how to access them. So, you may not get pictures till I'm home. Boo hoo.

The best thing about the trip here was that Matt drove all but 1.5 hours. I am not sure why, but I am fairly narcoleptic in a moving car. When I drive, it is a constant battle to keep my eyes open after about an hour. I have to either drink something peppered with a good dose of caffeine, or I have to constantly be chewing something. I don't prefer the prior, so I chose to do the latter. I pretty much ate carrots and sour patch kids the entire time I drove. Boy do I love sour patch kids. Also, Dean cried all but 1/2 hour while I was driving. Overall, he did ok with the very long drive.

We made it here and stayed with my sister Suzie's family the first night. The next day we came on to Snowflake, hitting the only snow and ice we've seen on this trip. There were some pretty rough spots, but Matt is a master driver and we made it safely.

The best lines in our Christmas Nativity play were from my 3 year old nephew. Just as he was supposed to come as a wiseman he turned to his mom who was narrating and said,

"Mom, I changed my mind. I want to be a sea moose."
"A sea moose? Do you mean a moose?"
"No, a sea moose."
"Well, what's a sea moose?"
"Mom. I changed my mind. I just want to be a moose."
"Well, Sky, I don't think there are any mooses in the Christmas story, so you're going to have to be a wise man."

He ended up riding into town on his camel (grandpa) and at the time of gift giving he said, "NO! That's my gold!"

It was a great play.

One of the other "best" or favorite traditions was my sister Suzie reading "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." She has told that every year as long as I can remember.

The most useful and fun present Matt received actually came in late October from his parents. He got a gigantic flat screen monitor for his computer. It is now doubling for our "movie theater" since it's bigger than our 20 in. TV. I think it's 26 or 27 inches or something. It is one of those gifts that counts for this Christmas plus our birthdays for next year, but it's worth it!

The most useful present I got was Isagenix shakes from my mom. Matt got me the Anne of Green Gables set, so that will be my fun present since I'll finally get to finish the series!!

My favorite gifts Dean received were awesome classic wooden toys. I love classic wooden toys that help develop motor skills. He especially loved the toy that requires him to hammer balls into holes. He didn't want to open any presents after that. He's obsessed with pounding on things recently, so it was a brilliant gift by Grandma B.

The best present we received, however, was the news that we are having a baby. Yep, that's right folks.

I am pregnant.

About 2 months pregnant actually. I know, I'm not past my first trimester, but I am NOT a good secret keeper and I am amazed I held off this announcement this long. We confirmed that we were pregnant on December 1st. I hadn't paid close attention to my cycle, but I had a good guess as to my ovulation time. I actually accurately guessed my due date from that! I've already had an ultrasound that confirmed my guessed due date.

Remember when I passed out and hurt myself? Well, yes, I was pregnant then, and though they didn't think I passed out because of the pregnancy, they wanted to check and make sure everything was ok. So, I went to the doctor the day after I fell, and at 6 weeks I could hear and see my baby's heart beating. It's just so amazing. The baby was in the right place and was looking just fine, so I was happy about that.

This baby is due August 3rd, but because I'm going to schedule a C-section (I don't want to go through anything like I did with Dean's birth), I'll probably have the baby a week or so early. So, they'll end up about 21 months apart.

I was almost in denial that I could be pregnant because of all our previous fertility issues. It took us 2 years (with the warning from a specialist that it could take us 10 years) to get pregnant with Dean. So 2-3 months was quite surprising! Surprising but welcomed.

I'm still nursing Dean mornings and nights, but I plan on completely weaning when we get home. I've felt quite good but REALLY tired (especially in the mornings) and often dizzy. I go from extremely full to extremely hungry at the drop of a hat. But I haven't been that nauseous, so I am eternally grateful for that.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To the Mattresses

Before we got married, we knew we needed to get a bed. I saw an add in the Daily Universe for a Queen pillow top mattress for $280. I called the guy and it was a "company" that was pretty much run out of a storage facility. The mattresses were so inexpensive, he told us, because he didn't have all the overhead of a fancy show room and employees. Made sense.

We decided we'd give it a try and at least check it out. It seemed a little sketchy, but only BYU sketchy. We ended up buying one of the mattresses that night and he stored if for us over the summer until we got back to UT for no extra charge. I think he even delivered it for $25 or something.

The mattress has served us well the past 5 1/2 years. It was great in the beginning. I don't think we had any trouble with the size or anything until I was pregnant with Dean. A queen's just a little too cozy for my 6'2" husband, me and a 9 month big belly. We like our individual space when we sleep.

In the past year, however, we have both started having back problems. We've noticed that there's a hump in the middle and dips on our individual sides. It was supposed to last 10 years, but I have to be honest that we didn't rotate it and flip it as well or often as we should have, so maybe it's our fault. We're also both primarily stomach sleepers, so that doesn't help our problems at all.

Anyway, we decided it was time to get a new mattress. We figure we might as well get a King this time around, but that was all we knew. We had absolutely no idea what we were getting into. We didn't have a price range since we had no idea how much they ran. We didn't even know what type of bed we preferred. The sales guy at the store was slightly bugged. We just wanted to lay on every mattress and see what we liked. So we did.

We found that we're not fans of the foam like Tempurpedic (too hot) or Comforpedic (WAY too pricey starting at $6K or something for a King). Unfortunately, the bed we preferred the most was normally $5000+ for a King set. It's currently on sale for $2800. Holy CRAP! That's 10 times the price of our original bed! The "cheap" beds on our "keeper" list were still over $2000. That's a lot of money for a bed. We'd pretty much have to forgo living room furniture if we go for the bed. (Not like we're finding any living room furniture that works for us anyway.)

I'm not sure what to do. Is it worth it? If it really does help stave off back problems...maybe. Anyone have more experience with this or tips to share?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yogurt: a study

This end mom?

I kinda like this "feeding myself" thing.

Oh, I get so much more with this end!
You mean I'd get even more if I didn't turn it over before my mouth?? I'll have to try that.

Hmm...I wonder what happens when you flip it?

It feels so...wet.

Yep. It makes your eyelashes a little heavier.

Interesting. Very interesting.

I wonder if apple sauce is this fun?


Yep!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Daddy's Helper

Matt got a new saw horse for a project he was working on. Dean felt compelled to help put it together.




Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Recital a Success!

I was a little worried last week about my Christmas recital. It seemed like no one had practiced enough and Thanksgiving threw things off. But we had it tonight and it turned out great. I didn't require the pieces to be memorized this time (only in the spring), and that helped out a lot. I was pleased with everyone, but like always there were one or two kids who stole the show. Tonight it was a 9 year old student who's only been taking for 1 year. She played Silent Night out of the regular hymn book with the pedal!! And she played it flawlessly. Hers was the hardest song of the night and she's one of my newest students. It's hard to explain to other parents why some children do not progress that quickly. (Especially when the parents think their kids are moving too slowly and that I'm not challenging them enough! I really do try and work with their aptitude. I'm just not sure how to deal with parents who second guess what I'm doing with their kids and are bugged that they're not moving through books faster.)

I ended up playing Good King Wenceslas from Sally deFord's website. I downloaded it and played it last night for the first time! I had it on a Christmas CD from church and liked the arrangement. I was glad I could do it in such a short amount of time. Dean HATES it when I practice the piano, so I wanted something short but impressive sounding. He always wants to play or move the pedals instead of me. Plus it means I'm ignoring him, and he doesn't like that one bit.

It's nice to perform sometimes. That's really what I miss most about my youth. I miss being involved in piano, choirs, and performances. It's sad that I don't have that. I don't even do church choir right now because of the distance from the church and Dean's sleep schedule.

I let the kids pick their songs and this was what we came up with: (I only had to arrange two of the songs, so I was happy about that. Someday I need to figure out how to upload my arrangements so others can use them...)

Recital Program:
Drue H.
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Lora S.
Jingle Bells

Zoe S.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Lia S.
Jingle Bell Rock

Payton B.
Away in a Manger

Lexie C.
I Saw Three Ships

Madison S.
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Jake H.
Silver Bells

Rachel S.
Carol of the Bells

Mason S.
Up on the Housetop

Cami C.
Silent Night

There was freezing sleet on my windshield when it was all over. Crazy to think it was in the 70's yesterday! Today's high was 30* or something. TOOOO COLD!!!!

Don't eat baby Jesus!

The things you find yourself saying at Christmas time with a 1 year old...

The only nativity I have is a wooden painted set we bought in Guatemala. The characters are all painted in traditional dress. I love it.

I'd had it set up a couple of days before Dean purposefully pulled out one of my piano buckets to use as a stool (the little smarty pants). Later that day I found baby Jesus in the rice cooker. Time to move the nativity set up on top of my piano! If I wasn't worried about him biting all the paint off the set I wouldn't mind him playing with it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blessed

Thanks so much for all the well wishes about my accident. I thought I'd let you all know I am healing MUCH faster than I expected. With how badly I felt on Wed. I was worried I'd be in constant pain for days if not weeks or months. Like I said in my last post, my pain went from about a constant 4-5 on Wed. to about a 2 on Thursday. I now only have moments of pain rather constant pain. I can sit in most chairs, and church today wasn't even torturous! (The metal chairs are much better than pews, I found.) My back did feel a lot more fatigued from carrying Dean, but I'm not sure if that was from my accident or just because he's heavier than he used to be! I feel very, very blessed. It seems like it should have been so much worse. Thanks for any prayers on my behalf.

Also, Matt wasn't supposed to come home until Friday, but on Wed. evening he called and said he'd be home later that night! And I didn't have to come pick him up!! Talk about major blessing.

Dean's lower right molars popped through. Hooray! I thought he'd take a little break from pain and slobber, but I noticed the bulge on his top right molars, more slobber, and he's been waking up for a moment or two around midnight every night this week. He seems to take a couple weeks to get them through the skin, so hopefully this one's not too horrible. Honestly, though, he's not that fussy with his teeth. He just rubs his nose and pulls his ears a lot more (and slobbers and wakes up a little).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Projects completed in less than a month!

Actually, these projects only took me about 3 evenings total (a more experienced seamstress could have done it much quicker I think)! What a relief to have something turn out cute without spending an eternity on production! The bag pattern came from the purl bee's "un-paper bag" tutorial listed on my left side bar. It is my first attempt at making a bag and I was pleased with how doable it was for a beginner. I just made up my own handles since I couldn't find handles I liked (though I honestly didn't look super hard). I definitely plan on making more. I also used fusible fleece interfacing instead of the sew in that it called for. The ladies at the fabric shop talked me into it and I wasn't disappointed. Don't you love this fabric?

This is a part of a page out of a fabric book I made Dean.
I LOVE it. It's called Tiny Tots by Red Rooster.
And lastly, I thought I'd give a little update on my fall and injuries.

Here are a few more details (it's actually the email I sent Matt since he was out of town on a business trip. Luckily he is home now.):

I fainted twice on Tuesday morning when I was trying to get Dean. He woke up at 6 crying really loudly. I listened to him cry until 6:20 and put my head under the pillow for "another 10 min". At 6:45 I woke up again in a panic that I'd made him cry so long. I quickly made it to his room. He was either really quite or had fallen asleep again. While I was standing outside his door I started feeling horrible. My ears were ringing, my legs and arms were weak. I almost felt feverish. Next thing I knew Dean was crying again and I was laying on the ground outside his door (on the hard linoleum) feeling too weak to get up. I think tried to sit down before I passed out and I bruised my tailbone when I went down; it has been hurting horribly ever since.

I laid there a little longer trying to get some strength. I didn't know if I could even lift Dean if I got to him. My body was totally covered in sweat at this point. I got up and got in his room, but I must have fainted again and ended up on the floor. I just laid there a min. trying to reassure a howling Dean. I finally got up enough strength to get him out of bed and us into the chair for him to eat. My butt hurt so badly in the chair and my body was still sweating profusely. I felt totally nauseous and disoriented, so I tried to move us down to the floor to nurse him lying down but that was a total failure. So I got us back up in the chair and reclined it as far back as it could go.

I made it through that feeding and let him run around and play in his room about 1/2 hour while I laid on the bed in his room. I started feeling better and I was able to feed him breakfast and play with him after that. My butt continued to feel worse, however.

I ended up calling my doctor and the advice nurse, after hearing all my symptoms and medical history, decided it was most likely fluid in my inner ear. I went into the doctor the next day as well to make sure nothing was terribly wrong. They said everything looks fine and I should just ice, heat and ice. I did that last night, and today my pain has been cut in half! I still hurt, but I'm not grimacing in pain at ever step and bend. I have hope for driving home in a week.

My back, however started hurting today. After piano lessons I came into Matt and asked him if there was a bruise or anything. This is what he saw:

I must have caught my back on something as I went down. It looks worse in person I think. My rear must have hurt too badly yesterday to notice the pain in my back.

So there are the embarrassing details.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A total pain in my kahooty

Without going into any embarrassing details, I'm pretty sure I bruised my tailbone pretty badly this morning. It hurts when I stand up, sit, lay, pick up Dean, squat, bend and walk. I went out and ran a few errands to get ready for our trip to Snowflake and it was fairly torturous. Getting Dean in and out of the car. Running after him for an hour and a half at the Toyota dealership!! Yes. It took an hour and a half for them to change my oil and rotate my tires. They didn't even seem that busy. I eventually went and asked them how much longer it was going to be and they brought the car around. Was it finished for 20 min and they forgot to bring it around??

I'm a little worried about having to sit in the car for 14-16 hours on the 22nd. I hope by then it will have healed up some. I'm not too hopeful, though, since Matt's had tailbone problems for the past year. If not, maybe the pain will help keep me awake while driving and I can take some of the burden off Matt.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Ta da!!: A skirt fit for a...Tree!

Sheesh. I am done! I have to admit the work I did today was a little sloppy. I had no patience for the stupid bias binding (never done it before and I pretty much just said screw it by the end), and I was so ready to move on to other projects. I figure if I ever figure out how to do bias binding I can come back and redo the little circle better.

It's the first log cabin I've ever done. I got the original idea from Crazy Mom Quilt's Tutorial and I went back to look at her instructions often. I kinda made up the size as I went since I wanted it a little smaller than hers. I put hours and hours (20? 30?) on the hand quilting this past week. I was so done with hand stitching by the end that I machine stitched the binding.





The tree looks much better dressed. Don't you think?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Up to my eyeballs

I just can't get it together! I seem to be currently buried under crafts. I usually don't craft during the day, but I've put off most cleaning and clutter control until I get some of my projects done! It is the first night I am going to bed with a messy kitchen in months.

That tree skirt I started? Yeah, I decided to HAND QUILT it! For 1, I don't have a darning foot yet. For 2, I have never actually machine quilted anything and I didn't want to screw it up. I have been stitching during nearly every nap and every evening this past week. I just have the boarders of 3 sides left. The worst is over, so hopefully I'll finish it this weekend and move on!!

Those cloth ornaments I wanted to make? I think they'll have to wait a year.

But the lights are up. It's our first year to have lights on our house. I love them. They're the multi-colored icicle lights. And our tree is up, it's just sparsely decorated. Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care. And it's only 21 days until Saint Nick is here...
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Dean is in one of my favorite stages yet (though he has had a cold this past week). My new favorite word: Uh oh. Throws the noodles on the floor? "Uh oh." Can't find his favorite blanket that he now carries around the house? "Uh oh." It's often enunciated so well with his little mouth shaping the "o". I love it. The video doesn't do it justice, but it's been awhile since I updated on the little guy.
video

One thing I haven't yet gotten used to? His running away from me in stores! He is now comfortable to move amongst many people outside of my visual range. ACK! I am seriously considering getting him a little harness for busy places. Oh, and he likes to cross our street. I keep trying to hit home that he can't go in the street without holding my hand, but he fights me on that one! He's an independent little man sometimes.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

And the winner is...

JULS!
I put all the names in a hat and pulled yours out. Email me whether you want the cookbook or something on my homemade gift side bar.

Good job to all who participated and especially to all who reached your goals! Sorry if anyone made it but didn't check in!

I was truly amazed at how many people stuck with it. This is a hard time of year to do something like this. I did feel better after reducing my sugar intake, so I think I will say no more often now. Thanks for doing this with me. It helped me out a ton.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Redmption and Consumption

I had a good feeling about Thanksgiving this year. The past few years something has gone awry and marred my perfect Thanksgiving spread. Last year I accidentally used kosher salt (and too much of it at that! NEVER MEASURE SALT OVER THE PIE FILLING!) in my pumpkin pie. I ate it, but Matt said it was too salty and inedible. The year before that I had a major migraine while cooking my pies and I forgot that my crust recipe made 2 crusts, but my pie filling only made 1 pie. It tasted good, but they were only half the size they were supposed to be!

This year I was bound and determined redeem myself and get that darned pumpkin pie right (especially since I pride myself on my pie skills, and it's supposed to be one of the EASIEST pies to make, and I have done it successfully before). My pecan pies have turned out fine for me every year, but this year I wanted to try a black bottom pecan pie with a layer of chocolate on the bottom.

Both pies were a success! The chocolate/pecan was a good combo, but I think Matt and I both prefer it without. I also have to admit that I had a nice sized serving of each pie and didn't feel one bit bad about it! It was nice after being on sugar block for 3 weeks!



Our friends Erin and Christian came over. She brought some stellar homemade rolls, cranberry sauce, a lemon meringue pie, and a vegetarian lasagna for Christian.

Matt brined and took care of the turkey and the gravy (if I had to do be in charge of the bird, we'd just not have turkey!! Preparing a whole bird is just too much for this ex-vegetarian to handle!). We've had problems in the past with the drippings burning, so this year we sprang for a good roasting pan. It worked! No burning drippings. No smoke. We didn't have to add broth to the bottom of the pan to keep it under control. It was great.

I made the aforementioned pies, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and dressing. I've made a different dressing recipe every year for the last 5 years and I think this one was one of my favorites. I need to write down what I did some time soon so I don't forget it! I got general amounts from this recipe, but kinda just winged the seasonings and added two eggs. Doesn't Matt's plate just look like the perfect Thanksgiving plate?!

Dean especially loved Erin's rolls and cranberry sauce! While he ate some, he wasn't so sure about the dressing, green beans or mashed potatoes.


Right after dinner it was Dean's bedtime (such great timing!) so I took about 10 min. and put him down. After that the 4 adults played Rockband for a couple hours. It was a lot of fun.

Also, here's a glimpse at the current project that is consuming my time: a patchwork Christmas tree skirt. I have been working on the blocks the last couple weeks, but I just finished the top tonight. Now I just have to sandwich and quilt it (I am going to attempt to free motion machine quilt...I might be crazy!!!!!), cut out the opening for the tree, and bind it. I got the idea from Crazy Mom Quilts' tutorial. We have a small tree so I reduced the size a bit. It's coming together nicer than I thought it would...
I should also mention that Matt's vacation time this week has been consumed by upgrading our light fixtures. We now have all matching lights. All of the ugly brassy-gold fixtures were tossed out and replaced by nice brushed nickle fixtures. Not only that, we also have all new brushed nickle door handles through out the entire house. Yay! I love upgrading.

Extending the challenge check-in

I was just thinking...if people were traveling for Thanksgiving, they may not have a chance to check in by tonight. So, the check in for the healthy eating challenge is extended to Monday Dec. the first.

Check in on my other post, though.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Picturing my Thanks

One goal I have for tomorrow is to say one prayer of pure thanksgiving, asking nothing and giving praise to God for the blessings he has bestowed upon me and my family.

My friend Emily did something like this on her blog and I loved the concept.

I'm grateful
for a husband who loves me and provides for our family...

for the opportunity to be with my favorite little boy all day, every day...

for the chance to visit family and for a reliable car to get us there...

for the chance for grandparents to visit...

and for a Prophet that gives us guidance in troubled times.
I'm also thankful
for evenings I have to craft...
and cook

and to keep in touch with friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Healthy Eating Challenge: Day of Reckoning

Ok ladies! The goal day is here. Yesterday was the last day of the three week challenge and today we report in! Tell me how it went, what you did to make it, and if you think it helped in the long run. Even if you didn't make your goal, I'd love to hear how you did, what went wrong, and how far you got (if you're willing to share).

Here's one little thing I didn't tell you.

If you had a brain lapse moment and put a piece of candy in your mouth, or took a bite of cake, etc. but you realized your mistake and quickly corrected your behavior, I'm still going to count you as achieving your goal. If you said, "Ah, to heck with it" after realizing, then I will not count the lapse as ok, and you will be disqualified from the drawing.

The drawing:
All those who report in by Friday as having achieved their goal will be entered into a drawing for a prize. The winner can either have Betty Crocker's Healthy Home Cooking Cookbook or your choice of an item listed on my homemade gifts sidebar sent to you. I'll just have to get your preference and mailing address when it's all said and done.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Reputation Precedes Me

I am continually amazed at the number of people who call me for piano lessons. Two of my students are dropping after Christmas because of monetary reasons, but I already have 4 kids on my waiting list. Additionally, tonight I had a dad call me (someone I didn't know) wanting 2-3 of his kids to start. Onto my list he goes. He told me that one of my student's (well, technically 3 of my students' since they're siblings) parents had HIGHLY recommended me and that I was an excellent teacher. It's nice to be appreciated. Word of mouth really is the best form of publicity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gifting Regrets

I really love to make my Christmas gifts. It doesn't happen for everyone every year, but if I can think of something I'm in love with (and think the recipient might love too), I'll make it. One problem with this is that I often have gifting regrets after the fact. When you buy a gift and someone doesn't love it, it's not that big of a deal. They can just re-gift it or return it and get what they really want. If you make something they don't like, there's no returning it!

When we got married someone gave us some doilies they had lovingly made. Doilies? I thought. What in the world am I supposed to do with doilies?? You see, I'm about as far from doilies as a person can get. I didn' t know what else to do with them, so I gave them to DI. I feel bad, but I thought it silly to keep them boxed up forever and ever.

A couple years ago I made my sister a Family Home Evening chart. It was a little rough, but I was pretty proud of it. It was before all the vinyl charts were mainstream and easily accessible, so I did the lettering by hand. I felt pretty happy with the end results at the time. Now that I'm more crafty and am better able, I kind of cringe at my rough first attempt. I hope she still likes it...

Past homemade Christmas gifts I've given include: a cookbook compilation that took me months, crocheted scarves, bracelets, Families are Forever boards (I definitely wonder about those...probably in a back closet now. I now realize it doesn't fit everyone's decor.), a blanket I sent to Matt on his mission (he still uses it!), and quilts. I go through crafting phases, so whatever I'm into at the moment is usually what is given.

Despite any regrets I have had, I'm still giving a lot of homemade gifts this year. I can't help but feel like I'm giving a little part of me along with the gift, and I like that thought.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

less than 1 week left!

Well, challengers, there's less than 1 week left of the healthy eating challenge. The last full day of the "no this or that/ more this and that" is next Tuesday! (Three weeks is feeling much longer than I anticipated!) On Wed. we'll report how we did, but it does not have to be included in the challenge. I figure most of us will be cooking away, and I know it's hard for me not to taste as I go!

Good luck and keep up the good work!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Countdown Can Commence

The pattern book: 12 days of Christmas: Art to Heart by Nancy Halverson
The dark border fabric: metro green goes blue by Michael Miller
The other fabrics: Sorry, didn't look!

Finally! Last night I finished my countdown to Christmas quilt hangings. It ended up being a much bigger production and money drain than I'd ever have imagined. It was fun, and I'm very glad I did it, but I am ready to move on to a new project!



If I were to sell this set, I'd honestly charge $200+ for it. That would break down to:
  • $10 per quilt block (Matt says that wouldn't be enough for all the hours I put in)
  • $24 for the stupid metal hanger that I ended up buying (I figured after all the time I put into it, it needed to be properly displayed! I tried to jimmy rig something, but it just didn't do it justice.)
  • $20 for the book (it has tons of patterns in it I love, though, so I imagine I'll be using it for more Christmas projects down the road.)
  • $30 or more for fabric. It's expensive to get good fabric, but I am beginning to be converted for "heirloom" projects. It's so much better quality and beautiful, vibrant prints I just can't resist any more.

I learned a couple things on this project.
  • When leaving a hole to turn it right side out, don't leave it on a corner! Start and end in the middle of a straight edge.
  • When you're working with 1/4 in. seam (something I never do!) it's nearly impossible to do the hidden stitch for the end closing.
  • You have to be much more precise in sewing when you're working with a real patchwork pattern!
  • Fabric selection can be extremely difficult and timely process.
  • A good, large cutting mat is essential. I had a small one, but I wanted one that would measure up to a yard for proper squaring. I ended up getting one at Michael's with a half-off coupon.
  • If you're not an expert at blanket stitching by eyeballing, start on a straight line, not a curve. I started on zero and I seriously almost want to take it out and redo it. But I won't. My stitching improved greatly from the first block (zero) to the last block (santa).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's the little things that make motherhood so fun.

You know, as exciting as it was to have a brand new baby, I have to say that it really didn't sink in that we had added a new member to our family until about month 4.

Up until then, it often felt like I had a really needy doll.

Don't get me wrong. I have always loved the little guy. I just love him more every day and every month! He is definitely not a little toy doll! He's got pizazz and personality and he learns new things every day. It is very exciting to see this young little human learn new things.

Sure new challenges will arise as he gets older.

For instance, he's recently acquired discriminatory taste buds. At least I think that's what is happening. He's decided he's anti-veggie at the moment. (It may just be the aforementioned molar teething since he hasn't been too into food in general recently, but I don't think so.) One day he loved peas and green beans. The next, no thanks! He has honed his ability to spit out (and fish out with his finger) food he does not love. Mac and Cheese with peas: hold the peas please! He'll put a handful of food in his mouth and then fish out anything green. Too bad buddy! You're going to get it on your plate whether you like it or not!

He also loves to drop food on the floor when he's done with eating or doesn't like it. Not only that, but I once found him stuffing the end of lunch into his mini-raisin box! HAHA!! What a clever and dexterous little boy. Sneaky, but clever (and cute).


And while he won't eat his veggies, he sure has no problem eating the non-edible berries off our bushes in front! I can't tell you how often I say, "Spit that out right now, Dean!"

He's also learning fun and new things every day it seems.

He now will fold his arms for the prayer. Today at church he even folded them at the appropriate time without being prompted by me! He heard the prayer start and he immediately folded them.

He has claimed the drawer in our coffee table and a drawer under our oven as his own. I will often find toys, remotes, nail clippers, and other random items stuffed in his drawers.

He's learning to climb and use things as step stools. Fun, but ACK! Have I bolted everything to the wall?? I need to get on that...

He pretends to talk on the phone. He'll put it up to his ear (usually backwards) and say, "Heo. Ha."

He can "blow his nose" into a tissue.

Just today when I was blowing on his hot food, he finally blew with his mother rather than sniffed with his nose!

He loves to sniff my flowers outside, though he usually picks them all first.

He loves to play "chased by the monster". I'm the growling monster; however, he also growls as he runs away.

If I ask him to get a diaper, he'll get one and bring it to me and then run away as fast as he can. hahaha. I occasionally have to pin him down with my knees to change him. You can better believe we abandoned the changing table months ago!

He loves to carry his dirty diapers to the "yuck" (trash) for me.

He doesn't hate baths anymore. Thank heavens!!

The first thing he asks for when he wakes up is music. He often doesn't even want me to get him out of his crib until I turn some on!

He finally discovered his tongue. I was so worried after the surgery because he'd never even attempt to stick his tongue out. Finally 6 months later he's figuring it out. I know some mothers discourage this, but I really was afraid he'd have speech problems later on because of it.

I love my little boy. I'm so glad I have a little boy instead of a toy doll.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The antithesis of my beautiful morning

Dean woke up at 6:30 this morning. Not bad.

He's been whining and crying ever since.

He wouldn't eat his oatmeal (which he usually loves).

He wouldn't eat the banana he kept asking for (only took a bite).

I'm guessing it's probably the bottom molars that are close to coming through, but I couldn't handle it anymore!

I would have taken him jogging (my usual fall back for whiny mornings), but it's quite windy out and the yahoo weather says it's 41*. Not freezing, but pretty cold for a baby without a stroller cover. I need to make me one of those...

I usually let Matt sleep in as long as he wants on Saturdays, but I was so tired of listening to this whiny baby I plopped Dean on the bed (where Matt laid with his head covered by my pillow) and said, "Your turn!" and left to go read blogs and hear only the distant screams of my child.

I guess that just means there's a whole lot of room for improvement for today. Right?