Friday, November 28, 2008

christmas crafts: inspiration and work in progress

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. We did!

Since we have a newborn, we really couldn't get out this year, so we just took it easy at home. We had a fun morning watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and then were visited by our family members (who brought lots of yummy leftovers for us to enjoy).

I would say it had to be the most perfect Thanksgiving ever: no stress, free food, and sweet time with my awesome husband, precious little girl and brand new baby boy. Perfect.


The crafting bug hasn't seemed to disappear with the baby hormones and I'm already planning my Christmas projects.

I got on ebay the other day and found these adorable little wooden birds. I ordered 10 of them and can't wait to get to work making them beautiful.

Here are some of the things I'm dying to do with them:
I found some great ideas on the Cherry's Jubilee Blog

And then there are these by Glitter and Bliss

Misty (my new precious bloggy buddy) found the allusive Christmas stockings in her town and sent them to me this week. How awesome is she? It was so fun to get them in the mail! Thanks, Misty! I'm gearing up to make them lovely this week and I can't wait!

I've been working on these Tussie Mussies for awhile now. Here is the inspiration picture taken from an etsy shop

I've seen them a million other places too. I just can't decide how I want to fancy them up.
Here is my WIP (Work in Progress):

I've also been working on these button trees this week. I found the vintage buttons on sale at an antique store down the street, but they only filled like 1/2 of the tree. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to need to buy a million more... Add it to the list...

Emmie Cakes makes this winter banner. If Santa brings me a Cricut, I'm thinking that I can do it myself. Are you listening, Santa?

I'm kinda obsessed with cute little vintage style ornaments lately too.

Here's a cute one you can make-
Sillouette Ornaments by Kimba

Here's a vintage-Style Christmas Ornament that I found on Etsy:

And another one from this shop:

There is lots of crafty fun to be had, my friends. Lots.

Poor Charlie.

I finished my Christmas banner from Emmie Cakes the other night while nursing Charlie. I noticed that he had little tiny pieces of glitter on his forehead when I was finished. Hopefully, the early exposure to glittering doesn't affect his masculinity later in life...

If so - I'm totally blaming Martha.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

mission: charlie protection

Remember this post?

Gunner proved this week that, in fact, he isn't just all brawn and no brains - thus providing an answer to a question I've asked myself more than once.

How did he prove his brain capabilities?

Mr. Einstein successfully transferred his interest in my belly to interest in the new baby.

Big Time.

He follows him from room to room doing things like this:

By the way - please be kind and ignore the messiness of my bedroom in that first picture. We had just arrived home from the hospital and hadn't put our things away yet.

So there you have it - Gunner is a genius.

Now if he could just balance the National Budget for us, we'd be in business...

Maybe next week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

baby on the brain

Let me start this post by saying that I am officially in l-o-v-e with my sweet baby Charlie.

He is...breath-taking and fabulous and awesome beyond words.

He looks just like our Avery did when she was a newborn (with less hair), but his personality is COMPLETELY different from Avery's.

From the moment Avery entered the world, she demonstrated a "flair for the dramatic".
So far, it seems that our teeny, tiny Charlie-Man is a laid-back little guy.

Avery is adjusting pretty well for a 2-year-old facing a world-rocking event like this one.

She affectionately calls Charlie "my baby bruder" and when someone else besides mommy or daddy dares to hold baby Charlie, she adamately insists, "NO! MY baby Charlie!".

She kisses him (with vigor) and hugs him (with enthusiasm).
She pats his back (a little too hard) and squeezes his little toes (MORE than a little too hard) all while saying, "awww".

In this picture, she is covering him with her favorite blankie and hugging him (a.k.a. smothering him).
So sweet. So precious.

Remember that poem I talked about a few months ago? The one that goes:

There once was a girl
who had a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead
and when she was good,
she was very, very good
but when she was bad
she was horrid

That's my Avery.

Just when you go thinking that she's just about the sweetest little thing in the entire world, she goes and proves that she is still just a toddler. A toddler who isn't so sure about the new kid who is stealing her spotlight.

The other day, I said, "Avery, isn't Charlie cute?"
She looked at me and promptly...
hit him on the head.



In other news:
I'm doing well and steadily recovering from my C-Section.

I've officially stepped into the Wonderful World of Nursing and feel like a cross between

and This:

Try not to be too jealous.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

39 weeks and my bags are packed!

The big day is... TOMORROW!

Charlie is set for his arrival into the world at 1:30 pm. We should arrive at the hospital at 11:30 am or so.

The problem is that we are always late. Always. I'm hoping that we can manage to be on time tomorrow!

I am so nervous!
So excited, but SO nervous.

Here's how I spent my last day as a mommy to ONE child:

8:00- woke up and cuddled with my Avery. What a great way to start my day!

9:30 - David and I took Avery to Preschool together. I had to show him all the procedures for checking her in and making her feel secure, etc. Inevitably, he won't remember any of them, but there are lots of lovely ladies there to help him out!

10:30 - went to breakfast with my sweet husband

11:30 - made David take me to the dollar tree where we got some things to put in Avery's "Happy Bucket" for the hospital.

By the way, I scored BIG TIME and found some styrofoam cones for $1 each (way cheaper than Michael's or Hobby Lobby). That's a beautiful thing.

12:00-12:45 - took a nap. Good stuff. Not long enough.

1:00 - got my hair cut

1:45 - got my car washed

2:20 - picked up Avery from Preschool

3:00 - made David go with me to Walmart.
I had a $10 gift card that was burning a hole in my pocket and had to spend it ASAP.

I bought this:

and this:

Exciting, huh?

4:00 - came home and got dressed for cheesy church directory family photo - in coordinating colors, of course. 'cause that's a requirement for cheesy directory photo.

5:30 - arrived SUPER late for cheesy church directory family photo session.

I felt like a blueberry in my light blue-too-tight cardigan.
I kept waiting for the Oompa Loompas to roll me to the Juicing Room...

6:00 - attempted to keep Avery from screaming during the ENTIRE church photo session while The Kinda Scary Photographer Guy was calling her, "Avera" and shaking a stuffed teddy bear in her face.

6:05 - tried to convince Kinda Scary Photographer Guy that we were not interested in posing for the "David touching my belly and looking sweetly into my exhausted eyes shot".

6:15 - sat through SUPER long presentation where sales lady tried to convince us to purchase a queer-looking staff photo and several random-looking family photos (while having major Braxton-Hicks pains).

FYI: Every woman should have a publicly viewed photo taken of her the day before she GIVES BIRTH. It's great for the ego.

6:30 - dinner at Sonic.
I cheated.
I'm done.
Seriously, done.
You don't even want to know what I ate.
Hint: It rhymes with "silli sneeze stony."

6:45 - dropped Avery off at my SIL's house and went to...

7:00 - David Crowder concert.

Side note:
Charlie either really loved it, or REALLY hated it 'cause he was going crazy the whole time. Our friend plays guitar for Jeremy Horn who was opening for David Crowder tonight. It was really fun.

9:30 - picked up a very sleepy Avery and cuddled, cuddled, cuddled until she ASKED me to put her in her crib.

10:45 - started BLOGGING and am currently listening to David clean my kitchen. Because he is precious.

Now... if I could just get to sleep.
I don't know if that's going to happen! Maybe I should lock up the Mod Podge.

I'm liable to start decoupaging the walls at 3 AM.

a strange turn of events

Look who's all about hanging out with Mommy these days...

Boxers are typically very affectionate by nature, but our Gunner is the exception to that rule...he's a good dog (most of the time) and very patient with Avery, just not super-affectionate.

These days, he won't leave me alone.
He follows me everywhere.
I mean everywhere.
He's all up in my grill.
It's kind of sweet, but kind of obnoxious.

Silly, needy, big 'ol stinky dog!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

time out bench

Little Miss Avery's been sitting in Time Out quite a bit since her 2nd birthday in September.


Initially, we just used a tacky little camping chair that we purchased in a yard sale as our Time Out Chair. It's definitely an eye-sore, but it did the trick.

Since it's become painfully obvious that Time Out is here to stay, the second-hand camping chair had to go.
Far, far, away from my living room.

The solution: A Time Out Bench, of course.

One of the things on my Bucket List is to learn how to distress furniture. I have to confess that I've been somewhat of a wimp when it comes to actually jumping in and trying it.

It's a little daunting.

What if I mess up?
What if it looks horrible?
Furniture isn't cheap.

After reading some crafty blogs and a few youtube tutorials, I decided to take the plunge.

Well, I guess it wasn't as much of a "plunge", as it was "wading in the shallow end", but it's a start.

I used my 50% off coupon at Michael's to purchase a tiny, unpainted wooden bench. Since I was all thrifty and whatnot, the cost was just $7.

I figured that at that price, if I messed it up, I could always just paint it white and call it a day.

I stared at the unpainted bench and my inspiration picture frame (purchased from a boutique) for a couple more days...

and then I asked David to use the dark walnut stain left-over from my cabinet distressing project to stain the bench.

Once the stain was dry (it took a day or so), I used some leftover white paint that we had lying around and haphazardly slathered a layer of paint on top of the dried stain. That part was kind of fun.

No thinking, patience, or neatness required.
Just painting.
Plus, I HAD to do it outside. For ventilation purposes.
You know, away from screaming toddlers, big obnoxious dogs, and piles of dirty laundry?
I liked it.
A lot.

After the paint was dry, I used a few different grades of sand paper to sand the heck out of the bench. That part was kind of fun too.

I got kind of ugly with it. Mean even.
I liked it.
A lot.

Here's my result:

Stuff I learned and/or wished I had done differently:
1. I would have preferred a lighter stain color as the undercoat. The dark walnut was a little too close to black for my liking.

2. I would have preferred to use a more subtle, creamier paint color for the top layer. White is ok, but cream would have been more "french country" looking.

3. I would have taken the time to drill tiny holes in random places to make "worm holes" OR made distress marks with random tools - that would have been really cute.

It was definitely a great learning experience and kind of fun.
Try it and let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Tonight David and I were watching The O'Reilly Factor (which he DVR's. Yes. That's correct. He DVR's The O'Reilly Factor) when a commercial for the new Andrea Bocelli CD came on.

The commercial reminded me of one of the funniest things that Dave has accidentally said to me during our 8 years of marriage.

Remember all the crazy media coverage from Tom and Katie's wedding a year or so ago?

What's that? You have a life?

Well evidently, I don't - because I know some RANDOM facts about Tom and Katie's wedding, their beautiful little alien baby, Suri, and their crazy Scientology beliefs.

Facts that could only be gained by watching sinful amounts of entertainment news shows and reading countless covers of celebrity gossip magazines while standing in line at Target.

One of those facts is that Andrea Bocelli sang in their wedding.

Of course. Why wouldn't he?
Sassy Pants.

During the Media Frenzy of that time, I was shamelessly adding to the stalker-vision ratings gaining factual information on some lame-o entertainment show when footage of the famed Bocelli popped up on the t.v. screen.

That's about the time that David walked through the room.

He took one look at the T.V. and said,
"Man. That guy is HAMMERED."

After picking myself off of the floor, I said, "He's not drunk! He's BLIND, you big dork!"

Hee, hee.. Even now, months later... it makes me laugh.

Oh, Dave. I love you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

wooden stockings

I found these precious little wooden stockings in the "Make it Christmas!" section at Hobby Lobby back in October. I bought 2 thinking that they would be cute as door decorations for Avery and Charlie's room.

I chose papers that matched their bedroom colors and decoupaged them to the stockings. Have I mentioned how much I love decoupaging?

Oh... I really do...

After the Mod Podge dried, I embellished the stockings with buttons, ribbon, and a chipboard tag that I got at Archivers.

Anyway - After I made them, I thought about how fun it would be if I made one for me and David too and then made a garland from them.

It's November. Not even Thanksgiving yet and GUESS WHO SOLD OUT OF THE CUTE STOCKINGS????


I'm sad. I've been to two different H.L.'s a million times each since October, attempting to find the stockings again. I'm thinking of driving to one that's like 30 minutes away from my house to check that one out next.

MUST HAVE STOCKINGS. Gas prices be darned.

Don't tell Dave.

I told you I was obsessed with Mod Podge.
Love. It.

avery's never-ending-birthday party

Avery loves presents just as much as I do. Just look at her expression in that picture: that's PURE JOY. Over a wipes case.

I feel 'ya sister. I feel 'ya.

We have been spoiled rotten by our family and friends with gifts and showers over the last few weeks and have totally relished every second of the gift-a-thon.

It seems, however, that our family can't quite agree on WHO the gifts are actually for.

I like to think they are for me - cause I'm the one carrying a CHILD inside of me. Hell-o?

Avery prefers to think they are for her - because she's two and everything is hers.

David attempts to tell us that they are for Charlie, but that's just silly.

Our friends John and Beth threw a couples shower for us last weekend, and we decided to allow Avery to come with us. We figured that the more exposure she has to the idea of having a new baby around, the better.

Avery had a blast opening her presents, and after all the gifts were opened, she said, "I want biwrfday cake, Mommy".

She reluctantly agreed to settle for some 2-bite brownies and rice krispy treats instead.

So did I.

My moment of weakness started innocently enough... just ONE little 2-bite brownie. No problem, right?

The sugary goodness was just beyond words.

When you don't get to eat sugar, just a little bit of it is INSANEly good.

Feel free to test me on that.
I don't blame you.

I enjoyed my brief return to the Land-O-Sugar tremendously...

So much so, that I it took more than a couple of 2-bite brownies AND a rice krispy treat for me to shake the "sugar spell".

Thankfully, I did so just before landing in a Diabetic Coma...

I said, "Oh my gosh, what am I doing?" and insisted that David remove the sinful confections from my presence right away.

He gladly obliged.

Such a good sport, that one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

party pooper

Remember this?

This is the recycling bin from my neighbor's house. It's been full like that for almost a year.

At first, I thought that maybe our young neighbors were just a little...lazy. I mean, they really haven't been loud or crazy since we've lived here.

Until last night.
Last night, everything changed.
Last night, we discovered the real reason for the overflowing bin.

Listen, if you are going to party, do it. Whatever. I'm not your Momma. I'd just appreciate it if you would do it WITH YOUR FRONT DOOR CLOSED.

That's a pretty reasonable request, right?

While I'm asking, here are some further questions I'd like to know the answers to:
1. Is it WISE to throw a loud, crazy party when you live in a sleepy little neighborhood full of old people and small children?
2. Is it SMART to slam beer bottles into your overflowing recycling bin when a grumpy pregnant lady is trying to sleep next door?
3. Is it PRUDENT to scream expletives near a pastor's sleeping toddler's window?

Before last night, I would have thought that the answer would have been quite obvious. I guess not.

First, David and I laid in the bed praying that the loudness would miraculously cease.
After that, we complained about the noise to each other while staring at the ceiling.
Then, we peeked out the window to watch the show a few times (3 words: White Boy Dancing. It looked like the poor guy was having a seizure).

I actually WISH the dancing had been as cool as that video...
It wasn't.

Finally, at 2 AM, we began to weigh our options:
1. Crazy pregnant lady's husband politely asks party people to quiet it down and gets decked by a party person.
2. Crazy pregnant lady waddles over and decks a few party people.
3. Crazy pregnant lady brow-beats husband until he agrees to call the cops.

We went with option #3. We figured that it was probably the kindest, most reasonable option.

I think that we finally got to sleep at 3 this morning. Sad isn't even the word for how I feel right now.

I'm thinking that I may have to pay them a visit at 3 am one morning while baby Charlie is screaming for his morning feeding and see how they like that.

Who am I kidding? No one deserves that kind of punishment.

a little christmas

Decoupaged Christmas frames. Too fun!


My friend Ashley tagged me. I thought this one was fun and required absolutely NO thinking.

Lovin' that.

Here are the rules:
1. Choose the 4th picture folder on my computer
2. Choose the 4th picture
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

This is a picture from March of this year. David, Avery and I met our friends The Johnsons on Good Friday for a day at the Zoo. We beat them there (something that NEVER happens. Ever.) by like a millisecond and Avery was enjoying walking around the fountain.

I can't get over how itty bitty my girl looks in that picture. Sweetness!

Here are my 4 people:

Friday, November 14, 2008

not all that glitters is gold

I made a few more boards. Cause I'm obsessed.

For a tutorial click here.

This is one that I had started earlier, but just finished this week:

This one is my favorite (at least for today). I love the look that the glitter adds to the board. So FUN.

Sadly, I'm a rookie when it comes to glitter application and had white glitter and sticky spray adhesive all over the place when I was finished.

Helpful Hint:
When using the glitter and spray adhesive combo, wear something you don't really care about...definitely NOT one of the three shirts that still fits you in your 9th month of pregnancy. Unless you like glittery shirts. A lot.

On this one, I got smart and used pre-glittered chipboard letters. Much less messy...


Avery thanked Dave the other night after he placed her plate in front of her.

We had to ask her to repeat the cuteness for the camera a few minutes later and it was too funny not to share it here.

She is what my grandfather would have called "precocious" - to say the least!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a few of my favorite things...

when the dog bites,
when the bee stings,
when I want to eat ice cream, but have to settle for sugar-free, low-carb yogurt instead...

The only sippy bottle/cup I've found that doesn't drip all over the place:

A gift from my friend Kris:

New Yellow Box Shoes:

Avery wearing my New Yellow Box Shoes:

Charlie's new diaper bag:

A sweet, precious, gift from my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins:

New PINK(!) comfy house shoes from my sweet mother-in-law:

Cute, little vintagey bottle brush Christmas trees from Garden Ridge:

This necklace from here:

This candle by Aromatique:

This vintage postcard in Avery's room:

The bottom of the laundry basket. (A.K.A. The 8th Wonder of the World):
No picture. That's how rare it really is.

Buttons, Buttons, everywhere...

This (the greatest invention ever):

The tiniest diapers I've ever seen:

Ahh... Feeling better already.
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