Love Story

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sophia's tutu

My sweet little niece is turning two soon so I spent some time trying to think of something fabulous to do for her birthday. So far I have made her something for every gift giving event in her life, including her baby showers, and I wanted to keep that going. It didn't take me long to find exactly what I was looking for...a homemade tutu!! Seeing as I have all boys, I crave girl crafts like you wouldn't believe. I feel so blessed that I get to make her these cute things and fulfill my need to create using pink and flowers and ribbons and glitter. Hopefully she doesn't grow tired of it as she gets older. But until the day that she has the words to tell me she wants something regular from the toy store, I'm going to keep on making her stuff!

So here is the finished product:

 I even made my boys try it on to make sure it would be a good fit, although that is a whole other blog post of its own! I wish I would have done step by step pictures so I could walk all of you who are interested through this project. It really was incredibly simple yet I felt so accomplished when I was done. I will share the site I used to get my ideas for this in case anyone is thinking of doing it themselves: Plumtickled  - I followed this one almost exactly except I used three pieces of tulle layered for each knot instead of the one recommended. This gave a much fluffier tutu and I was able to layer colors, like pink green pink for one knot and green pink green for another. I also added flowers at the end using colored brads.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask:)

A picture of Sophia in the tutu and flower hair clips I made her (isn't she a doll?):

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thinking I need to retake elementary science!

 I have been planning for awhile to switch from store bought cleaners to homemade ones, mostly for money saving purposes. I have been using natural cleaners for awhile so the issue of toxins in our cleaners isn't my main motivator but I have been trying really hard to find different ways to cut some of our unnecessary spending. So when hubby told me the toilet bowl cleaner ran out the other day I actually got excited. I can finally start trying out some of these cleaning remedies I had been reading up on!

The boys bathroom has been in need of a good clean for a little while now so I decided to start with the toilet. The directions I found said to mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar. So I did this in a small 2 cup measuring cup. Boy was  I surprised when I added the baking soda! It instantly foamed and spilled out all over my counter. I guess I got a bonus clean with that one! I just had to chuckle because I should have known this would happen. Isn't that the basic recipe for volcano lava in science experiments? Needless to say I tried again, pouring the ingredients straight into the toilet bowl. It didn't have quite the same reaction, I think because of all the water in the bowl, so I may try mixing it ahead of time when I clean next. I will just make sure to use a bigger bowl!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 weeks

5 weeks from now we will be meeting our little man. That is if all goes according to plan, which we all know with babies is a toss up! As of right now I am scheduled to be induced two weeks early because of my high blood pressure so unless he decides to make his own entrance before then, we are counting on 5 weeks. The question that I have begun to hear almost daily is, "You must be so ready to be done!"  I don't know if it is because this is my third child or because it most likely is my last pregnancy, but I am actually perfectly content right where I am. I truly enjoy pregnancy and am in no rush to have it over with. I love feeling him rolling around in there and bumping around. I guess part of it is selfish...right now he is all mine and this is the only time I will have him all to myself. It is a special bond that I cherish and am not ready to give up. I will admit that all of my motives for staying pregnant as long as possible aren't as sweet as all of that. Having already had two other children I know what's coming once he arrives and I am in no hurry to lose sleep and be strapped to a completely dependent little person 24 hours a day. Right now I still have total control over him, and those who know me know I love control!

Having said all that, there are plenty of things that I am looking forward to. I can't wait to see his little face. I am so curious to see if he will resemble one or both of his brothers or be his own completely unique looking person. I am already dreaming of that wonderful baby smell and snuggling a sleepy baby on my chest. I can't wait to see him and Jeremy taking naps in the recliner. There is something so beautiful about watching daddy and baby together. Introducing him to his brothers is another thing I am looking forward to. I am waiting for the look on their faces not only the first time they meet him but when we bring him home and they realize he is staying forever. In my mind I am already fast forwarding 2 years and seeing them all playing and wrestling and laughing together. Its a great thing, I can't wait to live it!

Soon our family of 4 will become 5. This mother of 2 boys will be the mother of 3 boys. Life is going to get hectic...that crazy hectic that comes when life as you knew it before changes and will never go back to what it was. I am soaking up these last few weeks of what we have and getting ready for whatever is in store in our new life. I see bigger piles of laundry, more dishes in the sink, having to leave even earlier if we want to attempt to make it anywhere on time. Mixed in that is a lot of giggles, hugs, tickle fests, wrestling matches and dirty little faces. This is not the life that I would have wrote out on paper 10 years ago. It is so much better than anything I could have come up with.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Diaper clutch/changing pad

I know, I JUST posted some of my latest projects but the boys took an amazing nap today and I finished the diaper clutch so I thought I would get on and post it while I am at it. I got the idea for this from this blog and followed her instructions exactly, so I am not going to bother to post a step by step of how I did it. Mine doesn't look quite as good as hers, but I am confident with a few more attempts I will get it down. This is going to be a shower gift for a friend of mine who just had a girl. Hope she likes it:)

The changing pad:
Diapers and wipes ready to be rolled:

Roll #1:

Roll #2:

It's a clutch!:

Diapers, wipes and changing pad all in one and ready to go:

This project really was super easy and cheap to do. I am planning to make one for myself, I need to get some boy fabric though because I have tons of girl stuff from making things for other people. Guess it's another excuse to go to Joann's;)

Getting Crafty

I have always enjoyed doing crafty stuff and find that I usually go through spurts of time where I like to do lots of projects and then do nothing for awhile. Right now I can't get enough of Michael's and Joann's and I have been reading dozens of blogs full of great craft ideas that I want to copy. One of the things I finally picked up this month was crocheting. I tried a year or so ago when my mother-in-law gave me some of her stuff but couldn't seem to get it and tucked it back away. I recently decided that I was not going to be defeated by those tiny needles and gave it another whirl. What do you wasn't hard at all! So I have been crocheting sweet little baby hats for Isaiah. Although I know he will be born very close to summer, babies always need hats:)

I also have been teaching myself to sew (my first sewing project) and finally did something with a pattern. I have been using this great book called S.E.W. Sew Everything Workshop. This book not only walks you through everything you need to know about getting started with sewing, but includes 25 projects, 10 of which have patterns included. The project I chose was a purse that I am planning to give my sister-in-law for her birthday. This project gave you the dimensions of the pattern but you had to trace and cut the paper out yourself. The first one I did (on the right) turned out small so I actually re sized the pattern to fit what I was wanting. The one on the left is the final product. I am happy with how it turned out!

So this is what I have been up to lately. I have more projects in the works. Plan on finishing a diaper clutch later today that is for a friend's baby shower. I will post pictures and a link to the site where I got my instructions from. I am also halfway done with a tutu for my niece's 2nd birthday. Fun stuff!!  I can't wait to share when they are done:)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Recycling Old Crayons into New Crayons (Take 2)

For those of you who read my first post, Take 1, you know that the homemade crayon thing didn't quite work out as planned. Determined to make this work, I gave it another go using this website for a guide: Recycling Crayons.  I found this method to work much better for me. First of all, it took a fraction of the time the other method did. That's always a plus in my book!

Let's break this down. First I chose my colors, peeling off the paper and sorting them in cleaned and dried tin cans.

I then lined a muffin tin with foil.

To melt the crayons I created a double boiler, filling a pot with water and placing one of the cans into it. I got the water boiling and let it stay in there until the crayons were melted.

I will say that I think the brand of crayon makes a difference. Since I was using ones that we had accumulated from various restaurants, I noticed that some melted instantly and some had to be broken down with the spoon. The later did not ever fully melt and made things chunky. I think this is why it took so long in the oven on my first attempt. Once melted, I removed the can from the pot and let it cool slightly.

I then used a plastic spoon to make a layer of yellow.

I did the same with green and blue.

I then let it cool (this takes no time at all) and then removed the foil from the muffin tin and took my crayon off. You will notice that the surface is bumpy from the foil and that the green didn't really show up, I should have made a bigger layer of that.

I will say the idea of doing it in the oven still appeals to me because you can get a variety of colors all at once, which I thought turned out pretty in my first attempt. I think it would just be better to go the route of using a muffin tin and making sure you have the kind of crayons that will melt properly. Buying a cheap muffin tin specifically for this wouldn't be a bad idea either because then you could ditch the foil and have a smoother crayon. I think this second method is great for layering colors and creating themes, like red white and blue for July 4th, etc. You definitely have much more control doing it this way.

Happy crayon making! Let me know if you try this and have any other helpful tips or come up with some better creations.

Recycling Old Crayons into New Crayons (Take 1)

I was browsing online for homemade gift ideas for little ones and saw this neat way to recycle your broken crayons. I know that my kids tend to snap their crayons pretty easily and we end up with all of those half crayons or bits of crayons. Their little hands already have to work to hold the crayons so I love the idea of them having something bigger to hold onto while getting rid of the clutter of the broken crayons. It is also a great way to use up restaurant crayons that the kids bring home. They always have the same 4 colors and how many of those do you really need? Here is the site that I got the idea from: Homemade crayons.

Some of the ways that I had to modify that explanation was by setting my oven to 170 instead of 150 because that was the lowest temperature on mine. I found that it actually took WAY LONGER (40 + minutes and they still weren't fully melted) and this was after I upped the temperature even more. This site suggests using old muffin tins (don't put crayon in ones you are planning to bake with again!) but I used some cookie cutters that I wasn't planning to bake with instead. I lined a cake pan with foil and put the tin cookie cutters right down on the foil and then filled them with bits of cut up crayon.

The problem I ran into doing it this way was that the melted crayon (I didn't expect it to be so watery) was coming out under the cutters. So I would recommend maybe folding some foil up over the sides of the cookie cutter to make a mold. I will have to try that next time to see if it works better. Either that or I will put some foil in my muffin tins and go that route. Here is what they looked like when they came out of the oven (this was after they had already begun to cool but you can see the crayon that had leaked all over the foil and how they weren't fully melted still):

They cooled quickly and the one on the left was pretty when popped out but just too thin to use without breaking.

I did some more digging online and found a different way to do it ( Recycling crayons ). I am going to try this next time and re-post, hopefully with a more successful story!

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

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