9.23.2013

What I Made Monday: "Fall"ing Leaves

I may have mentioned once a few times a million times before that fall is my favorite season. I just love it when the weather cools down and you pull the sweaters out and the leaves crunch on the sidewalk and football starts up again. The colors are so warm and comforting and, to me, romantic. I can't help but get a little bit giddy when September rolls around.
 
I'm also a little addicted to fall crafts. I'm not allowed to go to The Wood Connection for a couple of months because I'll bring home countless fall crafts, and, let's be honest, I don't really have space for them anymore. But, I did manage to get away with one more...
 

I put this together a little differently than I usually would. Typically I trace and cut out the paper before gluing it on, but I read a tutorial where the girl glued the paper on and then used sandpaper to sand excess paper off and wanted to try it. I think perhaps this wasn't the greatest project to test that technique on because of all of the edges and crannies--it took a lot more effort than I imagined. It's also not something you want to do unless you want a worn, rustic look. In any case, it was difficult but ended up being worth it on this project because I really like the way it turned out.

And now, I have to suffer through a Cole-imposed ban from The Wood Connection...at least until after Halloween when they bring out their Christmas crafts. ;)

9.16.2013

What I Made Monday: Bathroom Decor

Our guest bathroom is basically a tiny hole in the wall. Even though it's a tiny space, I've had the hardest time figuring out how to make it cute and homey. We painted it a couple of years ago and added a cute border, and I found a few pictures that I liked for the walls, but the space above the toilet has been glaringly empty (probably only to me) for a while now.
 
When we helped clean out my parents' house before they sold it, I appropriated a little shelf that I thought would work for the space, but it sat in a pile of stuff in the crawlspace for two months before I managed to flesh out an idea.
 
The bathroom decor always gave me a country cottage vibe, so I tried to stick with that idea.
 
I had the materials to make little decorative jars from baby food jars, so I started there.
 
It took:
3 baby food jars of different sizes
3 wooden nickels from The Wood Connection
3 unfinished candlesticks from The Wood Connection
craft paint
wood glue
sandpaper
 
I painted the wooden nickels, the candlesticks, and the jar lids (if I wasn't going for a rustic look I would have spray painted the lids--they don't hold the craft paint really well so it takes a lot of work to get good coverage). After the paint dried I sanded spots of the candlesticks to give it a worn, rustic look. I used wood glue to adhere the wooden nickels to the top of the candlesticks, then to the bottom of the baby food jars. After everything dried, I filled the baby food jars with items that matched the bathroom color scheme--clear decorative stones, green buttons, and blue felt flowers. I tied a bit of twine around each lid, and called it good.
 

 
I also found in my storage a little ceramic picture frame I've had for probably 15 years. I've never really used it for anything because the picture opening is a heart, and it was hard to find a picture that would fit and look good, but I knew it could serve my purposes on my shelf quite nicely. I found a cutesy, short phrase that I liked and would fit in the space. I wanted a cross-stitch type font, and found a free one called Ahoy in Stitches that was perfect. After a little word processing and some extra scrapbook paper, the result was just what I wanted.

font found here
After some playing around on the internet, I found I really liked the idea of using a glass canning jar for some portion of the decorations. I thought using an old jar as a vase for some silk flowers would be the perfect completion to my bathroom shelf. I've got a million canning jars kicking around, so all I had to do was find one the right size, wrap some twine around it, and fill it with silk flowers. $6 at Wal-Mart bought me more than enough flowers in the right colors.

 
I'm super happy with the finished result.
 

Now, after 3 1/2 years, I finally have the tiniest room in my house decorated to my liking. :)

9.09.2013

What I Made Monday: Summer "Trees" Make Me Feel Fine...

Summertime is another season where I seem to have a dearth of crafts for display (with the exception of July). After I took down my 4th of July decorations my living room looked pretty sad. I racked my brain trying to think of something I could do to brighten up the space.
 
The Wood Connection didn't really have any more "summer" projects that I was completely in love with, but they did have this trio of trees for the fall that I thought I could easily adapt for the summer. After all, green, leafy trees are staple of summertime!
 
I was a little worried that they would turn out too monochromatic for my liking, but because I used different shades of brown and green and different detail accents on each of them they turned out quite nice. 
 





I even finished them in enough time to display them for about three weeks before I got antsy to put up my fall decorations (fall is, hands down, my favorite season).

9.07.2013

A Visit From the Tooth Fairy

At the end of July Kyle came to me with his very first loose tooth. I almost lost it right then and there, because HOW CAN MY BABY BE GROWING UP SO FAST?!? I know, I know...loose teeth are a fact of life, and I knew it was only a matter of time before he started losing his baby teeth. But, he was already starting kindergarten in less than a month, and there are only so many coming-of-age milestones this hormonal pregnant mama can take before she's reduced to a quivering mass (emphasis on the "mass" part) of ugly tears. Ergo, the almost losing it part.
 
One thing that Cole and I both realized is that we are both grossed out by loose teeth. Fortunately for Kyle, that meant that Cole didn't bother him too much about trying to pull it out. I love the kid, but Kyle is a world class wimp when it comes to pain or potentially scary things. I knew Cole trying to pull the tooth out would result in a lot of dramatic screaming and lifelong trauma that would take years of therapy to overcome. Of course, being who he is, Cole threatened to pull Kyle's tooth out at least once a day just to make him scream (even though this was a total empty threat)--it wouldn't be my house without Cole tormenting one or all of the boys at some point in the day.
 
So, we waited...
 
Almost a month later, I was out with my mom and my sisters for a girls' night and I got a text from Cole.
 
"Guess what!" it said.

After a few tears and the tiniest of tugs, Kyle's first loose tooth became his first lost tooth. He was beyond excited for the tooth fairy to come. When I got home, he had already fallen asleep, but he had very carefully constructed an envelope for his tooth so it wouldn't get lost.
 
I asked him the next morning why he had written his name backwards.
He shrugged and said, "Because I can."
The tooth fairy quickly worked her magic. She figured that Kyle deserved an extra special treat for his first loose tooth.

The tooth fairy told me folding dollar bills is a lot more trouble than it's worth...
especially when it's for a little boy who doesn't really care what it looks like.
She opened up Kyle's special envelope and replaced his tooth with his special gift.

The next morning Kyle came in a little bit sad. "The tooth fairy didn't come," he told me, because his special envelope was still under his pillow. I asked him if he looked inside the envelope. He perked up quite a bit when he realized that she didn't take his envelope because she filled it up with awesome stuff for him.

It was not many days later than Kyle showed us he had another loose tooth...

Incidentally, what does everyone else's tooth fairy do with the lost teeth? Ours isn't quite sure what to do with them...

9.04.2013

Kyle's First Day of School

Kyle has been extremely excited to go to school ever since he finished up preschool in June. He spent all summer talking about Kindergarten to anyone who would listen; I overheard him tell Lucas one day that Kindergarten was "just like a garden, except full of kids." 
 
We got back-to-school ads in the mail starting at the end of July, which prompted even more questions and speculations from Kyle about Kindergarten: Who would his teacher be? What school supplies would he need? It frustrated him to no end that I didn't have the answers. Fortunately, we received a letter from his teacher early in August. As part of her classroom decorations, she asked each of her students to fill out a "flag" with information about themselves. I was so proud--Kyle wrote the answers to all of the questions with only a little help from me.
 
I love kid writing.
When my parents came to visit mid-August, we got to take a school shopping trip. Kyle got all decked out for school with new clothes, shoes, and a backpack.

Kyle also had his pre-Kindergarten assessment with his new teacher the week before class started. I sat at the back of the room filling out paperwork and idly listened to the conversation between Kyle and his teacher. His answers were pretty standard; there were many things he knew and many he did not. One conversation, however, had me stifling giggles because of how truly "Kyle" it was. When his teacher asked him to count as high as he could, he got to 12 and stopped. She gently asked if he knew any more, and he responded, "Well, I know a lot, but I just don't want to say them all." With some gentle coaxing, he counted to 100 before she let him stop. On the way home from the assessment I asked him if he was nervous for school. He thought about it and said, "No, I'm always excited for school." I was so happy to hear him say that--I hope he never loses that excitement for learning.

Finally, the first day of school arrived. Kyle woke up well before 6 am because he was so excited. After showering and getting ready and eating breakfast, I made him take pictures by the front door.




We all piled in the car (even Cole--he went in a little late to work so he could see Kyle off on his first day) and headed to school for the first of what will be many times. We were a little bit later than I wanted to be, and by the time I walked him over to the door his teacher had already come outside to pick up the rest of her students. I thought they were lined up just inside the door, so I sent him inside to find his teacher. He panicked a little bit once he got inside because they WEREN'T immediately visible like I thought, but once I walked him to his classroom and he knew where he was supposed to go he walked confidently into the room and didn't look back.

I wasn't a total basket case like I expected I would be. I did get a little emotional when we started walking from the car, but I held it together. :)

When I picked him up he couldn't stop talking about everything they did and the new friends he made. His first day of school was a huge success.

My mornings are definitely different without my Kyle-man, and I do miss him while he's gone. But, I'm so proud of him and how grown up he's getting. It's definitely a bittersweet thing to watch your babies grow up.

9.03.2013

30 Weeks, and a Pregnancy Update

Well folks, we're in the homestretch. This pregnancy has honestly flown by! I can't believe we only have 10 weeks until we meet the little princess!

I've never been super big on taking belly pictures during my pregnancies, but I've consistently taken one at 30 weeks (in the same shirt, natch) for all of them. Here's a comparison of my belly at 30 weeks with all four pregnancies.


I know the angles aren't exactly the same with all of the pictures, but you get the general idea.

It would appear that I carried the first two more in my (ahem) behind and midsection. The last two pregnancies my belly was more pronounced. I REALLY feel that's the case with Miss Hallie this time. I'm not expecting this girl to be dainty either--the granddaughters in Cole's family are typically smaller than the boys, but I think Hallie will be at LEAST as big as Lucas and Matthew were. Probably not as big as Kyle though (thank goodness!).

Little Miss is quite the mover. I think I've said the same thing with each pregnancy, but it really feels like she moves way more often than her brothers. She hangs out mostly on my right side, and when I lay on my right side she goes crazy! I haven't noticed any hiccups yet, so that would be one major difference between her and her brothers--they ALWAYS had the hiccups. Kyle likes to sit and watch her move; he's not always patient or still enough to feel her, but I think he's felt a few bumps now and then. He and Lucas still love to pat my belly and talk to her. They're going to be great big brothers. Matthew, on the other hand...

So far I've been feeling pretty good. The itchiness is all but gone; it only flares up right before bed and it's not unmanageable. I've been super lucky and managed to avoid swelling and/or retaining water through the hot summer. There were a few weeks where I had pretty constant sciatic pain, but since it seems she's moved all out front there hasn't been any more pressure on my nerve and the pain is gone. I still experience some minor nausea, mostly in the morning if I get out of bed too fast. I passed my gestational diabetes test last week (which I always worry about, even though I'm probably more on the hypoglycemic side) and I'm measuring spot on for dates. Cole always jokes that I'm my doctor's most boring patient because I never have any problems, complaints, or questions. I truly am blessed to have easy, straightforward pregnancies.

So, now we're just watching and waiting. I'd love it if Little Miss decided to come early, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. I'll probably try to schedule an induction on my due date (because 11/12/13 is a super cool birth date) but I'm not counting on that either. And, honestly, it might not be so bad if she cooked a little longer. The "So You Think You Can Dance" tour is coming to the Maverik Center on 11/15 and we will most likely have tickets in Cole's work suite for that, so I guess it wouldn't be so terrible if she stuck around until after that. :)
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