Friday, January 28, 2011

Crafty crafty...

Marketing is amazing... and sometimes disgusting. I find that more and more when I am shopping I don't want anything. I see the marketing and not the stuff, I see the way they want to make you feel as though you NEED things like matching cradle bumpers and sheets that cost 4 times as much just because they share a pattern with the bumper you chose. And it always makes me feel as though I want to fight against it... to find a way NOT to support those that market to me and make the things I want (matching or not) my own way. And I see SOOOOOOOoooooo many things that it takes almost nothing to put together with basic materials that those in marketing like to charge an arm and a leg for. Blows me away!

Take baby mobiles for example... 90% of the ones I found don't even take balance and craftsmanship, they are square umbrellas with stuffed animals hanging off of them. In one case, it was fabric balls in assorted colors... hanging from a striped umbrella. Seriously? This costs $45?

I just can't pay for that. I decided that if my baby was going to have a mobile it was going to take craftsmanship, balance, and as little money as I could possibly get away with. :) I found some beautiful sticks we happen to collect while in the Redwood Forest last Spring and found a bunch of wool felt we had left over from our school projects from last year... and yesterday I started this:

This is my idea of a real mobile. Crafted by hand, made with materials that you wouldn't mind hanging above your child's head, taking balance and moving with the wind and not some bad musac. Those are the real deal.

I am not meaning to just toot my own horn (although I have been known to do that...) and I have no idea if it will get done... but I felt as though I had to prove that I could still doing something 'nesting-ish'.

I have also, for my own sanity in my mild emotional crisis about nesting, decided to count small projects along with my 'nesting' for the baby. That's what caused me to augment this lamp.


This $10 lamp from Ikea and this box of felt flowers...

that I bought for Logan's 2nd birthday party over two years ago now and I got this:

Perfect for my girly's new room (this same girly is now obsessed with Magic Tree House books before bed. *love*).

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to reality & 37wk belly!

The reality that I could have this baby any second came crashing down yesterday when I went to see the midwife and she said he is finally 'fully engaged and LOW'... even with the homebirthing status, I am considered 'ready' under all counts. I am truely going to have this baby 'any minute'.

I feel as though I am ready on many levels and yet so NOT on so many others. I haven't been nesting. Which is strange for me... but when I look at it logically, of course I haven't! I have been moving rooms around, throwing huge children's parties, and homeschooling. Who has time to nest? The lack of nesting has kinda thrown me off though. The baby clothes are washed, we have the birth kit, and the car seat is ready and clean. But even those things are tucked away still. Not beautifully taken care of and purposefully displayed like they were with all of my other children.

The huge to-do lists we had going there for a while have dwindled to a trickle... the one for the party is gone, the one for the house rearrange and small remodel is gone. Now it is just the finishing touches and clean up on those two huge projects. The other one, the get ready for baby one, has not even gotten one thing ticked off yet. And it's time. So today is the day. Time to start getting ready for baby in earnest.

I am feeling alright. Ok, no more uncomfortable than I have been for the past 9 mos. ;) Sleep is still my biggest issue, but even that has leveled out to something that is now 'normal' and I know how to cope. I am looking forward to sharing all of the knitting I have been getting done in the middle of the night!

A question to those of you with big families: Have you experienced less of the nesting urge as you have had more kids? If so, do you think it is just the fact that there is so much more going on in your life/house or something deeper that has been satisfied with the others and doesn't need as much pampering this time?

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Superhero party ~ Part 3

The Cake

The cake and cupcakes were amazing! I didn't make them (once again) and I LOVED that (once again)! My friend Cori just finished a cake decorating class and she has seriously discovered a hidden talent. These cakes were beyond anything I could have conjured up.

The cake was all Green Arrow themed which made Logan OH SO HAPPY!

It was super tasty too! Chocolate with cream cheese filling and frosting. YUM!

Gift Bags


These were the simplest gift bags I have ever done. I found these calendars when searching for the apothecary jars at Micheal's. They were on clearance (because it was Jan) for $.50 each! I grabbed enough for everyone invited and a scrapbook folder for each. Then I found tiny packs of chocolate covered sunflower seeds at Party City in individual colors! I picked out the most 'superhero-like' and added them to the scrapbook folders with Superhero Logo stickers and a Superhero Glider Guy. They were an easy and awesome finish to the party!

I so enjoyed this theme! Everywhere I turned I could find cheap and easy ways to enhance this party theme and make it more fun. The kids had a great time!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Superhero birthday party ~ Part 2

Food, for the most part, was a simple affair at this party. A few dozen sandwiches made with my strawberry jam and some organic peanut butter and cut with my Cut and Seal. They were served along with pirates booty, veggies, and dip. The only thing that I put any effort in was the drink.

I wanted something that would obviously enhance superpowers and so I frozen green Powerade in to ice cube trays, then put them in 7-up and added my secret ingredient... Watermelon Poprocks! (My kids had never had Poprocks before so this was an experience!)

The crackle and the colors were sure a hit with the Potential Superheros and parents alike... and it did bring out a few cool new super powers!

This was activity #1: Action shots!

Not everyone wanted to, but the few that we got were awesome! I look forward to playing with a bit of editing and adding things like "POW!" and "Kaboom" to the pictures before sending them to their mild mannered alter-egos.

Next activity: Superhero Bingo!

I made a bunch of cards with superhero Logos on them and everybody got to play. I included all kinds of superheros from Green Arrow to Mr Incredible to the classic Batman. Every kid won at some point and each got one of a superhero rubber ducky!

Aren't they cute?

The last activity was a BAD GUY HUNT!

Alex (my 14 yr old) hid 48 'bad guys' around the back yard and the kids got to go and find them. I was amazed and thrilled with Alex's inventiveness in finding cool hiding places that were also completely accessible for our preschool crowd. He did a great job and some of the cool spots made the game just that much more fun!

More coming soon to a computer near you...

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Superhero birthday party ~ Part 1

This party was a BLAST! All the details you can find with a theme like this can nearly overwhelm you. Planning was slightly challenging due to the fact that Logan wanted a very obscure superhero to base his party on; Green Arrow!

If you don't know Green Arrow, you are not alone. I didn't know who he was two months ago. Basically he is a superhero version of Robin Hood that is in the Justice League with Superman. Logan saw the Justice League and was hooked!

Just for ease, I ended up using a more generic superhero theme in the end, but there were many 'green' details and the fabulous cake my friend made him was all Green Arrow themed, which thrilled Logan to no end!

First up: The Invitations!

These invites were mailed out in plain manila envelopes with labels for each 'potential superhero' in the household and mailed from "The League of Superheros ~ Training Dept."

Next up: The entryway.

As the kids walked through the door this is what they saw. Once again I used the library to enhance my theme. These graphic novels were perfect to add something to the shelves. (I had to look in the kids and teens graphic novels before I found appropriate images that wouldn't scare kids though... just food for thought.) The apothecary jars were $1 at Micheal's and I filled them with every day candies as Superpower Enhancing Pills.

On the other side of the hallway is where the coat hooks are and as the kids came in they got to trade their coats for a cape and a mask! My best friend and I got together and made a set for each kid coming to the party. (Thank you Sarah! You ROCK!)

To Be Continued...

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Logan!

My sweet boy turns 4 today!!!

We have been really sick and today has also marked the first day everyone in the house felt well in over a week. So we celebrated both Logan's birthday and us all feeling better with a nice big brunch of our traditional fresh fruit and dutch baby breakfast, and of course, Logan got his own, complete with a generous dollop of whipped cream. It was a beautiful day outside (just as it was 4 years ago) and so we kicked balls, shot Nerf arrows, and sat and chatted in the cold sunshine for the afternoon. We spent the rest of the day playing games and watching movies inside (as we were still very much in recovery), and visiting for a little while with Grandma and Grandpa.

Happy Birthday my sweet boy!

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

How many to-do lists can a pregnant woman have before going mad?

I am to that point. The point in which if anything requires brain power, I forget it. If it requires lifting, I drop it. And if it requires effort, I just can't seem to get it done. I don't know a single woman this hasn't happened to in the last 5 wks of pregnancy... but for me, it is a phase that may as well be labeled 'hell'. I hate not being able to do things. I hate being sick, tired, or anything that may stop me from my daily chores. Not that I don't take breaks.... I really and honestly do. But these weeks of my body dedicating itself wholeheartedly to nothing but growing a tiny human... well I am not a huge fan.

Logically, I know what my body is doing, I understand why I am so tired, why I drop things, and why I can't seem to think in a strait line to save my life. But my life hasn't changed. I still have three homeschooled kids. I still have a husband with a horrible schedule. I still have three meals to make every day for 5 people, and I still have a little boy with a birthday the day I turn 37 wks and library books to remember to take back, (currently our fees between the two libraries is close to $50. I wonder if they will take the 'I'm crazy pregnant and just slept instead of check my email notifications' excuse?). Those things don't go on maternity leave.

So, per usual, I have started to make lists. The first one had to do with Logan's birthday. Birthday's are SUCH a big deal in my house that I couldn't shirk Logan's #4 just like I couldn't shirk Alex's #5 which happened a week after Cyan was born 9 1/2 years ago. I pulled on my big girl panties and started planning and omgosh! How it all fell together so beautifully I have no idea, but just wait till you see all the little things I was able to find (with the help of some really amazing friends who understand my birthday craziness).

The second had to do with food. For the past few weeks I have been making LOTS of soup. To the point where my family is starting to complain. But soup is EASY. Even when homemade and it is usually packed full of veggies, which is all I want to eat right now. However, listening to my family being a must, I decided to make a two week 'maternity menu list' that we will cycle through. And guess what... only three soups on it. ;)

The newest one has been a list of things to get ready before baby. As you may well know, we are switching every room in our house around to accommodate this newest member (even though he may not be sleeping in it for months). Cyan is moving to her own room, Alex is moving to the office, and the office is being spread around the house. This has created chaos. Akin to moving the entire house to a new location, but nothing so organized because I can not lift, paint, or move anything. So I am relying on weekends, my teen and husband, and delegation of larger portions of the transitions to hired help (ie: guys from Alex's youth group who we are paying in a small fee and pizza).

I post things I am doing on facebook and get varied responses "you are my hero" has been one and "you are going to hurt yourself" has been another. I am trying very hard for neither to be true. I don't need to go to superhuman lengths to get this stuff done and I DO need to remember that growing a tiny human is more important than whether Alex has the right color trim in his room. But both feel very important to me. Nesting has a different flavor in each pregnancy and this one has me wanting everything to be done right. this. second. Is this urgency a sign that the baby will be colicky or perhaps not sleep at nights (Lord knows I haven't been... but I have been knitting wool balls with my sleepless hours... back to nesting...). I have no idea. All I know is this urge to have everything in it's place and all things done correctly seems more and more urgent by the day.

Can I get some advice? What were some things that helped those of you who have moved at the end of pregnancy? Or had a transition like this or a schedule that seems completely counter intuitive to a 'normal' one? I would love some BTDT advice that I can bite off and think on for a while.

Hope all of your weekends are going well! Many blessings, and I will have pictures of the birthday party stuff up soon. :)

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Getting there......

Goodness... SO pregnant! 34 wks and some days now. In just a few short weeks I will have a 4th little one to snuggle, love, cherish and hold.

There have been many blog delays as we make our home ready for our newest little treasure. I am sorry about that! We have been spending out time moving rooms around, getting things ready, and of course, enjoying Christmas vacation with our 3 beautiful children. There have been lots of easy meals of soup and salad (sometimes even take-out pizza) lately. Any crafts I do are ones that are geared to the kids new rooms or organization to fit us all into our lovely home.

We are also switching computers to a nice new laptop. This has been a change as our desktop has been the same for the past 4 years, but I am getting used to doing all of the things that I love on the laptop and that has freed up much needed space so Alex can have the office as his bedroom.

In pregnancy news: sleeping has been my biggest difficulty. I remember it some with each of the others (esp Alex, actually) but with this one insomnia, nightmares, and vivid dreams that wake me in a sweat are the norm. I have tried diet, exercise... heck anything to relieve this ongoing issue, but so far, the best cure is just taking it easy and getting things done when I can. The more I get completed, the less weighed down my brain seems to be.

I plan on being done with these home projects in one month...... we will see how that will work out. I hope you will enjoy this last journey of nesting with me! Thanks for being patient, and hope you had an amazing holiday and a wonderful New Years!!!

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!!
Our yearly ritual complete. Cider drank, s'mores made, fun stories read, movies watched, and Alex (who is on the East Coast for the new year) was called at 9pm to ring in the new year at a reasonable hour for bed. :)
Hope you all had a blessed and safe New Year celebration and look forward to a wonderful 2011!!

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