Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crafty Goodness

I've been in crafty-mode lately around here. Partly because Jeremy is out of town for 10 days and I have nothing better to do in the evenings, and partly because I've recently become addicted to anything that can be made from cute fabric.

Last week or so when Joshua and I went fabric shopping together I posted this:

And this:

Today, inspired in part by this tutorial we made these book marks:

I am forever finding Joshua's books lying about either dog-eared or upside-down and open, so hopefully these book marks will help him take better care of his books! Now if I could figure out a way to encourage him to keep the books off the floor...

This is a rag blanket I made for Joanna. I found several pieces of cute flannel in the remnant bin at JoAnn's, then bought a few more prints to finish this. The piecing was easy-peasy...but cutting all that fringe about did me in! I don't think I'll do any more of these! It still needs to be washed and dried to get all soft and fluffy, but since I suspect I'll have to babysit the dryer and remove lint several times, it'll have to wait until Jeremy gets back home.

Remember these fabrics I posted a photo of a while back?...

This is what they have become in the last few days. I'm really proud of this one...I've never tried to make a bag before, and I think it turned out really cute! I used this tutorial to make it. I had to cut the little strips myself, but I do have a honey bun on the way that I won on ebay a few days ago. I can't wait to play with it!

So there are our craft projects from the past week or so! I have several others in progress, but I'll save those to post when I'm finished.

Now to leave you with a little bit of random cuteness...

My little Josiah, who wanted his picture taken when Joshua and I were photographing the book marks. Isn't he a little cutie?!?!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pretty In Pink

Could she possibly get any cuter?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'm a little bit sad today...I finally pulled all the newborn size clothes out of Joanna's armoire. While she's still not chubby enough to really fill them out, they are getting way too short! She has a ton of cute 0-3 month clothes which still fit perfectly, but pulling out those too-tiny outfits is just a tangible reminder that these sweet babies grow up so fast!

I have to remind myself that it's a good thing, really. She's healthy and growing. In light of her weight loss and slow gain early on, we were thrilled to find she had gained 2 lbs. in a month at her 2-month check-up. And I do look forward to all those developmental milestones...sitting up, crawling, those first tentative steps, and the first time she calls me "Mommy." I just don't want to rush through the snuggly newborn stage.

*Sigh* I guess I'll just try to enjoy this fleeting stage to the fullest and look forward to the future. After all, I am excited about the prospect of watching her play with dollies, dress up like a princess, and invite me to imaginary tea parties. I'm just enjoying her sweet "babyness" too much to accept that she has to grow up!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Really, I'm Not In This For the Money...

This afternoon between school subjects, a small piece of paper folded into a tent mysteriously appeared on the dining table. One side read, "Tip." The other side:

"I gave you this because you make me food, you're nice to me, and you let me live here."

It was from Jonathan. Underneath the tent was $1.00 in quarters.

Jordan's interest was immediately piqued, and he quickly slipped out of the room to grab his wallet and deposit a tip of his own under the little tented card. Apparently he appreciates his dear mommy even more--he left me $1.02.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two Months Old!

Joanna is 2 months old today! You know what that means...time for a photo shoot!

Kisses for her adoring fans...

This was a gift from Aunt Stefanie...the headband part is still a little bit too big for her tiny head, not to mention the flower!

With big brother Jordan...

And big brother Joseph!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Beanbag Project: Step One

Just in case you're wondering, no, I don't intend to turn this into a sewing blog! However, since I seem to have become a bit obsessed with my return to craftiness lately...well, it's going to show up here more often as well!

I mentioned previously that Joshua wants to learn to sew. I'm teaching him the very basics by letting him make some bean bags for Josiah. He also has grand plans to make some sort of toss target thingy, but that is beyond the scope of this particular post! We made 2 bean bags a few days ago. I've since figured out how to make the process easier as well as come up with an idea to make them far cuter, so we're considering these our practice prototypes.

The biggest hurdle for me personally was resisting the temptation to do most of the steps for him...but I actually managed pretty well. First he had to iron the fabric...

He was soooo proud of himself that I let him use the iron. So much so that he bragged later to all of his brothers and Daddy.


Yes, he used the rotary cutter...and he still has all his fingers!

Here he is stuffing one with beans after stitching the sides together. He started out with a funnel, but it wasn't big enough. So we rolled a funnel-type contraption out of a piece of paper instead. This was far more successful!

A very proud Joshua holding up the 2 finished bean bags. He can't wait for another chance to work on this project. I hope Josiah is as excited about the end result as Joshua is about making them for him!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Mommy/Son Date with Joshua

Joshua and I went to New Jersey together yesterday to go shopping and grab some dinner. I was going to go alone, since my primary purpose for going was to go pick up some stuff at JoAnn's. But Joshua, who has been asking me to teach him to sew, wanted to come along and pick some things out himself. So off we went!

Joshua has asked me on two other trips if I would buy him this fabric. I finally let him get it. I have no idea what it will become, but he's excited for now to at least own it.

His first beginning sewing project is making a bean bag toss game for Josiah for his birthday coming up in March. We worked on a prototype a few days ago. Now we've purchased some inexpensive broadcloth in a rainbow of colors for him to use. We will use it for other kid-friendly projects as well, I'm sure!

This is the fabric I've chosen to make Josiah's quilt. I had a pattern in mind, but then found the larger-print fabric at the top. I'm going to change my design in such a way as to be able to use rather large blocks of that top fabric in order to keep that motif intact. We'll see how it goes.

Just for fun (and because it was on sale) I picked up some pretty quilting fabric. I have no set plans for its use yet, but I love the colors! I got some in pinks, greens, and browns...

...and some more in cream and turquoise. It's fun to begin to have a "stash" to work with!

After we shopped to our hearts' content, I let Joshua choose a place to eat. He chose Chili's, and we shared their appetizer/2 entrees/dessert for $20 deal that they have going on right now. We had a nice time together visiting, eating, and of course snapping pictures with my iPhone:

I really enjoyed spending time with just my oldest son. Hopefully we'll get to do it again sometime!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


This is what happens when the bag of Cheerios is left a little bit too close to a hungry toddler...

And this apparently is the most convenient way to eat them!


Ever since mid-July when I broke out the old sewing machine to begin a cute girly PINK quilt, I have been dreaming of all the fun things I can create. Now that I have my own little crafting spot, I have become obsessed! I've been spending my late-night and early-morning nursing sessions with Joanna parked in front of the computer searching for fun fabrics on eBay and free patterns and tutorials on all the great sewing blogs out there in blog-land. I've already decided all my Christmas gifts this year are going to be handmade, and Jeremy has figured out that we need to add in a craft supply category to our budget...just to be safe, lol!

I just might need a 12-step program...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Last Week in Review...Whew!

After a Christmas break that was fun-filled for the younger set and sleep-deprived for the adults, we started back to school last week. Of course, being the list-maker/crazy goal-setter/over-achiever-type that I tend to be, I had extremely high hopes for what we would accomplish. While we didn't quite live up to my expectations, the week went remarkably well!

Joshua, Jonathan, and Jordan all did well on their school work. Jonathan finished up the last lesson in Math-U-See Delta, which means he is now joining Joshua in 5th grade math! Joshua is now scrambling to stay ahead of him, although we have told him that it is NOT A CONTEST! They are so competitive, though! Jordan is becoming quite a proficient reader, and is very excited about his new abilities. Joshua is doing very well in his piano lessons, and is starting to try to play for us so we can sing along. I'm excited to see what progress will be made in all the boys' studies this semester!

Joanna is 7 weeks old today and is such a joy to all of us, although we'd like to hear less from her at 3:00 a.m. She smiles and is starting to make sweet little cooing noises, and when someone coos back, her little face just lights up with the biggest smiles! I'll try to get some more recent pictures of her posted soon!

I've been doing well with my exercising goals. I haven't lost much of my baby weight so far (3 lbs. since the first of the year, with about 27 to go...) but I've been walking almost daily and using Wii Fit several times a week. I can't wait until the weather is nice again and we can get outside more often, but we're doing the best we can to stay active anyway!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My New Craft Room!

After almost a year and a half in this apartment, I am so excited to finally have a space specifically for working on crafts! No, it's not really a room, more like a craft corner carved out of our dining room. I love being creative, but since we need our dining table for 3 meals a day and school work, I was rarely if ever pulling out any of my crafting things. My scrapbooks are shamefully behind, and then when we found out in July we were having our first baby girl I suddenly decided I wanted to start sewing again! There had to be a solution.

I decided the best place to squeeze out some space was in our dining room, where we spend the majority of our time anyway. So I rearranged my computer desk and our big chest freezer, and in October we bought a used 6-ft. rectangular dining table at the Salvation Army. Right after Joanna was born Jeremy put up shelving for me. After about 3 weeks of having to look at my hodge-podge of plastic shoe boxes, baskets, and random piles of supplies gracing said shelves, I thought I might go nuts if I didn't neatly organize all of it. So we went to Ikea and bought a bunch of black boxes with lids. They hold everything in a nice, neatly labeled manner and I still have room for more stuff! This is important when you have a newly-discovered addiction for cute fabrics AND a girly-girl scrapbook to start!

So, here it is. I don't expect it to look this neat most of the time, but I do expect that I'll be creating all sorts of wonderful things here!

The filing cabinet and the small stack of wooden shelves resting on it will be leaving shortly! The water isn't exactly crafty, but we don't have anywhere else to store it. It's our week's supply of emergency water. The artwork was donated by Jordan and Jonathan.

Since I'm making a crafty post, I'm taking the opportunity to show off a few of the things I made while waiting for little Joanna to make her appearance. The first is a baby cocoon and matching hat I made on the knifty knitter. The huge flower is a pin I found in a trim shop in the fashion district.

A taggie blanket that was supposed to be her first Christmas present, but I never wrapped it up. I think I'll still call it her first Christmas present. After all, she wouldn't have been able to open it anyway! It's minkee dots on one side and satin on the other.

This is a blanket I crocheted for her. It's a variegated yarn called "pink camo" that was really cute in the skein, but I didn't love it as it came together as a blanket. I added the solid pink ruffle later and now I like it better, although I still don't love it. Maybe someday Joanna will.

These were my first (and only) attempt at booties. The pattern is super-easy and I think they're pretty cute, but they don't stay on her feet at all. Oh, well!

Here's my favorite thing I've ever sewn so far...her quilt. It's my first ever quilt, and I'm quite proud of it! I think it turned out really well. I already have plans (and some of the fabrics) to make Josiah a quilt this year. Maybe eventually all the boys will have one as well...we'll see! I think this could become addicting!

I can't wait to see what fun things I get done this year now that I have my craft space. I'm sure I'll keep you posted!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Well, we are quite the party animals around here...not! I had grand plans for all of us to stay up and play games together, then watch the ball drop on TV and all celebrate together. What I didn't count on was getting a major headache right after dinner, deciding to lie down for a bit to see if it would go away, and sleeping right through all the festivities until Jeremy brought Joanna to me at about 12:30. Oh well! Jeremy, Joshua, and Jonathan were the only ones who stayed up until midnight. I, on the other hand, between Joanna wanting to be awake and the antics of the frat boys across the street, was awake from 12:30 until about 5:00 am. Fun!

Now of course the proper protocol for a New Year's Day post would be to tell you all about all the great New Years resolutions I have made and what my grand plans are for keeping/accomplishing all of them. But, truth be told, I haven't really given it that much thought yet, so that post will just have to wait, if it happens at all!

I did, however, join a challenge to walk 1000 miles in 2010. It sounds easy enough in theory, yet challenging enough to keep me more active and help me get in better shape. After all, those baby pounds don't just go away on their own! So this afternoon we all bundled up and walked to one of our favorite playgrounds, for a round trip of just over 2 miles. Later Joshua, Jonathan, and I walked to the bank and then West Side Market for some fresh fruit, bringing my total for the day to 2.8 miles. Woohoo! I'm pleased with that start! Now to see if I can keep it up...

Now for some pictures...

Here is Jonathan showing off a snowball he just made...

Yes, I let my children play with gutter snow. In my defense, I did warn them (repeatedly) NOT to touch yellow snow!

Joshua and Jonathan

Our "walking trail"...the upper level of Riverside Park...

Awww, isn't she just the sweetest? I think she's trying to figure out why Mommy and Daddy are dragging her out into the cold...

Josiah still gets to ride...

Jordan right before we got to the playground. Yes, it was getting quite dark, even though it was only about 4:30!

I'm going to have to get creative this winter in order to find ways to get in many miles of walking. I don't think our winter weather will allow us to do this daily! I'm thinking I might just need to get a treadmill. Hmmm, that might not be a bad would be a great way to get the boys to run off some of that extra energy as well!
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