Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mundane Musings

I had a bunch of random thoughts and facts going through my head today, stuff that I thought would make good Facebook updates, but I couldn't choose one. Actually, I did choose one but whatever. Anyway, I thought I'd post them all here too. They all pretty much have to do with mommyhood, so it fits. :)

*When I originally planned to write this blog today, I thought "I'll call it Monday Musings, cause it's Monday!" Right....it's Tuesday. Thank you pregnancy brain.

*Why am I just as tired after getting 9 hours of sleep, as I was after 4 hours? (Yes, this one made FB, the lucky winner.)

*I need to remember that I am pregnant and eating until I am more than full will make me VERY uncomfortable! Which leads me to.....

*A message from Debbie Downer: "Hey all you first time preggers out there! Enjoy this pregnancy!! It turns out that being pregnant a 2nd time (and I assume 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and so on) is LESS comfortable than being pregnant the first time. Live it up ladies!"

*I'm going to say it's been a successful attempt at weaning Dec off the pacifier. He has not cried for it since day one. It has been a little over a week, and though he asked for it the first couple of days, he doesn't even mention it anymore. I can't say we used any tricks, no "broken pacifier", no "sending it off with a balloon for another baby to use", just stopped giving it to him at night. I did try to show him at first that he could use his thumb if he wanted to suck, but he didn't really care for that. I know it's only been a week, but I feel good that he's over it. (Cue him waking up right now and crying for hours until I give up the location of the pacifier.) The downside to all this though? He wakes up earlier. He use to be able to nap for about 3 hours....now we are lucky if it's 2. He used to sleep until 8am or later.....it's been about 7-7:15-ish for the last few days. Trevor actually said to me this morning "Wanna give it back to him?" I asked him if he was serious, and he said, "Kinda." Oh what stellar parents we are! :)

Um, I think that's it. There might have been more, but I can't remember. I blame the pregnancy. Speaking of, I am 19 weeks along, as of yesterday. We have an appointment to find out what we are having soon, and hopefully he/she will cooperate! I'll let you know when we know.....and have told all our family! :)

Since those musings were a little on the whiny side, I thought I'd leave you with a happy thought and story.

*When I was pregnant with D, I had the great fortune to have 3 maternity photo shoots! (It helped that I didn't have to pay for them!) I'll get into it a little more in another post, but I finally got around to making a photo book of the pictures. Here's a peek at the cover page, designed by my super talented sister-in-law Dawn:

*Speaking of pregnancy brain and forgetting things, here's a funny story from my first pregnancy:

A very thoughtful friend and co-worker of Trevor's, Jamie, asked me one day what I had been craving. I really didn't have a lot of cravings, but I was really wanting yellow cake with chocolate frosting, like Duncan Hines box cake yellow cake! A couple days later, Trevor brings home a 9x13 inch Pyrex cake pan, filled with cupcakes that were.....you guessed it, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, from Jamie! I don't know if it was Duncan Hines cake, but whatever, it was perfect!! I ate 3 that night, a couple the next day, and the next night, and then a few more the next day. But that night, there were 6 left, and I really felt bad for keeping the cake pan for so long, but couldn't eat 6 cupcakes in one sitting. 3, I could totally do, but that left 3 more. Where could I put the other 3 so I could give the pan back? I stood in the kitchen for about 5 minutes thinking, "what could I put these in that has a lid" and then CLICK! I believe I even raised a finger in the air as I said "A pot!"

As I placed the last cupcake in the pot, I looked at them and said out loud, "Or Tupperware would have worked."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Handmade Christmas

Last year for Christmas I got a sewing machine. I had been wanting one for years, even though it had been about 17 years since 7th grade Home Ec....the last time I had really used a sewing machine. But I was being inspired to sew from Grace and my friend Adrieanna, and a machine was needed to do so. Thankfully my parents had one that had been bought with the best of intentions, but rarely used. So I would become the new lucky owner!

Since then I have done 2 big projects that require their own blog post each, and MANY little projects. Sadly, I have yet to do anything for me really, but that's ok, I love seeing my stuff being enjoyed by others. Which leads me to Christmas...

Adrieanna, my quilting mentor, introduced me to a book that has become my sewing bible. It's called Denyse Schmidt Quilts and it's by, surprisingly, Denyse Schmidt. :) (The link is just to her website, the book is on there somewhere.) In it there are 20 small-ish projects and 10 quilts. From those 20 projects, I was inspired....to make Christmas presents! I was able to pick projects for all the females (sans Mom, I want to make her something big and I'll need LOTS more time. Oh don't be surprised mom, you know it's coming....eventually!), the brothers and baby Jack on the Allan side. Ethan, Jack Lindley, and Luke got big boy presents. :)

So here is what I made, pictures and all. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of some....I didn't quite finish them all in time, in fact I still have a couple yet to complete. When I am COMPLETELY done, and have all the rest photographed, I will update and let you know. Because I know you are DYING to see it all. ;)

For Bella: A purse and coin purse
Zigzag Bag and Zigzag Zip
It's named after the original design which I changed up a bit, along with adding lining to both bags.

For Jack Allan: flannel blocks
This project doesn't have a name because it didn't come from the book, I kinda did it on my own (by peeking at another one of Adrieanna's sewing books!)

For Gemma, Hope, and Ruby: stuffed animal cats
Three Faces of Steve
I actually made 3 of these, for all 3 girls of course, but with different fabrics. Poor Ruby got the wonky looking one, but I figured she wouldn't mind as much! :) I only have a picture of this one, which doesn't even have the tail attached, but you get the idea!

For Grace: an apron
Shimmy, Shake, and Bake Apron
I felt kinda bad making an apron for Grace. I didn't want to seem like I was saying "get in the kitchen, woman!" But I felt that she would really appreciate it, and she did! She said it's what she's been needing! You can see in the second pic, the front pattern is actually a pocket.

The un-photographed:
For Avery: a scarf and a muff
Scrap Wrap and A Muff is A Muff
I didn't think about it when I was making it, but the pattern is meant for making an adult size scarf and muff. So they turned out a little big....but they are still really cute! (You'll see!)
For Dawn: a closet sachet
Closet Case Sachet
Do you know how hard it is to find cedar chips?! Ridiculously. So when I couldn't find them, I adjusted the pattern and added Velcro. Now Dawn can choose the scents she likes and replace them at her leisure. I'd say that worked out for the best! :)
For Jason, Hugo, Chris, and Danny: juggling blocks
Cares in the Air Juggling Blocks
Dried lentils were A LOT easier to find! :) I know my brothers juggle, but I don't know about Jason and Hugo. If they have ever wanted to learn....here's their chance!
For Danica: an eye pillow
Eye Will Revive Eye Pillow
Danica suffers from migraines more often than she, or anyone, should. I figured this would be perfect for her. Now I just need to find Buckwheat hulls.....
For Larissa: a scarf
Scrap Wrap
The first time I saw the picture of this scarf project I thought of her. And I was thrilled to be able to pick out the fabric, hoping to find patterns that she would love. And I hope she does....cause I do! :)

Early in December, I was telling Grace and Larissa about all my handmade Christmas presents, and we all decided that we would all make handmade gifts. I was totally on board cause I had everything planned out. (By the way...planning it all out doesn't matter as much if you don't follow through with the plan. You would think after almost 30 years on this earth I would know this by now.) But I was nervous for the girls cause they both have 2 kids, and waaaaay less time than me to make something. Well, I shouldn't have been because they both pulled through....FANTASTICALLY! Larissa gave a pre-mixed soup of fresh ingredients (just needs to be cooked and enjoyed!), burned CD's, hand written Bible Verse flash cards, crafted photo-magnet frames, and for us ladies, she went to a place where you pick the scents and they make a perfume. And Grace made a photobook, one for each family, of the cousins in 2009. I am IN LOVE with that photobook! Both girls, in their own way, handmade the Christmas presents! Such creative girls! :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Cousins

April 20th, 2007, brought us Gemma Rose. July 13th of that same year, Hope Elizabeth was born. These were the first 2 grandchildren on the Allan side, and Declan's 4th and 6th cousin. (Isabella Rose, #5, from the Gill side was born in May of that year.) That Christmas, Larissa and Grace started a tradition that has grown in popularity and difficulty, but most definitely is most cherished among all the gifts Grandma and Grandpa get at Christmas: The Cousin Picture.

Here is year one, Gemma - 8 months, and Hope - 5 months.

As you perhaps noticed, both girls were pretty stationary at the time. You put them somewhere, they stayed. So taking the pictures at Sear's wasn't so bad! However, the next year....not so easy! Declan of course, being only 7 months, was super easy. But VERY mobile girls, with agendas of their own....yikes. This was the best shot we got of all three of them. Hope is probably reaching for goldfish, or Pablo (a Backyardigan doll).
Year 2, Gemma - 20 months, Hope - 17 months, Declan - 7 months
After that Sears session, we vowed to do something different the next year. Enter Mel. Stay with me for a moment while I go on a tangent about my wonderful friend Melissa.
This beautiful girl started out this past year (2009) in terrible, terrible back pain. Pain that had plagued her for years. Pain that kept her from working or going to school. But, did that keep her from pursuing her passions? Heck no! This TRUE artist did what she could to make a living, she painted, and she created BEAUTIFUL jewelry. She also discovered a love (and amazing talent) for photography! (Ahh, my tangent makes sense!) Thankfully she was able to have surgery early in the year, and has recovered VERY well! So well that she has gone back to school! And her photography business has grown, and continues to grow! I love seeing all her posts and watching her abilities blossom. This is going to be an amazing year for Mel, mostly because in August she will marry the man of her dreams, Branden, who shares her love for photography. I am so excited for their wedding, I can't wait to beautify her locks! :) And it's in Big Bear, so you know it's going to be GORGEOUS!! Ok, my tangent is growing....all this to say, my dear friend and her fiance helped us tremendously this year for our Cousin picture:
Year 3
What an amazing shot, huh?! All FIVE kids, looking in the same direction! Bear in mind, the mommies were jumping and singing and doing silly dances behind the photographers, but whatever, it worked! :)
Jack - 6 months

Ruby - 8 months

Declan - 19 months
Hope - 2 1/2
Gemma - 2 1/2

One final shot, a tiny little sample of what the other group shots resembled. :)

As you can tell, the number of babies have grown over the years, and of course there will be at least one more next year. Us mommies have decided the dad's will come help out next year, one parents to each child...that should help with the wrangling! :) Until next year, Merry Christmas from the Allan Grandkids!