Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy to be Thankful

Today is Friday folks!

Can't complain there
next week is Thanksgiving!

I'm kinda secretly pumped about this because my husband and I are having his family over to OUR house
Turkey Day at OUR house

This is a first!!

We luckily just bought a nice sit.down.let' type table
which was (and still is for that matter) extremely HEAVY.
It's got a marble top and is about 6 ft long
and stunning!

My husband and I are in charge of all the side dishes
his parents will bring the ham and dessert
(no turkey here this year folks!)

I am headed to shop for most of the stuff today
and am excited about what I plan to prepare

Yummy sides include:
green bean casserole
crock pot mashed potatoes (and side bar of cheese, bacon and chives)
cranberry sauce
crock pot mac n cheese (thanks to a recipe from my friend Kelly)
sausage and sage stuffing (from a farmer's market)
and fresh chicken gravy (from farmer's market)

I'm drooling thinking about all this food
and I am kinda happy to not have to travel this year

Normally we would go to one set of parents
then the other
be super stuffed
and pass out
food coma
(and beer coma too)

So, I am thankful and happy this year for being able to have my family over and share with them

Any of you have family traditions you do?
We typically go around the table and say what we are thankful for...
which always gets me emotional (especially when the kiddos say something super sweet!)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Little Boo

Halloween 2013 was a big success on MANY levels.

I made Kensie a Halloween costume (see post here).

She WORE the costume while trick or treating

She actually got the hang on trick or treating watching other really cute kids/families and had a BIG time

Little Boo running around the neighborhood

Sparkly arms and hair ties galore

SUPER happy kiddo (and mommy!)

I honestly can't wait for next year.

I don't know that I will be making her a costume from scratch again, that was ambitious of me...and I also prepped it/finished it back in August...making sure I had more than enough time.  Who knows what kinda time I will have next year OR if she will want a certain costume (which will be easily bought rather than not available like the BOO costume).

Hope you had a happy Halloween too!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Butterflies and Tumblin' Tots

This past weekend we went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
They currently have a Butterflies Live! exhibit going on
which is rather extraordinary!

Naturally, we were there when the gardens opened 
we were the ONLY 3 people inside the exhibit
the whole time we were there

We walked around and stared in amazement
Kensie was thrilled with all the butterflies
but I may have been a little more excited!

I have never seen SO many butterflies
in one place
and all different kinds

It was pretty magical

Sunday, The Little Gym was having an open house
We decided to go in and see what it was all about

At first, Kensie was really shy and sitting in my lap
Staring at all the other kids and adults
But she slowly crept out of her shell
and by the end of the open house
She didn't want to leave!

Of course, at home Sunday evening
We were changing her crib sheets
and she decided to make her bed into a jumping mat
and flop on her bottom

Totally the cutest...
Then we sang no more monkeys jumping on the bed
accompanied by 3 monkey animals she has
and she was bouncing the monkeys right along 
and trying to sing the song too

Love her big

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday the 13th!

Normally most people fear today
Friday the 13th!
(scary, huh?)

Well, I am excited for today!

Why?  You may ask...

My husband comes back home!!
He has been gone since Monday night 
for a work trip 

So, despite a machine not working right this morning
and feeling a little out of sorts
I am embracing today
and feeling happy

I mean, how can you not when
you start the day off
with Hardee's breakfast
since your toddler was up at
o-dark-thirty ;)

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mommy Guilt

So recently I have been seeing SO many Facebook posts
and other blogs talking about
Mommy Guilt.

I will confess, 
I have this too

It's hard to talk about
Everyone's situation is so different from another
So the things I may rant and rave about
could be the exact opposite of what someone else is experiencing

for the most part
I feel like all mommies (and quite possibly daddies too)
have some form of this guilt

First off,
I think humans are built in with this ability to want and need to provide for those that depend on us
whether that may be your small child/teen/young adult or an elder in your family

That being said...
it's really difficult to feel SATISFIED

What I mean by that
is it's hard to feel like
we have done
possible to make our child (etc.)
completely happy,
feel loved,
be well nourished,
learned new lessons,
got to do something exciting...

the list is endless

on top of all that
feel the exact same way

I know I am
"that Mom"
that typically comes home from work
throws on my pj's or sweats
cooks dinner (or ate least had the crock pot do work for me!)
eats/serves kiddo and husband
attempts to take a walk/stroll kiddo and dog
fails miserably
stays inside instead
plopped on the couch
with no energy
and wishes kiddo would fulfill herself
with all the toys/books/etc laying around
instead of pulling my finger/hand
and prodding me to get up
and follow her
ALL over the house
until she finally ramps up her energy
and then crashes around 8pm
at which point
I prep for the next day
and climb into bed

I really have no idea how some mommies do it all
I have one little girl
and I feel like my evenings and weekends are full of keeping this one sweet girl super happy
which can be very....

There are days when my daughter is content and happy from the time we pick her up from daycare
There are days when she cries the whole way home (we tried as many things as possible to cheer her)
There are days when my heart melts at how sweet and cuddly she is
and other days where I want to throw a mommy temper tantrum, kicking and screaming while pulling my hair out

There are days when my daughter gets a pretty well balanced meal
and others where she eats a can of puffs or chips
because that is ALL she will eat

I will say I do wish
that I...
had more energy
ate healthier meals
prepped healthier meals for my family
spent more time playing on the floor (or wherever K wants to play)
had more time with my husband
could leave the house at any given time (with or without my husband)
 could make sure my daughter was happy all the time
stressed less
worked out more
found more hours in the day (or even minutes) for just "me" time
wore "cooler" clothes and didn't feel so frumpy in sweats/pj's all the time
would pick up something healthy to snack on instead of ice cream or choc. chips
had more time to read good books
watched less "trash" tv
kept the house more well maintained
had time to get in my flower beds and weed/mulch
had time for a garden again

The reality check to this whole "I wish" situation...
I am NOT a super mom
I was never born a superhuman
So most of this cannot be

I am happy and totally in love
with my husband,
our daughter
and our dog
We do wonderful things together
have created some of my fondest memories

So don't get me wrong
I do love my family
but there are definite moments of guilt
that I do feel badly about
and I am being open and honest
in the hopes that if some other person
reads my blog and feels similar
they, too, can feel some comfort
in knowing they are not alone

So, if I come home and put on my pj's and flop on the couch,
tell my husband to go get fast food,
and hope my daughter plays well on her own for the evening
 instead of
going for a run,
preparing the healthiest meal for my family,
having a super fun activity planned for my daughter,
and meditating/reading before bed time...

I'm cool with that...

let's rephrase that to

I am learning to be cool with that!

Below are a couple of the mommy guilt posts I read...pretty sure both made me cry and realize,
I'm not the only one!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A 1 1/2 year old ball of fun!

My daughter Kensington just turned the big 1 1/2 years old on Sept. 6th.
I took her in yesterday for her 18 month check-up
She is still taller than the average kiddo and skinny like a beanstalk
She was 98% height at 34.25"
About 64% weight at 25lbs 4oz

Of course, I took her into daycare afterwards and proceeded to tell her toddler room teacher that her poor arm would quite possibly be sore after her 3 shots...
that's when my sweet girl used her 2 left feet...
ran forward

Ugh...forget the arm hurting!

Onto bleeding bottom lip which has gotten bigger this morning!

Luckily she is in good spirits and neither her arm nor her lip seem to have her bothered.

She's my tough lil cookie
and I love her so
Dorito Face

Seriously, why are you taking my picture mom?

Get these socks off now please!

I'm 1 1/2 today!

Big grin and bows in!

Like Father like daughter (mouths both gaping open...) <3

Mommy and Kensie

Water play after washing the dog

My little sweetheart!

Making Kensie a Halloween Costume --> BOO from Monster's Inc

This shall be my attempt at making my daughter Kensington her very own Halloween outfit...from scratch!

I will note that I am not the best at sewing, nor do I have a pattern to go by...But admittedly I have found a wonderful 5 part video to follow on YouTube!!

Materials list:
  • 2 yards purple shiny fabric (I got this amount from looking into other web posts where parents had made this costume for their 2 year olds...I realized it was WAY too much...You could get away with 1 yard, unless you want extra for mess-ups or something)
  • 1/2 yard of shiny metallic type material for arms and legs (I did not do legs)
  • 1 yard of flannel or comfy fabric to line the inside of the costume (this was JUST enough after cutting out bits here and there)
  • 16 oz bag of stuffing, or smaller...I used about half a bag, but think I overstuffed the costume!
  • (2) stryfoam balls, I used 3" ones since my daughter won't even be 2 yet and the 4" looked SO big to me!
  • 1 pack of chenille black pipe cleaners (although I did not end up using these!)
  • heather grey yarn for hair/scrap grey fabric to use for hair as well
  • 1 square of white flannel (pre-cut section of store)
  • 1 headband with springs on top (to make the eyes easier)
  • sewing machine and thread (I used black for the entire costume)
  • black sharpie marker OR black acrylic paint (to color the stryofoam balls)
OK, so first I watched the above Part 1 video and since the girl made the outfit for only her upper body, I used the dimensions she gave and took them in a bit.  My rectangles measured 30" x 16".  My daughter's shoulder is ~25" from the floor, so I gave 5" of wiggle room and fluff room (for when the costume is stuffed and in case we have a growth spurt in the next 2 months).  I also took one of her t-shirts and placed it flat against the fabric and it measured 10", so I gave an extra 6" for stuffing room and comfort to slip the costume over her head.

So, here are my fabrics...the fleece liner was off-white/grey, the purple fabric was actually a performance fabric that had some shine to it, and the metallic one on the right was covered in sequins!

I laid out my fabric and measured the 30" x 16" rectangle and cut

I repeated for another purple rectangle, and also 2 rectangles of the liner off-white fabric...I now have 4 rectangles roughly the same dimensions

I then folded 1 purple rectangle in half and cut an armhole on the OPEN side (NOT the side with the fold).  The armhole in the video was cut 10" from the top, but since this is for a ~2 year old, I cut 3" from the top and made the opening 4" down the fabric and 1" into the fabric

I used this for the other 3 and cut the holes in the same place

I then placed the WRONG sides together, pinned, trimmed as needed and marked 3 LINES across to use as sewing guides.

  I placed the 3 lines 7" apart and started measuring from the top closer to the armhole, this made the first line just under the armhole

I then sewed across the 3 lines on each side of the body and also sewed up the armhole SINCE THE TOP WAS STILL OPEN and I could stuff that section later.

Then I took my stuffing and stuffed the 2 sections I had sewn, pinned the sides and sewed down the sides of both parts of the body

Then I placed the 2 stuffed body parts RIGHT SIDES together, pinned and sewed...DO NOT sew together the armhole or else your child won't be able to put her arms through later :)

The girl on the video marked under her nose and trimmed the excess from the top of the costume...and have made the BODY of the BOO costume!  hooray!  Jump for joy!  That wasn't too bad right??

Part 2:  The Hair
Not going to lie, but I didn't even take pictures.  The video is pretty self explanatory, but I did make my circles MUCH smaller, being that the whole costume was much smaller.  My circles were 10" across and I used heather grey yarn and some scrap grey fabric I had cut into little pieces.

Part 3:  The Hoodie
I measured out and cut 11" x 11" squares of my purple fabric.

I then cut out a hooded shape

I repeated this for the off-white liner fabric, so now I have 2 purple hood shapes and 2 liner hood shapes

Sew the RIGHT sides together of the hood (match purple with purple, sew...then repeat for the liner)

Then line up the seams from both hoods, matching the RIGHT SIDES together

Next up re the teeth!  Pull out your white flannel piece

Make some cute teeth!

Take your hood and place the teeth around the edge, pinning as you go in order to see PLACEMENT only!

Then take each tooth, and turn around (as seen in pic) and place IN BETWEEN the purple and white fabrics.  This will allow you to sew the tooth in the middle and come out looking right after sewing it all together

Your finished teeth should look like this...

Now take your hood and stuff a bit.  Then take your body, stuff the top portion.  Pin RIGHT SIDES together and place the hood in seam of the hood in the center of the body (fold body portion in half and make a small cut in order to align properly), sew hood on!

Now, stuff the front portion of the top of your body, place the remaining teeth in between the purple and white fabric, and pin with the raw edges in so that you don't sew the seam with raw edges out!

Take a look at your masterpiece!

Part #4:  The arms (and legs...which you will have to look at video for since I did not do them!)

Below is my lovely metallic fabric...complete with tons of shiny sequins!  I measured the armhole on the body, which measured at 11", giving a radius of 6.5".  So, I took my shiny metallic fabric, folded it in half and cut tentacle shaped arms that measured 6.5" wide by 15" long.  I was able to take a piece of yarn and measure my daughter's arm from shirt seam on her shoulder to fingertips and that measured 13", so I gave an extra 2" for flipper length.  I drew on the shape and cut it out.  This gave me 2 pieces of shiny fabric cut in tentacle-like arms

I then repeated the process for the liner fabric, using the previously cut arms as a template.

Next I took 1 metallic fabric piece and one liner piece, matched them RIGHT sides together, pinned.

Sew around the edges, leaving the top OPEN so we can flip it inside out

Grab the lining fabric again (leftovers) and use the sewed arm to trace out 2 more pieces!

Now take the sewed together tentacle arm and 1 piece of the newly cut liner fabric.  Place them RIGHT sides together, pin and sew (the sides don't need to match up perfectly)

Now, sew down the sides, LEAVE THE BOTTOM POINTED END OPEN

Flip it so the rights sides are facing out.  I went ahead and hemmed the little flaps in now (as opposed to later in the video.

Stuff the top sections of the arm --> the space between your metallic fabric and the liner sewn to it (Don't over-stuff, you want your child to be able to move her arms freely still!)

Turn the body INSIDE OUT

Place the stuffed arm in the body (completely) and match the right sides together

Pin (make sure all 4 layers are pinned!)

Flip entire suit right side out to check placement of the arm, adjust if needed (you want to make sure the shiny part is closer to the head portion and the liner is underneath)

Turn the suit back inside out, and sew around the armhole

Repeat for other arm.

The rest of the video will guide you through feet, which I did not make since the suit was close to the ground on my daughter...What I did do was try the suit on my child, see how long it was and adjust the bottom length, stuff, pin raw edges inside to have a pretty looking edge, sew.  ALMOST DONE!

Part 5:  Eyes and pinning hair on suit
I did my hair pin on and eyes a little different for my daughter.  Kensington hates anything on her head!  So I had to figure out a new option for the eyes and just pin the hair on top.

For the Hair, I followed the video above on how to make it.  To pin it on, I ended up sewing it through the costume by hand.

The eyes...I used a black acrylic paint (I actually started with a sharpie and it was going to take FOREVER!) and colored half the ball black, the front I put a black circle and colored it in the represent the pupil

The eyes were placed onto the spring top of the headband...I sorta screwed them onto the spring to ensure they were on far enough

And now, the grand finale!  (Now everyone, please cross your fingers that my daughter will actually WEAR this outfit for Halloween!  At least we have about 2 months to get her to play dress-up in it...aka get her to like it!)

Maybe she will want to dress up when Mommy and Daddy are in Mike and Sully costumes!