31 January 2010

Da Basement

So, here is my basement in current conditions. I moved everything around on Thursday. It seems to flow better. I plan on hanging some pictures of my current work around my studio area. Decorate the art station, the reading area, and get some organization going on for the toys. Pretty much the basement will be an open area divided by 4-5 different decorating themes! LOL. I hope it comes together one day. The only thing I really want to do soon is the art area. Mia is really into artsy stuff like her Mom and grandmas. Any ideas for storage around the art corner? Let me know!!! This was my reward for my new crafty obsession: Mia painted the wall. Good thing she only has watercolors.

New Obsession

Soooooo....I have a new obsession. Last week on one of the photography blogs I follow the photographer had the MOST gorgeous baby hat and clip. The whole effect was Victorian Vintage. I fell in love. I spent a couple hours on the internet (yikes) and found a couple patterns for rolled fabric roses, to which I added some froof, and wa-lah my version of this lady's props. I still want to make another hat and clip in chocolate browns and red, maybe tomorrow! I also discovered that satin curls wonderfully when burned. I usually seal my ribbons with a lighter, last Wednesday I accidentally held the flame too long and stumbled on the effect. I made a couple cute flowers with satin, organza, and tulle (two in pink and one in white). Lastly, I crocheted myself a fun little hat in my fav color: drooling! It even has a cute little strap and vintage buttons. The hat matches my eyes. Sighing with happiness...Charity ordered a cute kitty skirt and shirt combo, to which I HAD to add a matching hat and flower. I WANT/NEED a picture of my little cutie niece. Better get on that Char-bear. Lastly, I made a cute crocheted flower for Amelia's lace hat but she hates it for some reason. So I whipped up a panty-hose head band for the flower. We are having way too much fun while Justin is working those long hours at Cabela's. Gotta keep busy somehow.

28 January 2010

A Step in the Right Direction

My little artist
Amelia loves to help me give Phillip a bath. Usually by the end of his bath she's in the tub. He loves it!
Amelia is "sighing" in complete raptures over the waaaaa-rm water. Bliss!

Yesterday, Amelia surprised us with a step towards potty training! Hooray! I was nursing Phillip at the time. Amelia decided her pants were dirty (they had a little smudge on them) so stripped off her pants, shoes, socks, and diaper. She was dancing around to her own version of "I am a Mimi of Reindeer" (yes, she makes up her own lyrics like Justin) when all of the sudden she stopped with a funny look on her face. I quickly asked if she needed to go potty on her princess potty and she said yes! All by herself she ran into the bathroom, peed, and used the rest of a roll of toilet paper in the process. She even washed her hands! Boy were we excited. She was rewarded with two potty treats and lots of fun phone calls to tell her good news. While on the phone with Miekka she ran in with a horrified look on her face screaming about something brown and her bum. That put the kibosh on her desire to use the potty and wear pannies. At least we are a step closer to potty training. I know some people would push the issue, but I know Amelia. She is pretty much me in miniature. If pushed we will just butt heads and have a battle of wills. I refuse to engage that battle with her. I figure one day she will just do it all by herself. Just watch...

Our washer is now fixed. I am also better educated about front-loading washers. The problem came from 7 Phillip and Amelia socks sucked into the pump, a quarter and change, and a plastic clip in between the two washer bins. Apparently, front loading washers are notorious sock monsters. The rubber sleeve around the door is not attached to the inner washer as I supposed. Little floating items (like socks) and other small accessories can become snagged under the rubber sleeve and get sucked into the machinery below the washer. It took the service guy two hours to sort out all the kinks. He pulled out items from 4 different locations in the suction system. I found out the guy is very interested in genealogy. He has photographed over 7,000 grave stones and uploaded them to the internet. We had a fun discussion about the Mormons and Family History.

Justin came home at lunch like usual but unusually he came in the front door. Around 11 Amelia and I heard a loud pop in the garage. I thought something fell over. Turned out the garage door springs snapped. After a couple phone calls we have a guy coming over in the morning to put a temporary patch so we can open the doors until the springs can be replaced. Bummer.

I finally decided the basement needed to be reorganized yesterday. It looks much better and should flow more smoothly. My "studio" is located by the bank of cabinets, the TV and couch are arranged a bit differently, the toys spread out in three stations, and my computer table is more efficient. So hooray! I will take some pictures tomorrow. In the meantime enjoy some pictures of my newly cleaned craft room. Unfortunately, it is rarely clean because creativity for me is a messy process. I made several cute creations this week which you can view next week. One day I plan on having my entire craft room in black and red. The guest bed sticks out like a sore thumb to my color coordinated eye.

PS: Yoga is not for sissies. I did a long yoga session yesterday with my muscles screaming in pain as I followed contortion after contortion. The day before was a core synergistic workout that was so brutal I nearly lost my cookies from nausea. Phew, those were awesome workouts. Pain is a green light, right Dad?! The good news is that I am down 1.5 pounds. Not much but any progress is, well, progress!

27 January 2010

Cute Kiddos




This picture is sorta blurry but I love the expression of bliss on his face and those chubby knees!






Can sort of hold on to his toes when helped










High-Centered, aka, the banana boat




Gotta love those drool strings!

25 January 2010

Phillip is 5 Months Old



I nearly missed posting this on the 25th of this month! I am sewing a skirt for my niece but am having a hard time getting it right. I tore out all the seams twice and partial seams at least 8 times. Geesh! Alison came over to help me take pictures of Phillip. Before she came I sewed together a sling that he could sit in. It needs some help but over all the effect is pretty fun. I only had time to edit one so one will have to do for tonight.

Phillip...what a fun little boy. He greets you with a constant smile and squeals. Last week he started singing near the end of his nursing time, much to my amusement. His toes are always covered with socks so he has not really discovered his toes yet. His favorite activities are jumping, squealing, singing to his toys, sucking his fingers, and slobbering. He loves mommy and is mostly amused by Amelia. Daddy is a favorite when he is around. Phillip can get out of his swaddle faster than a jack rabbit, even when safety pinned in! He is getting chubby and is working on growing more hair than daddy. Tomorrow he will get his 4 mth immunizations. I hope we can avoid a cold this time. RSV is going through the town. Maybe I will think of more stuff to add when I post more pictures from this photo shoot. Night!!!

24 January 2010

Modern Art








Amelia is exhibiting some pretty funny behaviors lately. She must be a little jealous of Phillip and the time I spend holding him. Last week she wanted me to "feed her some juice on my tummy." I was pretty confused until she climbed on my lap in a feeding position and gave me her sippy cup. She can often be found inside Phillip's crib pretending to sleep, on his changing table wanting a diaper change, etc. Friday I found her inside Phillip's carseat all bundled up sucking on her binky (which is a bed only luxury).

I try to give her little chores around the house. Thursday she "helped" me put the groceries away. See above picture. LOL! You have not seen basement pictures yet because it is where the hurricane of everyday living resides. I still have not figured out how to have my studio ready AND organized without spending money to get shelves or bins.

Ever since we painted the house Amelia constantly asks to "do paintings." While in Cheyenne yesterday I picked up some watercolors for her. At home I took off her pretty shirt and skirt and let her paint. Now that she knows how to take off her diaper within 10 minutes her diaper was off and she was painting in the buff. I think we may have an artsy little girl in the making. She sings, dances, paints, colors, plays the piano and such with constant gusto.

Thursday in the car she was talking to herself. I finally tuned in and realized she said, "Mommy I am the boss of Alison!" The next day she was convinced she was "my boss." I informed her I wore the bossy pants, she replied, "No, mommy I am your boss, you do what I SAY!" I immediately mimed the actions of taking off her pants and put those bossy pants back on me. She thought that was highly amusing.

Saturday Phillip, Amelia, and I went to Cheyenne for the day. I had a primary training meeting for this year's new primary theme. We drove with our new Primary President and Second Counselor. It was nice to have time to just talk and plan the upcoming year. The kids did really well considering the amount of time we sat waiting. After the meetings we hit Target and Hobby Lobby before heading home. Justin worked the whole day. He says work should return to normal by the beginning of February. It will be very nice to have some Justin time.

21 January 2010

Flippin' Chickens







I just finished typing my post and then lost my post. This is the retype. What a week! My new 8 month old washer crapped out today. Grrrr, the repair person can't come until late next week. Laundromat again? The amount of clothing Phillip goes through is astounding. Well, he does blow out of 2 diapers per day and spits up on everything. Yes, I have the right size of diaper. He just has incredibly amazing explode-a-poo!

Tuesday's weigh-in was discouraging. I gained back the weight lost last week. You'd think all this exercising, healthy eating, water drinking, and such would pay off scale wise. I thought eating a high protein, whole grains, veggies and some fruit combined with working out and sweating my bum off for an hour or more each day would shed major pounds. I need to remember that my whole purpose in joining was for a kick in the pants to establish healthier living again. Plus I am a nursing mom. One plus is that my stomach feels tighter; the jelly belly is going away. Goal succeeded.

Amelia is driving me nuts! With my zone-to-zone defense partner working late nights getting her to bed by 7:30 or 8:00 is difficult at best. I either have a cranky toddler or a screaming infant (who wants his 7:30 feeding). She is becoming combative with me whenever I nurse Phillip. She screams in my ear, pulls my support pillow off, and swipes the burps cloths. Little stinker. I put her in time out but she just runs right back to pestering me. Poor Phillip has not had a restful meal in about a week. This afternoon I dragged her into her room for a time out and closed her door. She pulled the door off the hinges, granted the screws are stripped but still. I tried reading to her, singing fun songs, etc but she just wants to sit on my lap at the same time (not by my side). We are experiencing some jealousy! Any ideas????

Phillip learned how to arch his back on Tuesday! He now flips over from back to tummy, on his tummy he gets frustrated because his back arching trick does not get him on his back. Changing his diaper is like trying to diaper a flopping fish gasping for air! If you want to see an infant jig faster than an Irishman just come to Sidney, NE and watch Phillip in his jumperoo! He cracks me up.

Mia received a cute little tea set for a big sister gift when Phillip was born. Last night I coaxed her into the bath with a promise that she could actually put water in her teapot and have a tea party. That sealed the deal. I thought nothing of her fun bath time until midnight when she ripped us out of bed with a squeal. I tried and tried to calm her down. All she would tell me is she needed "a new one." Justin tried to no avail. Finally, I picked her up only to discover the poor child was wet from her armpits down. Yep, she flooded her diaper. After a fresh diaper, dry jammies, and new bedding she went back to sleep happy as a little clam snuggling her two pink mimi's, yellow mimi, reindeer, kitty, lamb, and two polar bears. Lesson learned: no bath time tea parties right before bed. I am excited to learn my Mom and two littlest brothers are coming stateside for an undefined period of time. My grandma needs some help and my middle brothers need a kick in the pants.

Enjoy pictures of the new retro lace cap I made for Amelia on Monday. It was easy to make....once I rewrote the pattern.

17 January 2010

Our year-a-versary









Can you believe we moved to Sidney a year ago today? A year ago:
-we arrived to our little apartment, Sister Mason met us there with a crib for Mia and some brownies
-went to Walmart that first night to get a fan for Mia's room
-I could only eat green apples and nasty saltines
-Justin was very busy with busy season
-the weather was stinkin' cold
-we met the Haley Family...our little girls became "besties" (thankfully not beasties)
-wondered if we made the right choice to move to Sidney
-wanted a can opener and a sharp knife to cook with

We've had a lot of major changes in the past year, namely a new job, a new town, a new baby, and a new house. I wonder what this next year will bring!

Friday Ella came over to play. The girls were in Princess dresses in about 2 seconds flat once Alison left. They played with Amelia's little tea set and chocolate chips for about 40 minutes. Loved it! Then of course Mia melted down and went atomic when Ella accidently bonked her head. Ella and I went outside to go on a walk while we waited for Mia to calm down. After 30 minutes of tantrum she finally came outside and walked to Safeway with us. Once at the store she was a perfect angel again. Weird.

Saturday I spent most of the day cleaning and organizing the house. It was clean so took pictures of the final decoration configuration. Check out pictures of each room here: Sidney Home Decorated. Last week I called Sister Smith and asked to photograph her daughter for her 14th birthday. Allie is one cute gal. She let me play for over two hours posing her and using her to try out my new backdrops. You can view her pictures at: Ali. Thanks guys for being so patient while I practice! It was a selfish luxury! Justin held down the fort even finishing dinner while I played. I needed a subject to perfect using my super flash as a bounce light along with my two hot lights. It took a lot of tweaking but finally found the golden mean.

Today I was called to serve as First Counselor in the Primary. Yikes! I will really miss Gospel Doctrine. Guess the Lord knew I was too comfortable. During church I got Phillip laughing long and hard with Amelia's reindeer toy. He melts me! Well, that is all for now...

14 January 2010

Bogged down in the BLAHS








Blech...I don't like January, February, and most of March. I do like St Patty's Day because it incorporates the color green and you can eat corned beef, but that is about all. This week I just feel "blechy." Funny thing is the weather is actually quite reasonable for January with sunshine and milder temps, in the 40's to 50's. Could be I am dead tired from working out harder than usual, changed my diet, and am getting less sleep. Oh yeah, and Amelia is no longer taking her afternoon nap. It actually is no big deal because she is happy and I don't have to deal with her post-nap trauma. For the first time in 2 years (feels like) I ran an errand with Amelia in the early afternoon. She is now going to bed around 7:30 to 8:00 to compensate. We are now having quiet time, which consists of a movie, coloring, laying on the couch, or reading books. It works! Little Phillip must be teething because he is chewing on EVERYTHING and producing copious amounts of slobber. The kid goes through at least 4 bibs per day. He is absolutely loving the jumperoo. He does this funny little jig while trying to reach one of the toys. Most times he sticks out his tongue in the most comical way. The little stinker never cooperates when I get out the camera.

I am enjoying our change in diet. I say, our, because I do the cooking and shopping. Tuesday morning I went to Sister Jones home to use her wheat grinder. My hand crank one was only producing a quarter cup after 30-40 minutes of cranking. When you need 20 cups of flour that is not very time efficient. She kindly ground some wheat for me. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon making 4 batches of dough trying out different recipes. My first batch never made it out of the bowl because the yeast was not doing its job. The second batch was awesome, actually baked a loaf, nearly doubled the yeast and increased the honey, gluten, and dough enhancer. The third and fourth batches made it to the freezer in loaf configuration for later. Yum! Figuring out the correct wheat bread recipe balance for Nebraska was challenging! I ended up using a recipe Miekka posted and tried Charity's bread. Both are delicious and healthy!

Tuesday night I was called to serve in the Primary Presidency as the 1st counselor. So far I've never had a positive calling experience in Primary. I knew a change was coming because my current calling as Sunday School Teacher is perfect for me. Bring it on!

I crocheted four hats this week during Amelia's quiet time, with her snuggled against my arm. I love that she LOVES to snuggle. I also finally ordered and received some vinyl lettering to complete several projects around the house. Alison found this awesome 6 paned window in one of the rentals she manages. She gave it to me!! Our family pictures now reside inside the panes. I used electrical tape to adhere the pictures to the glass, it almost looks like a mat. The frame is nailed to the wall, then decorated with antique buttons and ribbon. Picking a quote was about the hardest decision ever! Sister Mason came over more than once to help me decide what to do. When I first hung the frame three weeks about I was jumping up and down and doing a silly dance! LUV IT!!!! The picture angle is distorted because I wanted to avoid glare from the kitchen window.

Last night Justin actually made it home around 7:30 pm. We had a party. Not really, Justin dressed Amelia and Phillip's large monkey in jammies. Amelia was so enthralled with the idea of a large monkey in her clothes that she requested more clothes for it this morning. She chose the shirt, pants, and bow...course they all match! Once dressed, she crooned to the monkey, "you are sooooo cute. Mom take a picture." LOL, she plopped down on the couch and posed for me telling the monkey to smile and sit still. This evening my visiting teacher came over to watch the kids for an hour. Justin was too busy to come home for a little while. My favorite local photographer opened a new studio and held a girl's night out this evening. I am super coveting her new digs. The site used to be a carpet store, so it is open and airy. She has four backdrops set up at a time with all her lights mounted on casters and some even on ceiling tracks. *Sigh* One day! I am happy with my decision to wait until the kids are in school to become more serious. Still, I love to learn and see what other photographers are doing. Kelly took pictures of all the girl friends for free. Alison, Crystal, Trissa, and I had fun posing as a group then individually.

Time for bed...now that Mia is going to bed earlier I am making an effort to get my "ME" time done sooner. Tchau!

12 January 2010

Applique Secrets!

Miekka asked about the wording on Phillip's newest shirts. I found a couple applique kits at JoAnn's about a year ago. Part of the kit included iron-on words, shapes, and other decorations. The iron-ons are not very easy to apply, as you can see on the Lion shirt. It smudges terribly. I noticed JoAnn's carries several prepared sentiments for kid shirts if you want to go puruse their applique aisle. For the facial features I mostly use a satin stitch and whipped running stitch. For eyes I usually do a triple french knot!. My designs come from basic internet searchs for clip art and such. I am not so great at making up my own shapes. They always turn out crooked. The decorating is all me...

10 January 2010

Rambling






Didn't really have any new pictures to share after the insanely cute ones of Phillip. The pictures above are a bit of a let down! My little camera (with video) is having major issues. It was never the same after getting dropped from the twisty slide at the park. My favorite lens is also having issues focusing. I will start teaching piano lessons the first week of February to earn a little money to buy a lens and small camera. I am excited to start teaching again! So far 6 kids from our ward are signed up. Alison will probably let me watch Ella again since her newest babysitter had to go back to work at Cabelas.

Justin is very busy with work. He added another 6 hours to his already full work week on Saturday. Justin stayed with the kids Saturday morning so I could attend a RS function. The RS here has a little "contest" to read the conference Ensign from cover to cover within 3 months after conference. Those who read are rewarded with a fun little breakfast and conference quiz. I was in heaven being out of the house and alone for a couple hours.

I am a BIT crabby lately. This diet, exercise, and lack of sleep is hard to deal with. Poor Justin is getting the short end of the stick! He bought me a shirt from Cabelas on Friday. I did not even have the heart to be excited about the shirt. It was my favorite green but striped and button-down. He was very thoughtful. My mom knows from long experience that buying clothes for me is about the worst thing. She struck out nearly every time.

We are studying the Old Testament this year in Sunday School. I am VERY excited! The lesson today ended up being awesome due to the member's participation. I love how the spirit can take a dinky lesson and turn it into an amazing experience. The spirit was there several times testifying about our role(s) in the premortal existence.

06 January 2010

New Studio Props









He he! Justin declared my new faux floor completed yesterday! I tried it out this afternoon during Mia's nap. I am in LOVE with the floor and my cute boy. Dontcha love his cute hat? It was super windy all day blowing snow and ice around. We made a trip out for Phillip's 4 mths appointment. He weighs 13 lbs even, and is 25.5 inches long! The doctor referred me to an eye doctor in Sterling for Phillip's goopy eye. After 3 months of massaging it his eye should not still have a blocked tear duct. The eye doctor will clear his duct on Monday. I am excited to be done with the nasty eye boogers. That is the first thing people notice: "ohhh, he has a goopy eye, let me clean it." Errrr. I included a picture without a hat so you can admire his hair growth!

I am irritable due to operating on 5 hours of sleep, exercising over an hour a day, and a diet change. Mostly I just want to go to sleep. Too bad it is Justin's busy season. He leaves at 8 and gets back around 9 pm, not coming home for lunch most days. I need some adult conversation.