Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big Girl Bed!

We have switch around the kid's room again, and this time it was to make way for a new "big girl" bed! Lulu was sooo ready for a real bed. She was too heavy for using the playpen regularly, and would climb out of it a dozen times before falling asleep each night. I was also really ready for a new bed, because she could crawl out but not back in, someone would have to go up and put her back in every. single. time. (Now we can just yell at her from downstairs, SO much easier.)

Really, she is a lot better in the big bed, and doesn't climb out as often. Usually once or twice a night at most. Progress.
We moved the book shelf to the other side of the room, and now there is a nice reading area near the door. This is also nice because now all the clothes are at the far end of the room away from the book mess.
We don't have to worry about much of a toy mess up here since we have the playroom downstairs, and that really helps keep things a little more organized.
Here is our little cupcake (I just love her in these pjs!) in her new bed.

Immy didn't get a new bed, but she was pretty happy with all the changes. It's kind of exciting to switch around all the furniture; it's like getting a whole new room, but free.

JP got a (the) new bed too, he was pretty excited! We gave his old bed to Lulu since it had the side rails. I like that the girls beds match too, even though they're not girly colors, but that's just the organizer in me.

And in case you were wondering, this is where she actually slept the first night.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cloth Diaper Trouble Shooting

We are still using the cloth diapers, and aside from a few little issues it's been going well. The two problems that have been persistent are the leaking and the smell, but I think we have them just about worked out.

One part of the leakage problem was that we were too used to disposables diapers holding two to three wettings, and we were not changing her often enough. We fixed this by doing what we should have been doing all along, which is change her after each wetting. Perhaps the fact that action must be taken after each wetting, as opposed to every few wettings, is why cloth diapered kids usually potty train sooner? Hmm, not sure, but anyway back to the leaking; the last problem was the night-time leaking. Because we do not change her through the night we fixed this by using a disposable for bed time. I'm not sure if we will still need to do this if we move her up a size (I hope not), but we will see.
I'm happy to say that the smell problem is solved! I checked the BumGenius website and it said to use a 1/4 cup of bleach every now and then to help with the smell. Since I didn't have any liquid bleach I tried "sun bleaching" them by letting them dry out in the sun shine, a tip I got from another spot online. This worked great! And it had the added benefit of helping to lower our diaper related costs by not using the dryer. I also love the way all the clean white diapers look drying outside.We still don't have a diaper sprayer, but I want one so bad! I also want to get all the kids some over-night cloth pants so we don't have to buy Pullups; I'll keep working towards these as time and money permits. In the mean time this is a great start, and I'm happy with the progress!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christmas in January

Since we ended up changing our plans to go out to CO less than a week before Christmas, the gifts were all running a bit late. Luckily our kids didn't seem to mind Christmas in mid January ;) and hopefully my in-laws don't mind either, because our boxes passed in the mail.

Yay! Bubbles!

Lulu got the first gift, and she was not willing to share. Oh that two year old personality, coming out so soon.
Here she is telling JP just who's gift it is, and pushing him away whenever he tried to come closer.
She didn't know what it was, but she knew it was hers!
Eventually she did get around to unwrapping it, and was quite delighted when we got it all set up!

Immy was really excited about her gifts too!

It was finally JP's turn and he dove in!
(She's not really homeless; I do her hair every morning, but after a long day at school it's all in her face again.)

JP was so thrilled with his camping set!

Lulu loved her new doll, and as soon as she unwrapped it she gave it the sweetest hug and took off running lest someone should try to take it from her.
Poor child, having a big brother makes you a little paranoid.

Dh got a great book, and JP tore into his next gift. Oh yes, 225 pieces of Tinker Toys! He was so happy, and spent the next ten minutes trying to get it open. No, we did not help him.
I got a lovely necklace and scarf. Now I just have to get DH to take me out to dinner, so I can show them off!
Thank you Aunt K, Grandma, Grandpa, and all the family! We love you, and merry late Christmas!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

She lost a tooth!

Immy lost her first tooth!

She was sooo proud, and said it didn't even hurt (this was probably because it took her three days to wiggle it out :). The best part was that the Tooth Fairy will give you .10 cents if you put it under your pillow!
Mom asked if the Tooth Fairy was giving .25 cents a tooth these days, but there are a lot of teeth to come; a Fairy's got to pace herself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The New/Old Barn

I found this neat old farm set at a garage sale for .50 cents! I love it, it's just like the one I had as a child, and the door still Moos when it's opened!
It also came with all the original accessories inside. It was a bit dirty, but we cleaned it up with some Clorox wipes and a good scrub down on the plastic parts. Then I let the kids enjoy.
I think they like it just as much as I did!

Friday, January 8, 2010

My First Photo

Here are our new little ones first pictures at about 8 weeks old.

Sorry the pictures are not the best, I never did learn how to use the scanner.
The head is the round part on the left with the arched back across the top, and the little dots in front of the face are the hands.
This is the one I like the best. It shows the head on the left two little arms, belly, and two little legs. I was really surprised to see how active the baby was at this stage, it is amazing to think that the baby is moving so much and I can't feel a thing. Except morning sickness ;)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Holiday Sewing

I did actually get around to a little holiday sewing this year, all on Dec. 24th. Yeah, no pressure.I made several gift bags inspired by this lady. They were really cute close up, honest!
And my favorite project- the baby cradle bedding. I was really excited about this because I have had it on my to do list since last year, and I absolutely love this fabric!

This project would have taken me about 30min-one hour to make it without the ruffles, but that just would not do. I really thought about it, but it just had to have ruffles! So the bedding took me about three hours. I didn't even have to gather them, it was all pre-made ready to sew, and it still took me that long! Ruffles are not for beginners! But, I would do it again, it just had to have ruffles. I'm sure I did it the hard way (there must be an easier way!), I just winged it. I will definitely read up on the right way to do it before I try it again the next time.

I lined the blanket and attached it to the bottom of the pad to make it easier for Lulu to use it. There was a lot of seem ripping for such a small project, but I wanted it to be perfect, or at least close. I took such care to center the images on each piece I cut, and even arranged it so that the images would be right side up when the blanket is pulled back. The blanket is attached inside the ruffle on the top so that it lays right, and I made a little pillow to finish it off.
Crazy to put all that work into something that will be thrown in to the toy box? I don't think so, I don't get to my sewing machine everyday, so if I take the time to make something for my kids I want it to be special and something we keep for a long time.
Here is the fabric close up, so cute!

Happy Epiphany!

Well, a little bit late. We had a lovely Epiphany/Three Kings day! We made our king cake again this year, so I think I could call it a tradition now, right? Maybe next year.
I love doing something a second time! You know, when the new hasn't quite worn off, but you get to fix a lot of the mistakes you made the first time? I really enjoyed making the cakes this year. Partly because I hadn't done any baking this holiday season, or even much cooking really, and I missed that. It was nice to squeeze in a cake on the last day of Christmas (you know, the twelve days of Christmas end on Jan. 6th). And also because I was smart enough to write a review of the recipe after I made it last year, so I could actually remember what to change this year. It turned out great!
Here is a little bit of the history of the celebration if you are not familiar. Epiphany is the day we celebrate the three wise men finding baby Jesus. It is the final day of the twelve days of Christmas and the closing of the Christmas season that started with advent. Because it is celebrated twelve days after Christmas most people think that Jesus was twelve days old, but tradition actually holds that he was probably one to one-and-a-half years old (Hence king Herod ordering the death of all males under two years old), and that the magi found him in his home in Bethlehem. The cake is baked in the shape of a crown for Jesus' kingship, and decorated with three colors for the three gifts brought by the magi. Yellow for gold, purple for frankincense, and green for myrrh. A small baby or trinket is hidden inside the cake and the person who finds it in their piece gets an honor or task (depending on what country you stole your tradition from). Many countries also have the tradition of putting out children's shoes/stockings the night before to be filled with a treat for Three Kings day. It's a fun tradition to follow, and we have really enjoyed it!
I do hope we can make this happen again next year. I have plans to make it even better by finding a three wise men book to read the kids, making little crowns with them, oh, and switching back to opening our stockings on this day with some of these ideas for the gifts!
I used this recipe again, and here is my new review for next year: The recipe makes two party sized cakes, so I split the recipe in half which made two perfect family sized cakes. This also worked well since I don't have much counter space to roll out large pieces of dough. I used the bread maker for all the prep work, and made them non-dairy by swapping butter and milk with margarine and almond milk. I also made a sweet potato filling. The filling was so good and creamy, the filling from the recipe is good but it makes the cake taste just like a Cinnamon bun, and I wanted something unique for our once a year treat. I dyed the glaze green, purple, and yellow with food coloring and then put colored sprinkles over that. It was better than last year but still not what I wanted -more tweaking on that next time. I hid a bean in the cakes and put a baby Jesus on top. Lastly, I baked them a bit too long. The cakes I made are thinner than the original recipe, so I think 325-350 is a better temp, or maybe less time in the oven. Overall I was really happy with the cakes/sweetbread, they were so good! Not as good the second day, but that didn't stop any of us from finishing it off!
Here is a picture from our first year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas 2009!!

We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas! We decided not to go out of town this year, so Dh picked up our lovely tree on Christmas eve. I was still feeling sick this week, so there were no cookies or holiday baking, but the kids seemed quite happy to leave animal crackers out for Santa instead. Immy also left Santa a note thanking him for bringing presents and explaining why she had left him money in place of the cookie she had eaten.
Here are pictures of Christmas morning before the kids woke up. Each of the kids got three gifts; one big thing from Santa and two small things from us.

Here is the kids table with their Christmas tree and nativity scene.
This is the "card tree" we made to hold our Christmas cards, we got the idea from our Family Fun magazine. One of the down sides to moving so often is that it takes a while for our Christmas cards to catch up, so we ended up using it to display all of our holiday artwork!
The kids found their stockings first and were delighted with all the little goodies inside! We usually open our stockings on Epiphany, January 6th, but since we were celebrating at home this year we did them on Christmas day. I think we will go back to opening them on Epiphany next year and maybe incorporate this idea for the three gifts.
Immy found her note from Santa, and JP started right in on the presents!
Lulu got a Raggedy Ann doll,...
a baby cradle with homemade bedding, and a picnic basket of fabric fruit.
JP got a wooden barn set from from Santa.

Lulu was checking out her new baby cradle, and Immy was anxious to "help" her open the next gift.
JP also got an animal set and a box of little men, everything from cavemen to Knights and horses. I think he liked the little men the best, and has played with them nearly everyday.
The doll house was the biggest gift Santa brought; it was for Immy, but the kids all share it. Immy also got the book Pancakes for Supper, a paper doll nativity set, and a box of My Little Ponies!
She loves Pancakes for Supper, I think I would have bought this book even if there hadn't been a special occasion to give it. The story is very similar to one my mimi had when we were little called Little Black Sambo, and the illustrations are by Mark Teague one of my favorite children's book illustrators.

Here is Immy checking out their new kaleidoscope.

Immy and Lulu doing their "happy dance"!
More "happy dance"!
All of the kids love the new doll house!
Dh was up late getting ready for Christmas and playing xbox, so we let him catch a little nap before mass.
The mass was lovely and they sang all the wonderful Christmas carols that I missed hearing on the radio this year. Here are JP and Immy in their Christmas best!
Merry Christmas!!