Friday, May 18, 2012

{Craft Project} Headbands

If you read this post you know that my crafting has gone into overdrive since finding out I was having a girl.  First I made these and next it was onto hair pretties!  From what my mom says I was born with little to no hair and it stayed that way for a few years.  That and it was white blonde so what hair I did have didn't show.  My mom called me "Baby Gandhi" and has since found pleasure in telling friends, boyfriends and acquaintances this little nick name.  Her constant reminder of my baldness as a baby used to irritate me but now I realize a lot of baby girls are as you would say "hair challenged."

With this in mind I came up with my second baby girl craft project... headbands!!!  What better way to keep her from getting called a boy while her hair grows in than cute little hair pretties... or head pretties I guess you could say as the hair may not be there right away :)

For a few weeks I scoured my favorite website (other than Pinterest) ETSY and collected lots of different materials to make my headbands.  Here are two shops I purchased from Fleuriste Craft Supply and Pretty Things Supplies.  Both were great to work with!  I had a tough time deciding what all I wanted to get and in what colors so I bought a few different things to start and will be back to buy more.  I also love wearing headbands and so figured that while I was ordering some for the baby I would order some adult size to make some for me!

The creating day came and my sister-in-law, Alicia, had planned to join me.  I found out before we started that Alicia was a little nervous to come over as she's not much of a crafter.  However, after she made her first one she realized how easy and fun it actually was!  This was my idea of a perfect Saturday morning crafting with a friend.  If anyone wants to join me next Saturday let me know.  You get to take home what you make :)

Alicia ended up taking home 2 headbands for herself, I made one for myself and baby girl has 4... so far.  Even our little model enjoyed the day (see below).

Here are some pictures from the day:

Some of the finished products.  Three for baby girl and the one on the left for me.

Alicia made this one for the baby, I love the soft colors with the punch of navy.

Supply table!
Our model showing off my creation.

The "mom really?" look

Ok, enough, get this off me I'm trying to slide here!  PS. Isn't that the cutest goalie T-Shirt?  Thanks to my aunt Joanie and cousin Betsy for that one :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

There is a new cleaning lady in town {Bi-Weekly Cleaning Checklist}

In an effort to keep up with my money saving tactics I have reluctantly let go of my cleaning service and turned to myself to complete these daily tasks.  If you've read this post you know that I originally hired someone else to clean my two bedroom apartment 6 months after having my first child.  At that time I was simply trying to keep up with working full-time and being a full-time mom and my husband was still figuring out how to care for anyone else but himself.  Things have since changed a little and I am receiving more support around the house and so thought I might as well save the couple hundred dollars I spent a month and do the work myself.  Only problem is, I have somewhat forgot how to clean...

Growing up I was always cleaning.  Not for enjoyment but for MONEY!  This was my first paying job.  I can't recall exactly when I began cleaning my parents house but I know it was probably around middle school age if not earlier.  I always had a goal in mind as to what I was going to save up for and so doing odd jobs was the only way to make that cash.  {This is a total side story but when I was a lot younger I wanted to buy a horse so I went around the neighborhood asking anyone that would let me to pull the weeds out of their garden for a price.  Obviously this was a few dollars here and there but I was determined to save up for that horse!  Needless to say, after a summer of pulling weeds I ended up going out and spending my money on something smaller and more immediate but I think it taught me a good lesson on working}

Flash forward a few years and I still had my eyes set on having the money to buy things when I wanted them and not having to wait until my birthday or Christmas.  This is where cleaning my parents house and others comes into play.  Every time I needed some extra cash my mom would put together a list of individual cleaning duties and then would price each one out as to how much she would pay me to do them.  I would then spend the day crossing off the ones that #1 were the easiest and #2 paid the most.  This then turned into a weekly job for me.  My mom would put together each weeks duties and I would cross them off as I went.  (Fellow mom's, keep this in mind for your kids).  My mom must have talked me up at work as one summer I even scored a weekly cleaning job for one of her coworkers!  Again, she would leave me a list on the kitchen table of what all she wanted completed that day.  I would spend 4 hours each week completing the list and checking them off.

You would think after all of these years of practice that I would be pretty talented at cleaning.  Well, I'm sorry to say I'm not.  I'm one of those people that enjoy having a clean home, it makes things feel more peaceful, however, I also can live with a small amount of clutter and dirt.  This is where the problem lies.  I'm ok with leaving the dishes dirty in the sink overnight if it means that I can spend more time with my son.  I don't make the bed every morning because I find it pointless and annoying.  I do make the bed at night though because I can't stand to sleep in a messy bed. (backwards I know)  When I made the decision to take over the cleaning I said to my husband, Luke, "I'm not even sure where to start when it comes to cleaning this place, and I'm not very good a cleaning." He agreed that I wasn't very good at cleaning, which made me upset a little but I asked for it I guess.

It's been a few months of Margaret the cleaning lady and I still can't seem to figure out what to do next.  I'm good at dishes, laundry and picking up because those are things that you can see need to be done and I do them as needed but when it comes to scrubbing showers, mopping floors and dusting I feel like I need a better system in place.  Sometimes I stand in the middle of my apartment thinking... "I know I should be cleaning something but I'm not really sure where to start???" Then I give up and drop the cleaning idea all together.

This is where my newest organizational tool comes in.  The cleaning checklist!  I'm really good at making lists and when I can visualize what needs to be done I don't waist time standing around trying to figure out what to do next.  My only problem with this is again, with my lack of cleaning knowledge, I didn't know what all to have on my list.  In comes Martha Stewart.  A little googling and up pops a weekly cleaning checklist  provided by Martha to helps out others who may need to be told to do such things like... wipe mirrors, flush the kitchen drain with boiling water and vacuum vents.  Considering my 2 bedroom apartment doesn't feature a Home Office, Library or Stairway I will be modifying this list to better fit my needs.  Also to better work with my schedule I'm going to break it up into daily tasks that I can fit into a 10-20 minute time period.  That way, after work I can spend 10-20 minutes cleaning SOMETHING and at the end of the week feel as though I accomplished a lot more!

Below is my first attempt at a bi-weekly cleaning schedule.  This may need to be modified as I go along but will work as a start.  Now every 2 weeks I will know that everything will get cleaned at least once... just like it did when my cleaning service did it... :(

Monday, May 14, 2012

{Craft Project} Crocheted Crocodile Stitch Baby Booties

When I found out I was having a baby girl my crafting mind went a little out of control.  Literally the day I found out my head was swimming with ideas of what I could knit, crochet, sew, paint and create for this little unborn peanut.  Pinterest found my first answer.  These!  I really really wanted to make them, however, I'm a beginner crocheter.  I taught myself about 2 years ago by using the Crocheting for Dummies book.  I had really only made a few scarves and some hats that didn't turn out that great so when I saw the complexity of these I figured there was no way my crafting patience would hold up to this pattern.

My first crochet project was a baby hat for Max before he was born.  It turned out to be the hat/hats from The Three Bears story.  Let's just say I hate checking my gauge and measuring/counting stitches which is why I prefer to make scarves as they are straight rows.  I was so happy to finish my first little baby hat for the little one in my tummy.  Upon completion I held it up to show Luke my finished product and he looked at it and said "that's never going to fit a baby that thing could only fit a doll!"  In closer examination I guess he was right.  It was a little small.  So try again I did.  This time I upped my hook in hopes to produce the perfect little newborn hat.  Again, once completed I held it up for Luke and again he gave me an amused look and said "that hat could fit me!"  He was right again.  I popped it on my head and realized that it was a pretty good fit.  I did finally end up making the third "just right" hat but it still wasn't my best work.

This time I made sure to check my gauge as I didn't want to spend all this time trying to figure out a pattern and end up with booties that either would fit a Barbie or that she would have to wait until she's 10 to wear!  In the end I was pretty proud of myself for figuring this one out!  The first booty took literally all day on a Sunday for me to make.  Once finished I thought to myself, "Seriously, I have to do this again?"  I didn't want baby girl to only have one booty but it took me so long to make the first one and get it right that I took a week off before working on the second one.  The second booty was MUCH easier than the first which tells me that I should make some more and give them out as gifts!  Then once the buttons were put on I loved them even more.  The original photos of these from the pattern on Etsy shows them in the neatest rainbow yarn but I couldn't find exactly that at the store so I opted for something more girly that would match some of her cute outfits I have collected.  I think I'm going to make another pair and try to find the rainbow yarn because the crocodile scales look so much better with the yarn color variance.

Here is my finished product!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day #2

Today was my second Mother's Day and so far the best!  Last year I have to admit that I felt a little disappointed in Mother's Day.  I didn't get to sleep in, no one made me breakfast in bed and I didn't even receive one card.  Instead, my husband informed me that he would have bought me a card but the Hallmark he drove by was closed... but "it's the thought that counts, right?" To this I said "NO IT'S NOT THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS! That's only applicable if you actually GET something and the person doesn't like it.  It does not mean you can go around telling people that you thought about doing something nice for them but didn't!"  This argument still comes up as he has done the same thing since.  After this year I think he's learning. :)

Flash forward to this year's Mother's Day.  Max slept in until 8:00am!  Thank you buddy :)  Luke booked a Mother's Day brunch for just our family at the Country Club and we also got a chance to spend some time with Luke's Grandparents, Mom, Brother and Uncle's at his Grandparents house.  Now as I write this Luke is still there and Max is taking a much needed nap leaving me some wonderful and always needed alone time!  I'm not sure this day could get any better :) 

One thing I loved was as we went out and about today everyone was wishing me a Happy Mother's Day.  It made me feel like I am a part of a secret club or something.  The first time it happened Luke actually responded with a "thanks" and then realized it obviously wasn't directed towards him so he then replied "uh, I mean, never mind why would I be saying thanks."  I guess we both just aren't used to this whole parenting thing yet.  

As always, thank you to MY wonderful mother for always being there for me and for showing me what a loving and attentive mother should be.  I hope I can be the same for my kids whom I am so very blessed to have.

Max's Brunch... French Toast, Pineapple and Strawberries.  Yum!

Caught with a mouth full.

Taking the cart for a spin.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Max is going through the stage of not sharing.  He currently thinks that EVERYTHING is his!  Even when it's not his he reaches for it and says "MINE!"

Clearly this has escalated to a whole new level as the other night Luke and I were awoken by Max shouting from his crib "Mine, Mine!!!"  Groggy Luke turned to me and said "Is that Max yelling? what is he saying?"  I being half asleep myself reply "Yes, I think he's saying, Mine."  Where as Luke replies "Why would he be yelling that in the middle of the night?"  My only conclusion was he was either having a nightmare about someone stealing his blankie or something had fallen out of his crib and he was yelling for someone to come and give it back to him.  Either way, he stopped but the next morning he was very clingy when it came to his blankies.  He actually carried two around all morning, I'm thinking to make sure that no one tried to take them away from him.

I think we may have an issue come August when the new baby comes and wants to sit in "his" bouncer and later play with "his" toys.  At least she will have her own blankies.

He is also cuddling with my left over protein shake as he though THAT was his too.

Double blankies on their way to day care.