Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crazy Pregnant

Everyone grab a brush and paint the town!
Today we, Lydia and I, went downtown to the Museum of Fine Arts to meet The Newman and The Rohrs clans for a Painting in the Park kids afternoon. It was a ton of fun and I think all the kids really enjoyed it. There were several stations set up all over and each had a new fun ways to use paint or markers. The first one we went to they had a several plastic flip-flops, you were supposed to paint the bottom and then put them on and walk across the canvas. Next to it was one that had cars to paint and then roll and yet another that had giant boxes to paint. The kids were running from one event to the next.
Holland and Lydia painting a truck.
There were a couple of pretty genius stations. I think the one that we had a simultaneous mommy "Aha!" moment was the giant plastic canvas the kids could paint and then someone would spray them off and they would start all over. They had small painters canvases to make and take, chalk art, a sun dyed station, and  kite making with the local kite experts which Eli, being the oldest and a boy, really liked. He actually was able to fly his kite pretty high.
Excitedly saying "Tree!"
At one point, Lydia saw a huddle of kids near some paint trays grabbing brushes. She grabbed the yellow brush and put it in the green paint, the green brush and put it in the blue in a manner of seconds, I was walking up right behind her, when the volunteer yelled at her to stop! I simply said, well she is pretty young, she doesn't quite understand. The volunteer replied snarkly, "Well that's why her mother should be here." (or something to that effect, now I barely remember.) In that moment, the only thing I could manage out of my mouth as I walked away with Lydia was, "She is only 19 months old."

We went to paint the plastic canvas with Eva and both really did a great job, but I couldn't quite shake the volunteer. After the girls painted and washed their hands we meet Kim and Eli at the kite station where of course the tears that were so tightly being held in flooded out. I explained to her what happened just when her husband walked up. We went to grab our bags in the grass to get the kids water, and he said something to the volunteer, who immediately apologized for upsetting me. I thanked her politely, but that didn't make my pregnant eyes stop squirting.
Eva and Lydia painting a mural.
Logically, it wasn't that big of  a deal. The woman, although rude, didn't intend to upset me, matter of fact, she had no idea that she had. I still can't help but wonder still what was the big deal about mixing paint anyway? It was art day! No one was being harmed.
 Regardless, I still couldn't stop crying. I don't really cry much in general but there is nothing worse than not being able to stop when you want to. My eyes are now red and sore. I have eaten two giant cookies and I am starting to feel better. I am thankful for all my supportive friends that smiled and were ready to pounce if needed. But I really dislike the crazy pregnant x factor. The invisible button that can be tapped, that pushes you right over the proverbial edge. The remover of the dam. The button that ultimately breaks that sprinkler head and just has the water shoot straight up until the timer goes off. Eh, one more cookie won't hurt.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A little more pending projects

Just a bit of an update on some pending projects. I have seen this a million places but finally was motivated to put it together. This didn't cost me a thing. I have had an old set of wood frames in the garage forever and since I had spray paint I figured let's do it. A serendipitous but cute touch is that the ribbon I used were all salvaged ribbons from gifts that Lydia has gotten, mostly ones from her showers. I painted the frame on one side waited about 12 hours painted the other side and stapled away. I piled on the hair ribbons. Instead of adding another hole into the wall I hung it up in Lydia's room using those velcro wall hangs that are very secure. It's looks good and now I am more likely to remember to accessorize her, because honestly I forget  being such a high maintenance girl myself.

I also finished up the second busy bag. There was a pattern that I was going to use originally but when I had the 15 minutes I couldn't find which busy bag site I had seen it on. thus I made these parts freehand. It dawned on me that the faces also worked to discuss feelings with Lydia, so I wanted to be sure I had sad, happy, excited and the one not pictured is surprised. Since they are felt, everything is mix and match.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lydia Gets Crafty

I am on a Pinterest roll this week...the rainy weekend and my husband working 20 hours only added fuel to my craft desire. A friend of mine who is an art therpist had her little girl paint toilet paper rolls and make trees. I loved the idea so that was our first project. I set Lydia up with her paints and gave her the rolls. She really thought it was fun to paint a nonflat object. She happily brushed away and then continued to paint right on to the bottom sheet that I always add for her.

After the clean up, I had cut out some treetops for her and introduced her to glue. Clearly she is a little young to use the glue herself, but I explained to her that it was sticky. So I would squirt the glue and she would add the pompom. She made an apple tree as we were working a little on the color red, then a multicolored tree which I was thinking could be citrus tree, well for the most part. The final tree I had these large triangle sparkles and went ahead and placed glue all over for her. These were so much easier because they are thin so they did stick instantly which was a tougher concept with the other material. The final step was for me to staple them together. When my parents came over she rush over and grabbed the trees and took them to Abuelo proudly showing her art.

Since my mom and Eliot are so diligent about things I had gather many of the rolls, so I have started searching for additional crafts. I found inspiration to make owls that looked to be super cute. I just eyed how to make them and it turned out find. So I bent in the centers of one side of the roll and put a piece of tape there. I let her paint her heart out again and then when they were dry, I had her glue the eyes, wings, and beak. Eliot did help paint the one that looks the most even. However, now I know that i may have been easier to let her paint first then bend the tops into the ears but it really worked out well regardless. Again, I precut everthing so she was really just place them on the right spot.  Lydia is really getting the idea behind the glue. They turned out adorable.

We used them to identify their eyes, nose and what sound they make which are already routine questions, but addittedly I was tickled when we popped one on her hand to play. I hadn't even thought of that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What to do when you can't NEST

If you have ever been to our house you would know that it's cozy and that is a nice way of saying small. It was perfect when it was just me; slightly less than ideal with Eliot and I since his clothes are in another room, and crowded with Lydia. But we are working on that. However, this impacts how I nest. Simply there is no space to really nest. The new baby will be in her bassinet for about 6 months which is how long Lydia was in it and hopefully a more concrete plan will be in place. So the natural nesting nerve must be channeled in new ways, for me it's been organizing things that really didn't need much organization and crafting items for Lydia, that she could live without, but thankful doesn't need to.

Someone in cyberspace had made containers for their children's art supplies. They used glass jars, glued animals to the top and spray painted them. Thinking that I didn't want to use glass, I went to Walmart and found these plastic 2 quart containers for about a $1. Then I began my search of every dollar store and dollar general for the animals. I didn't want to break the bank on the decorative top. I kept finding dinosaurs which I would show Lydia, she would look at me with a funny face and then question, "Puppy?" I would say, "No, dinosaur." She would respond with attempting to say dinosaur and shake her head.  I took that as a sign. I went to the craftstore which secretly must store gold inside the plastic animals they sell because they range from $5 to $25 for one animal, which I in good conscious could not do. What I did find was little flowers for a $1. I decided these would be perfect. I super glued them to the plastic tops waited for them to dry and spray painted each a different color. I picked colors that I will use again with other projects but all in all I think they turned out very cute. After each was fully dried, I happily filled them with various artsy items.

To keep me busy I have been making busy bags. The first one I completed a couple of nights ago which was very simple just popsicle sticks and velcro. The idea is that as Lydia
 grows older she can connect the sticks to make shapes and letters. At the moment she really enjoys sticking them and unsticking them together. Such an easy game which entertained her for 15-20 minutes which in a toddler's world is huge. I did learn that you didn't need much velcro and that putting pieces on both sides of the stick was a good idea to make connecting them easier for her. It was a less than $5 project.

The second busy bag I am making is felt faces. I have purchased the felt already just need to cut the pieces out. I plan on cutting out lips, noses, eyes, hair, so she can make faces out of the felt also easy and craft felt is inexpensive. My larger felt project is making a playmat. Buying all the colored felt and the large felt pieces was less than $6. It is becoming a fun challenge to make stuff inexpensively.

With that principle in mind, I have found another task that occupies Lydia's attention greatly: sorting. I didn't do anything other than buy the little counting animals that come in different colors and pulled out her IKEA bowls of matching colors. Now this is one of those things that I am completley focused on her, she does beautifully. She will easily put blues with blues, reds with reds. If she thinks I am losing interest, she will put a blue in a green bowl, not let it go and look at me slyly. When I ask her is that's right she laughs hysterically and says Noooooooooo. At the end she likes to put them all in the same bucket which takes her some time, but really likes to put them away, so I dumped them out a couple of times so she could put them away. No craftiness took place here but the ideas did come from others and my daughter loved them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hospital Survival Kit Gift

Another in the Pinterest series today. I saw that some had put together a hospital survival kit for mom's as a gift. When I looked at the list I didn't think anything the person had included was of much use, so I brainstormed all the things I really needed when I was in labor. On another link, I saw that someone had used a 2 liter bottle as the vessel for a gift which looked super cute, so I merged the two ideas and made my good friend a kit for her birthday.
The attempt was to consider the items that I really needed in the hospital and I didn't realize I need until I was there. First, TicTacs and Mentos for dry mouth, plus chapstick for the dry lips. Face wipes to soothe or rinse off during the process. Hair ties. At the time Lydia was born I had really long hair that I kept in braided pigtails until after her birth. It was great to have the hair out of the way. My hair was in knots by the end of the unraveled braids. I had to ask a good friend to pick me up a huge bottle of Pantene conditioner and Eliot when out and bought me a big hair brush. So I included both, though I went with a wide toothed comb for her. The first shower was amazing so I included a bath sponge and body wash. I happily dumped half the bottle of the conditioner on my head while working out all the curly haired commotion piece by piece. A couple of granola bars, in case you are hungry and even if you aren't supposed to eat during the labor, you can eat right after, or as need for a snack in between visitors.
I was happy to have a soda bottle on hand since normally I don't. I wanted to be sure that everything fit in snugly and that I decorated it with both pink and blue since her and her husband are waiting to the big to be surprised. Everything did fit into it except the facial wipes which I tucked in to her gift bag. I think it turned out super cute and now she can toss this in her bag and have all the basic essentials. It did cross my mind that I didn't include anything for the dad to be and decided that it was her birthday and she is going to be the one doing all the hard work. However, I think it would be a cute idea for another occasion to provide a kit for the dad.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Yum Yum Yum: Pinterest

It's no lie that I love food. I am excited to report that some quiz on Facebook has informed me that I have tried 70 rare food items which is a clear indicator of my love of all kinds of food. If the quiz on Facebook says so, it must be true. However, my typical jump in the kitchen and whip something up desire during pregnancy is really very low. Conversely, my addiction to Pinterest is on an all time high. I have a Yum Yum Yum board which collects several food items that spark my interest, mostly ridiculously sugary things like s'mores pie or oreo cookie casserole, more than likely each of these are divine and more than likely I will never make them because they are way over the top. (Mental note: consider internet virtual eating habits.)

Regardless, I have managed to make a couple of things on my Yum Yum Yum board. One I tried at a friend's house and the truffles were so good I had to make them for Easter. Oreo truffles are deliciously. It said easy and no bake, so I assumed it was true. Sadly it  wasn't. I must admit some of the issue is user error. The truffle portion really was easy: a package of oreos into food processor with 4 ounces of cream cheese, then roll into little balls and put them into the frig to harden at least an hour. Now, the harder part, the directions recommended vanilla melts that you can purchase at the craft store for candy making but I thought to myself white chocolate is bound to be tastier and I can dye them to Easter colors! Genius! Um. No. Chocolate that is not meant to stay melty is hard to work with. I learned this during Christmas a couple of years ago but apparently I don't retain any knowledge acquired during hectic holiday times. I melted the chocolate first by a suggested microwave instructions added my pink food coloring and though a little cumbersome not too bad, other than a little ugly. I melted another batch and added blue and it instantly turned into grain. Again. And then again. I wish I was a chemist, not in a Breaking Bad sort of way but in a Alton Brown way so I could understand what was in the composition of the blue dye that changed the chocolate so drastically but instead I decided time was of the essence so I melted just white chocolate. It was cooling too quickly so I tried to remelt, another mistake; it caught on fire and burned. So as soon as the chocolate harden I had to make a whole new batch of melted chocolate. Between the ugly pink ones, the grainy couple and the white ones I got about 20. I set aside 10 to take to my cousins and 10 to my in-laws and called it quits. There were still another 20 to coat. I bought the melts at Jo-Anns and never made the rest, so we tossed them. The last thing that should be noted is that even though they were awful looking they tasted amazing.
The next recipe was super easy. Once again, I am not always smart enough to follow actual recipes but this time it was to our benefit. I used a package of Bertolli Cheese Tortellini, Aidell's organic Apple & Chicken sausages, onions, and Roma tomatoes. Eliot is always a little touch and go with peppers which is why I sauteed onions instead and we had tomatoes to use so I threw them in at the last minute after the sausages and onions were ready. Of course I added salt to the water to boil the tortellini and after everything was done I mixed them. The directions called for adding Italian dressing and then heating everything together just a bit but we had my mother in law's super delicious homemade Italian dressing which she jars up for us because we are all addicted to it. That could have been the game changer for this recipe by taking it to the next level. It was really good. And like many pastas it was even better the next day.

Both pictures are from the original sites since I didn't photo record these as I made them. I also made Easter cupcakes, which were very easy because I just used the box mix. Lydia got to help  for the first time by stirring, then I decorated with the Pinterest inspired picture. Since M&M packages don't have all "oranges," I used various colors in the shape of carrots and I picked up some candy butterflies for the occasion. These are my cupcakes.

Friday, April 20, 2012


It is likely this will not be my only post about sisters. I imagine that more on this thought will develop as the years pass, however in the immediacy, I love the idea. I love that Lydia will have a friend that she will love and grow up with everyday and that as life's occurrences unfold that they may have one another to lean on through adolescent boyfriends, college parties, weddings, having children and taking care of some crotchety old parents. Sisters can be so close; sisters can be the fiercest of loyal confidants and protectors.

In the daze of the excitement, I am ignoring the fighting over clothes, pulling of hair on telling the other's secret, the smirks, and rolling of the eyes that is sure to take place.

Being an only child, I wonder what it will be like to parent siblings and what it will be like to watch them grow up together.  And desperately hope that we can help cultivate a loving respecting relationship between them. However, first I cannot help but wonder how Lydia will feel. Will there be jealousy? Will she feel replaced? Could she regress in behavior? Is she cognitively capable of understanding the relationship of this little one and who this new little person will be to her?

Perhaps even more pressing is the naming of this little girl. We are open to suggestions. If you have extra names on your baby lists that you wish a child had let us know. Our list is once again top secret and it contains a very short list of names that Eliot and I are mostly agree on.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Big Baby Reveal

I am 24 weeks this week. Six months in. Over the half way mark. This baby is a soccer player always moving and kicking. The baby is positioned way at the bottom of my belly and often feels like I should be holding the baby up with a crane. I have been having a bit more cramping than usual which takes me laying down and resting to go away. Difficult to navigate with a toddler and the end of a busy school year; there is not always time for putting my feet up.

At our traditional 20 week ultrasound we would have found out the gender of the baby but our tech was a wreck. She sadly has been less than desirable in our interactions with her. And this time was not any different. We were in and out of the session in 15 minutes. She took all the pictures she needed for growth requirements and then ultimately glanced at the gender area determined she couldn't see anything and was done. She said she guessed it was a girl but told us to keep our receipts. With Lydia we had another wonderful tech that also had a "butt" shot however little lines appeared that determined that Lydia was in fact a little girl. This time our tech even said there she couldn't see any lines. So we left the office, and I cried for an entire day until my reasonable mind set in.

What snapped me back into normalcy was reading online babyboards about people that were disappointed about the gender of their child. Some were helpful comments for people that really had one in mind over another like a boy over a girl or a girl over a boy. The comments consisted of that any expectation that isn't met can cause some disappointment which is natural. Some comments were reassuring, some encouraging, but others were wildly inappropriate. Such as recommending  late term abortions and waiting until you got what you wanted. Others saying that they had their boy instead of a girl and they still weren't sure how they felt about them. In the middle of these, what I consider to be insane, comments, I realized in my heart of hearts that I would be thrilled with a baby of either gender.

Willing to wait for the ultimate reveal, I asked Eliot if he thought we should find out. Having another ultrasound at our doctor's office was a little pricey but there are other venues that do 3D/4D that are actually much more cost effective AND guarantee results, thus if they cannot see the goods this time another visit is scheduled for free. Eliot is a planner. I am a planner. We like to organize. Sort. Shop. So he voted for the early surprise rather than one 3 months from now. Tonight, we have our appointment. We are geared up! Ready. And a little nervous....what if we still can't know? Another appointment? Another wait? I am not sure my pregnant brain can handle the ambiguity another few weeks.