Sunday, January 31, 2010

Little Gym

Jake has been going to Little Gym for probably a year or so now. My mom takes him each Monday and he goes to tumble, play with kids, do games on the red mat, play with bouncy balls etc. I think its been really good for him. He use to be really shy and wouldn't talk to kids. Now he walks up to them and says "my names Jake, what is your name?" He loves the balance beam, the hangin bars (that's what he calls them) but his favorite is the rings. He LOVES the rings.

He graduated from the fall semester last week and I got to attend the last class. Here are a few pictures. We were going to take a break over the winter, but Jake loves it so much I may sign him up for the night classes so we can go together.

Getting his graduation certificate and ball.

On the hangin bars

Hanging from the rings

He gets between the big blocks and pretends he's in a rocket ship or a submarine. Funny little kid.

Loves the gym!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturdays Song

Priscilla Ahn - Dream Lyrics

I was a little girl alone in my little world who dreamed of a little home for me.
I played pretend between the trees, and fed my houseguests bark and leaves, and laughed in my pretty bed of green.

I had a dream
That I could fly from the highest swing.
I had a dream.

Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be.
The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep.

I had a dream
That I could fly from the highest tree.
I had a dream.

Now I'm old and feeling grey. I don't know what's left to say about this life I'm willing to leave.
I lived it full and I lived it well, there's many tales I've lived to tell. I'm ready now, I'm ready now, I'm ready now to fly from the highest wing.

I had a dream

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Family Bed

Putting my deepest darkest secret in writing is a bit scary. Before I had kids I wasn't one of those people that judged other parents or said I'll never do this or that. I was always of the school that you don't know what you'll do or how you'll raise a child until you are in the middle of it. Even now with 2 kids I still am flying by the seat of my pants. BUT....I knew of someone who had their baby sleeping in their bed. He was 8 months old and still sleeping in their bed every night. I said to my husband, my sister, and maybe a few others. "I will NEVER let my kid sleep in our bed." Its the one NEVER I used. Do you think I cursed myself? Do you think my judgment of another made my children have a stronger need to sleep within 6 inches of my face every night?

I have a confession to make. Since Jake was about 7 days old I have had a child in bed with me for at least a portion of the night EVERY NIGHT (ok, maybe one or two nights Jake slept through the night in his crib, but really, only one or two). I remember the moment it happened. Jake had his days and nights mixed up. He wouldn't sleep at night unless he was being held. The second you set him in his crib he would wake up crying. Often times even when you were holding him he was crying. Mike and I were trading nights every other one, but after hours of crying each night, we had to start trading every other hour because we were both so exhausted and frustrated.
After about 3 nights of this I remember Mike yelling into Jake's room...."just bring him into bed."

"NO" I yelled back. "We can't start down that road."

"Just do it, we're going to go crazy if we don't get some sleep."

And so reluctantly I brought Jake into bed and we all went to sleep. For some reason Jake would sleep with me spooning him. He loved when our faces were right next to each other breathing deeply. He feel asleep instantly. Thus beginning his love affair with pillows, snuggling, and my bed. During the first year of his life he would fall asleep in my bed and then I would move him into the crib. Without a doubt he would always wake up anytime between 11 and 2am screaming. Instead of me taking the time to work this problem out, we brought him into our bed and he would go back to sleep. Making the world a better place for all of us. We tried to remedy the situation several times. We got to the point were we pulled the mattress out of the crib and fluffed it up with comforters and pillows for him and he slept on the floor for a few months. But by 2am I would have this little guy walking into my room and crawling into bed. Finally after a year I just accepted this lifestyle and know he will be in my bed at some point during the night.

Enter Sam. I WASN'T going to make the same mistake twice. This time would be different. Sam is going to LOVE his crib. The first night in the hospital he woke up crying. What did I do? Pulled him into my bed and he went right back to sleep. He went 5 hours without feedings the first 2 nights because of this little trick. So I told myself. Just get through the first 2 weeks. I don't care were he sleeps during this time. (of course it was my bed). He spent a little time in the crib, a little time in the play pen next to my bed, and a lot of time next to me.

So we're coming up on 2 months old now. For the last 2 months we've had all 4 of us in bed...yes all 4 of us. Doesn't make for the best night sleep for me every night, but for the most part its been ok. But I've been thinking this has to stop. I've been reading about babywise, and tricks to get your baby to go longer between night feedings etc etc. Determined to change this up. Setting goals to have my bed back, kid free by the end of the year.

I was going to start last night, but Sam has a cold, do I really want him screaming it out in his crib and making his nose that much more stuffy? So I put it off.

Tonight I'm going to start with Sam. I'm laying in bed with Jake. Mike has already gone to sleep, Sam is half way there. I lay down in between Jake and Sam. Sam is a little squirmy as he is trying to fall asleep. And then he does the cutest sweetest little thing. He puts his arm up on me. As if he is trying to spoon me. Arm around me, hold my finger in his little hand. I wished the lights had been on and I had a camera on me. It was so sweet. As if he knew I was going to throw him into the crib tonight and he's trying to put the knife in my heart and make it that much harder. I'm cursed I tell you. They may be sleeping with me til their 10. Does anyone know if you can special order a bed bigger then a king?

I haven't given up yet. I did put Sam in his crib so I could come blog about it. We'll see how long he lasts in there tonight.

And for all those worried about my marriage and this family bed situation effects the marriage...don't worry. We're creative. Too much info I know.

I'm off to check on Sam. Is it weird when he's in his crib I feel like I have to check on him constantly? I need help I know....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Laundry Room

I never thought I'd spend so much time in my laundry room. In our old house we didn't really have a laundry room. It was in the unfinished basement right at the bottom of the stairs. Obvoiusly a man placed the hook ups where they did cause had we finished the basement you would have had to walk through the laundry room to get to the family room down there....seems a bit odd. My point being, when we built our current house I was just thrilled to have an actual room to call the laundry room. Not too much thought went into it.

Fast forward to 2 do the laundry now takes me 20 minutes or more just to load the dang washer. I have to spray n wash EVERYTHING. Jake's clothes causes he's not the cleaniest eater out there, Sam's clothes cause he's a walking burp cloth, my clothes cause he spits up all over me etc etc. I should own stock in the company cause I go through spray n wash like mad.

In my next house (come on a girl can dream) I'll rethink my laundry room a bit. Add a mud room and some personality to it all. Who knew I'd be spending so much time there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine Pin Cushions

Pin Cushions galore! That is what I worked on over last weekend. They are now available for sale at Gracielane's Quilt Co. My collection of pin cushions keep growing. Its addicting!

Smiling Sam

So my cute little guy Sam has been smiling for a few weeks now. He is such a fun little soul to have around. He is very alert. Already noticing the toys above his swing. Loves to look up and smile at who ever is holding him. He has a strong little head and is already trying to pull himself up to see the world. He is a happy sweet little guy. We are lucky to have him and love watching him grow and change each day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Valentine Projects

In an effort to clean out my sewing room (I'm sure there is carpet in there somewhere) I've decided to sew my way through it. I take out a bin of fabric and my goal is to empty it. Once its been emptied I can fill it again with all the fabric that is sitting on the floor....

I tackled my Valentine fabric bin this last month. I've been making table runners, table toppers, a few baby quilts, and pin cushions galore! I'm down to the last few pieces of fabric. But I've cleared the bin (and its already overflowing with new fabric).

I got a great idea here to cut scrap pieces into coins and keep them sewn together for a future quilt. I have done this with my scraps in coins, a bag of strips, a bag of 4 1/2 inch squares, and one with 2 1/2 inch squares. I'll start sewing them when I have a little variety. This way I won't have bins full of scraps that I'll probably never use. I think its a great idea!

I'm kind of into pin cushions right now so I'm using up a lot of the fabric on those. I'll post a picture of them later tonight when I get them on my etsy shop. Here are a few pictures of things I've been working on. To view them all go to my store and see what's for sell.

Strip table runners. I love these. Look great on the kitchen island, kitchen table, or a little side of coffee table.

A baby quilt, or square table topper for the kitchen table.

I love the pinks and reds together. So much fun to have a little pink color around the house this time of year! Now I just need to get my Valentine quilt up on the shelf. That is my goal for tonight. Can't wait to post that quilt. Its my 2nd favorite ever!

Menu Mondays

Monday - Homemade mac n cheese (didn't get to it last week)
Tuesday - Chicken over toast (missed this day last week)
Wednesday - Elk roast w/potatoes and carrots
Thursday - Baked Ziti
Friday - Leftovers

I didn't do as well last week, so I'm carrying a few of the meals over to this week. I did try the sweet and sour chicken and it was delicious! I got the recipe here. I love this site, everything I have tried has been good. She also has a great post today about meal planning. Here's to another try this week!

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday night Costco date with the family
Yoga with Whit
Clean kitchen
Sushi Sunday
Catching up on TV
Happy kids (for the most part)

It was a nice weekend. Wish it could have lasted longer!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back in the Swing of things

So today is my first day back in the office. It has been nice to get a break from the kids. I'm lucky that I have my mom taking care of the kids at home which makes me worry free when I'm away.

I have to say I have a new found respect for all the stay at home/work at home moms. Its is HARD! I loved most days being at home with the kids, but I also had a nanny 3 days a week. What I noticed is that being with them all day, and then all evening, and then sleeping in the middle of the 2 of them....24 hour a day job. I NEVER got a break from them! It's nice to be away and not hear Sam crying, or Jake slamming a door (its his new attention getting thing). I am in awe of how all the mothers out there don't go crazy! I guess some of us weren't cut out to be with their children all day everyday. (Give me a week back at work and I'll probably be changing me story here).

Anyways, I am so lucky to have the balance of a flexible work environment, being able to work from home when needed, and having the best nanny around! When Jake was born I left him with a nanny that wasn't his grama and that was SO HARD. I cried everyday leaving him, worried about him all day, tried to leave early every day etc. So when Grama Polly decided to jump back into the working world it was the perfect fit. We are so lucky to have her and Jake is so lucky to have someone who will focus all their attention on him ALL DAY LONG. (That could be part of his need for attention problem he is having right now).

I have also started working out this week. It's AMAZING to me how much fun jumping on the treadmill, turning up the radio, and putting on Bose headphones can be. I don't hear a thing but the music. I dance on the treadmill to music I haven't heard in years. What a release from the day to day. Hopefully this will keep me pumped up and running!

Now that life is moving towards the norm again, hopefully I can get the balance back a bit and really enjoy each moment I have with the kids. They are the light of my life, I just sometimes forget when we're joint at the hip.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Mondays

In an effort to be better about cooking dinner at home, eating healthier, and eating more natural food I'm going to try to post the menu each Monday. Just like my cousin has been doing here.

Today I made my grandma DeSpain's goulash. I had never done it before and I'm surprised at how much it tastes like my grandmas. Instantly I was flooded with memories of sitting in her little black and white kitchen eating goulash. I'm so glad I decided to give this recipe a try, and Jake LOVES it.

Monday - Goulash
Tuesday - Sweet and Sour chicken
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - Chicken over toast
Friday - homemade mac n cheese

I'm trying a few new recipes this week. Sweet and sour chicken and the mac n cheese. I'll let you know how they go.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Maison de Noel

One of my goals for this year is to try and sew for 5 minutes a day. It is my hobby, my release from mothering. The beautiful fabrics make me smile.

I love fabric, looking at it, finding out what is new, buying it (someday I'll post a picture of my'll DIE). Mike calls it my heroine addiction. It may be an addiction, but its on the healthier side of addictions so that should make it ok, right?

One of my favorite lines came from Moda a few years ago. It was their Christmas line, but doesn't have to be exclusive for Christmas. I of course bought tons and tons of this fabric. I had an idea this year to try and use up the full bin of fabric. So I've been making a few projects out of this beautiful line. Here are a few pictures of what I've done or am working on.

This is my first Maison de Noel quilt. The pattern is Tag Sale by Miss Rosie's quilts. I love this quilt. Its my most favorite quilt I've ever made. I only put it up at Christmas and it makes me so sad to take it down. This quilt called for about 1000 little squares and took me 4 months of working at it to complete it. I think it took me about a week to get it all cut out! By the time I was finished with it I was so over this quilt, but once I got it back from the quilters I fell in love all over again. Its still my favorite after 3 or so years.

I tried to get this one done before the baby came and it just didn't happen. I haven't decided whether to sell this or keep it and have it be a little throw in the same room as the Tag Sale quilt next year for Christmas. I do love the stars!

This is another one I'm working on. Have the blocks completed just need to sew them together and add borders.

I can't believe I've made these 3 quilts, plus a few that were sold on etsy, plus I've sold fat quarters of some of this line and I still have a bin full! I've got one more quilt to start and then I'll have to cut the rest up for pin cushions or something. Funny thing is, even with all these projects I still love this line.

I've also decided to post what I'm working on, and completed items. I've never kept a record of it and when I've seen other peoples blogs and they have this great record of all their finished projects I wish I would have done that from when I started. It may also keep me on track to complete some of my projects! If you love beautiful fabric and pretty quilts as much as I do, come along for the journey as I post my projects of 2010!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Eating In

I'm a little late at posting my menu for the week, but I'm proud to say we didn't eat dinner out once this week. I can't remember the last time that happened. Since having kids I've tried to be more conscious about what we are eating, and what we are feeding Jake. I haven't been good about it up to this point, but I think about it a lot. This week I actually made meals with vegetables!

Monday - Orange feta salad and orange rolls
Tuesday - Roast with potatoes and carrots
Wednesday - Chicken curry
Thursday - Pulled pork sandwiches
Friday - Leftovers

I'll get working on ideas for next week. Going to post my weekly menu each Monday.

Cooking with Jake

Jake loves to help in the kitchen. He is often at my feet with bowls and spoons mixing up something wonderful in his head. I love that he has such a great imagination. When he gets to help with real cooking he is in heaven. Anything that we mix with the real mixer is like a dream come true to him. And he even gets to lick the beaters....What a MESS!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christmas Run Down

We had a great Christmas with our two little ones. It was fun to see Jake get excited about opening presents and Santa coming to our house. I think next year he'll understand the FULL concept a little better. Mike and I were probably more excited this year because we knew he was getting the concept of presents and Santa. It seems with kids this age you could buy one gift and be good cause its hard to get their attention onto the next thing...We'll have to remember that for next year with Sam!

Jake's first gift was Handy Manny from Grandma Sharon. He loves his tools.

Sam giving us a peace sign, or maybe a gang sign? Not sure....

Jake and Sam in their Christmas pjs. Its a little early for Sam still.
Jakes train table. Santa set it up downstairs and it was is final gift surprise. Right when he woke up and walked out to the Christmas tree he asked "where's my train set?" I guess he was expecting it!

Jake's new tool bench. He loves to hammer and use a wrench.

Opening his legos from Grama Polly. They build taller taller buildings all day!

Gramps holding Sam...he looks just like Big Jim.

Hope you all had a great holiday!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jake Showering

Jake loves to clean. Let me rephrase. He loves it when others clean. I was getting out of the shower the other day and he decided he needed to jump in to clean the shower. Before I could grab him he was in there with all his clothes on. Crazy kids....

Heaven forbid he put the bink down to clean the shower.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The quote that haunts me

My cousin Marta posted this quote a few months back and it has haunted me ever since.

When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy." They told me I didn't understand the assignment. I told them they didn't understand life.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Over the past 2 weeks I've been thinking a lot about resolutions. I've been thinking a lot about what needs to get done in my house, how I can be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter etc. I've made list after list after list, both on paper and in my head.

I just had a post ready to publish that may have been my longest post yet. It had all my resolutions both big and small that I want to accomplish this year. After a long and much needed chat (thanks Marta) I'm revising my post. My resolutions are going to be simple this year. Maybe mid year I'll revisit and revise, but for now with my new little family and crazy life style I need to go for simple. So here goes nothing....

Eat out less
Loose 20 pounds by June 1st
Organize closets (I have a year, 1 a month should be doable)
Clean out laundry room
Clean craft room (this could take me ALL YEAR)
Sew a little every day (even if its just 5 minutes)
Spend time playing with my kids, actually being in the moment with them
Date my husband again
Find something to laugh about everyday

There it is. Written down for all the world to see. Hopefully that will make me stick to achieving my goals. Here's to making 2010 the best year yet!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One Month and Counting

Sam is officially one month old this week. This month has gone by so quickly when I think back wondering where the time went, yet my days have seemed really long...does that make sense?

Having a new born in the house again has been tiring yet rewarding. It is so fun to hold him and look at his chubby little face. I have loved watching Jake get use to having a brother. He wakes up in the morning and will ask where Baby Sam is. He touches his fingers and his toes and says how cute he is. He also likes to help me get Sam dressed and change his diaper. He pulls a chair up to the changing table so he can hold his hand. These memories have been priceless and make me smile each and everyday. I can't wait for them to be playmates.

Sam has been a pretty happy baby for the most part. He started out from the first night in the hospital of going 4 - 5 hours between night feedings. (During the day he wants his bottle at 2 hours on the dot!) He loves to take baths. As soon as he hears the water running it calms him down if he's fussy. He gets into the water and is so content and happy. I can't wait for this summer to get him into the pool. I think I have another water baby on my hands!

Although having a baby that cries and wakes up at night has changed our lives dramatically, I wouldn't change it for the world. When I'm rocking him at 4am, he'll look up at me with those big eyes and give me a little smile. It makes it all worth while.

A Little Life Reminder

This last weekend Jake, Sam, and I were invited to our first official play date. My cousin Heidi hosted a great afternoon for us. We had toys galore, 7 little kids, a delicious salad and the best homemade applesauce ever!

Heidi is the mother of 4 beautiful girls. She had twin girls about 6 months before I had Jake. I have been in awe of her ever since. The way she handles all those girls (I believe she had 4 under the age of 4 when the twins were born) amazes me. Heidi is always positive, always willing to help others even though I'm sure her hands are full (although you wouldn't realize it by talking to her). She is someone who I think of often when I'm having crazy days with my kids, and someone I look up to and want to be like myself one of these days. Even with 4 small kids she has time to redo her house and bake up a storm. The applesauce was amazing!

On her kitchen window seal she had the cutest picture of her husband and herself on their wedding day and a quote that was framed. It was the greatest quote I've seen in awhile, and one I needed to read at this exact moment in my life. Heidi told me she has to read it daily to keep her sane and to remember what is important. I fully agree and intend to get this written up and framed so I can look at it daily also.

"The biggest mistake I made is..... I did not live in the moment enough. I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing; dinner, bath, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."
- Anna Quindlen

Thanks Heidi for the great afternoon and for the great example of what being a mother is really all about!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

A new year, a new beginning. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday week.

Christmas was fun for us this year with a new baby along with a 2 year old who is getting the hang of Christmas and presents and the whole Santa thing. I will post some pictures of our day sometime soon. As we've taken down Christmas this week Jake keeps asking "Mom, do you miss Christmastime?" It's pretty cute to have this little sidekick that I can have little conversations with. When I climb up to take something down on a stool or standing on a table, "be careful mom, I don't want you to fall mom, I can help you mom" as he climbs up and holds onto my legs. Already very protective over his mom, and I love it! ANYWAYS....Christmas was great. Family, food, good times. It was a great few days overall.

New Years Eve we had my family over to play games. We played bowling and tennis on the Wii. I'll have to get video and post it. How fun it was to watch my mom and dad play. It was a fun family party that I think we'll have to turn into a monthly tradition.

As for ringing in the New Year, we didn't see the ball drop, didn't hear neighbors screaming and yelling outside for we were in bed by 9:30 with the kids. Yes that is how exciting our life is right now, but when the baby goes to sleep at 9, so do we! Its the longest period of time he sleeps without waking up and we have to take advantage of it! Sam actually went 7 hours that night. It was a New Years wish come true.

This year I'm trying to come up with some resolutions that I can actually keep. I'll post them so that I have them in writing and something to keep me on track with them. One resolution I will be trying to keep is blogging more regularly. Hopefully life will start getting back to normal as I get a handle on life with 2 kids.

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year....get your own resolutions posted!