Monday, November 29, 2010

No Adult Supervision Required

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! Paul's sister Abby, her husband Patrick, Paul's cousin Adrea, her husband Josh, and their two boys Henry and Ari all joined us. It was a full house, but we had a blast. It took no time at all for Benjamin and Henry to warm up.

They made little apple turkeys together...

Peter was very proud of his turkey.

We had a thankful tree.

And lots and lots of delicious food accompanied by only one small kitchen fire. Baking powder did the trick! :) Can you believe we made all this food without our Moms and Grandmas?! I was pretty impressed with all of us.

During Thanksgiving dinner we had a little snowfall, so the boys bundled up right after to go play in the snow.

Then we went to go see "Tangled." It was ok.

Nora learned how to sit up over the break!

The next day we headed over to the Science Center and had a great time.

And we had some nice down time at home playing together.

The boys had a fish stick dinner that night...

...while those of us with slightly more refined palettes enjoyed homemade sushi.

The evenings together were a lot of fun. We played a pictionary/telephone game with some pretty funny results:
"Cookie Monster decided to lay off the cookies."
"Sesame Street boycotts high fructose corn syrup, cookie monster hits the road."
"Big Bird and Elmo picketed the liquor store while cookie monster stole all their cookies."
"Santa Claus lost his job and now works at the pencil factory."
"Santa only dreamed of flying on his sleigh as he worked on conveyor belt toys with zombie elves."
"When all the elves turned into undead zombies, Santa was left to build all the toys himself and dream of the olden days when all he had to do was fly his sleigh."

Good times....

And then lastly, I got a call from my littlest sister, letting me know that she's ENGAGED! Congrats, Michelle and Jesse (kind of has a Full House ring to it, doesn't it?)!

I certainly have lots to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

When I Grow Up...

...I want to be like Stephanie Nielsen. I think most of the blogging world is already familiar with her and her incredible story. I've followed her blog every now and then, but it usually makes me cry so I just can't read it every day. But she's a remarkable person.
Tonight, I got to go hear her and her husband speak. Our new mission president and his wife (who regularly attend our ward) are her parents, so they had her and her cute family out for Thanksgiving. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend (which I will finish posting about later). I loved all the stories and cried a of the stories her mom told was from when she was eight years old. It was obvious to me that Stephanie has always been a humble and sensitive person.
This Thanksgiving season I have had lots of thoughts on gratitude, especially on what it means to be truly grateful. It seems to me that gratitude was a topic that was touched on a lot this past General Conference. I'm of course grateful for all of the obvious blessings- a loving and supportive family, wonderful friends, the gospel, this country, a home, Paul's job...I could go on and on. But I need to add to that list this year how truly grateful I am to have a body. I don't think I fully comprehend how incredible that gift is. Listening to Stephanie's story all over again was a good reminder that this life is a gift, and the experiences we have in this life-good and bad- are essential to our progression to become the people we need to be. She really is one of the most beautiful people I know, and if you haven't already, you should check out her video, My New Life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nora's Room

I did it by her four month birthday! :) Nora's room is DONE! I wish our camera did it justice, because I think it's pretty cute in person.

The cross stitch on the wall is one my Mom made for me when Peter was born. I recovered a denim chair and ottoman set that we already had with some 75% off curtains from Target and a fabric remnant that was a few dollars. I picked up this lamp for free off a neighbor's curb, which probably turned out to be more of a hassle than if I'd just bought a new one. It reeked of smoke, and the wiring was shot. I scrubbed it a few times with wood soap, sanded it, mixed a few colors I had on hand to paint it, rewired it (no small task, considering how tiny the opening was), and found a new lamp shade. But I like the shape, and it now provides a handy spot to set a book to read while I'm nursing.
I decided to use a basket for the baby books instead of a shelf, which I think will work well. Nora already seems to enjoy her little reading spot. I reused this rug (that's actually two runners stitched together) for the room, which works for now.
The Peter Rabbit painting is one I did for Benjamin's room earlier this year.
I made a box pleated crib skirt and reused a brown bumper I had from Peter's old room. My Mom made the blanket.
This dresser was given to us, and is perfect since it doubles as a changing table. Here's the set of butterfly cards I framed and the window boxes I made. The butterfly curtains were the inspiration for the room. I found this fabric at an awesome discount decorator fabric outlet, so I bought just enough to make some simple panels. Then I just picked up some cheap sheers to add some privacy, but I think it might still need some pull down blinds to go in behind. As you can tell, the dresser isn't in perfect condition, but I like the shape.
And that's it! It feels really good to have completed such a large goal, largely using what I had. I find myself walking in there all the time now just to say to myself, I did that!

0.33 Years Old

Nora has sure changed a lot since she was three months, not especially in the way she looks, but she has gotten a lot stronger. It's no longer safe to sit her in this bouncer unstrapped, even for a quick photo shoot...
...because she's figured out how to lunge forward and do sit ups. She loves her toes!
At 4 months, she weighs 13 lbs. 8 oz. (45%), and is 24 1/4" (47%) tall.

Monday, November 08, 2010


While I still have a few finishing touches to add to Nora's room, I decided to post a few of the details I've finished. I think this is the first room I've done where I feel completely satisfied with the results (i.e. I don't sit in there and stew about how I'd like to change's a serious problem I have with the rest of our house). It feels good!
A good friend of mine who is a Queen of DIY projects once told me that in order to keep motivated (especially with tiny kids), you have to share your projects with your friends, and I happen to agree. So here you go! Just staying motivated. :)

I have three different butterfly cards mounted on scrapbook paper and lined up across one of the walls. I framed them in some matching frames that I got at Goodwill a few years ago. The cards were already cut in the shape of butterflies, which makes them "pop" out a little.
I made a silhouette of Nora to go on this little shelf. I just used some yellow cotton fabric I had, and traced right on top of an enlarged picture of her on the computer screen with a pencil. Then I just filled in the lines with black craft paint. Then I painted on the horizontal white stripes around her head to make it a little more interesting. The "N" was reused from "BEN" which used to hang in his old room. I just recovered it in pink scrapbook paper and used an exacto-knife to cut around the edges. The silver birds are actually salt and pepper shakers that I got for free at a garage sale. Oh, and the shelf came with the house when we bought it, so that was free too.
And last but not least, I'm actually pretty happy with how these window boxes turned out. The only cost for these was the fabric (which was 50% off) , some duct tape and some batting. I used some large cardboard pieces from the crib box for the backing.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Staying Sane

Paul is here right now for his friend Travis' wedding, which is sort of lame because I'm not there with him.
18+ hours both ways in the car did not sound at all fun for a weekend trip, and we couldn't justify the cost of two plane tickets, so here we are. I do have some cute little friends to keep me company though.
"Suicide hour," as I like to call it, tends to drag a bit longer with Paul gone, with no anticipated relief until bedtime. So we've had to get creative around here. I thought the boys would love playing with shaving cream. Benjamin sure did, but Peter wouldn't touch the stuff.
Their conversation here went something like this:
Peter: "Yucky, yucky!"
Benjamin: "Squeeze it! It feels kind of good."
Peter: "Yuck."
Benjamin: "Peter, squeeze it like this. Squoosh, squoosh, squoosh...touch it Peter, touch it!"
Peter: "NO! Yucky!"

Then today, we got some pipe cleaners, puff balls and googly eyes. Peter figured this one out all on his own. He cracks me up!
One plus side to all this is that I've had the evenings to myself, meaning I have a little time to work on Nora's room. I made these to go above the windows, but realized I hated the shape and color I had picked. So I just recut them and bought some new fabric. Now to finish them up!