On getting back up

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It’s been a rough couple of weeks around these parts. Some of it was a good thing but some of it has been really chaotic and stressful. I was MIA all last week from here for a couple of reasons.

This pregnancy is kicking my butt. I’m so tired all the time but I’m pushing myself to get the things done that I need to every day.

A big portion of our roof came flying off during a monsoon storm about a week and a half ago. I am still dealing with roofers to get quotes and the insurance adjuster who doesn’t seem to want to give me the money that it will cost to get the roof repaired.

We’ve had some money stresses – ’nuff said.

This is a fun one… We just decided that we are going to sell our house! We tried last year but it didn’t work out so we are at it again and I have a good feeling about it. Although, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. We will be renting a home after we sell this home for a year or so and I’m a little excited for it. I haven’t really rented besides when I was in college and have been a home owner since 2006 so this will be new for me. I was talking to a good friend of mine who has been renting for awhile and she agreed to write a post on the pros and cons of renting! I’m excited because it’s in the forefront of my mind right now for sure.

Now just because things have been rough doesn’t mean I’m giving up here! This is where I get to let my voice ring true and I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

I made up this printable if you need a reminder like I do to keep getting back up!

Vince Lombardi quote

Click here to download

 

Playroom Panic 

playroom panic header

I’m not proud of this…. And I can’t believe I’m putting these pictures on the Internet. You’re gonna be looking at one messy playroom here in a minute. This is what McKenna’s playroom looked like last week:

playroom before

Now I did immediately clean up and figure out some better placement directly after snapping those pics BUT STILL! Part of the problem is that we never found a great layout nor have we made good systems that allow for easy clean up.

I have a mighty big job ahead of me here so I’m gonna take a moment to share what my plans are (although they will change along the way I’m sure).

In no particular order:

  • Move play kitchen to play room
  • Sort through EVERYTHING in the playroom
  • Donate half (eek!) of what’s in the room
  • Organize all remaining toys
  • Label, label, label
  • Add some flair to the plain rug
  • Fill holes and touch up paint (my least favorite of all)
  • Figure out a solution to block some or all of the library shelf to help the room appear tidier than it is. I may also paint it white… We shall see.
  • Make a clean up sign to remind McKenna of the need to clean up
  • Find places for the baby stuff that I’m getting back from friends that I loaned them to
  • Add homemade art and hang some existing art

I don’t know how quickly this is going to get completed but I’m hoping it will be somewhat soon. McKenna loves having a dedicated playroom and I would feel way better if it was a clean and organized playroom. I’m going to have to work on the room in pieces when I get any bit of energy. I’m in the middle of so many projects but I’m waiting on something or someone for each of them so I will continue to keep these juggled balls in the air for now!

 

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DIY super hero cape and DIY tutu

tutu and cape header

I’m back to show you how to make the adorable cape and tutu that I just gifted to my niece  last week. It’s not a new idea; there are TONS of tutorials on how to make tutus out there. But so many people still don’t know how to make them, or are afraid to try. I’m here to show you that it’s really not that hard, I promise! I will walk you through both and I can say that it didn’t take me longer than an hour to whip out both of them (and that included taking pictures).

Let’s start with the super hero cape:

super hero cape

 

Materials needed: I bought 1 yard of sequin material but based on my niece’s height I could have gotten away with 3/4 yard. If it were McKenna I could have used 1/2 yard so think about your little one’s height when making that decision.

Tools needed: Scissors and your hands 🙂

Step 1: Gather your materials and tools.

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Step 2: In order to figure out where to make the neck ties (as well as to where to start the slight diagonal cut downwards) I needed to get a neck measurement. Since my niece wasn’t around I used McKenna as a model and made it slightly larger. Once I knew how big the neck needed to be I marked it with pins on both sides of the neck so that I wouldn’t cut past that point. You will notice that this is the selvage edge so it looks slightly different. That helped me to cut pretty evenly.

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Step 3: It helps to start the cuts before cutting all the way down to ensure that you will get 3 fairly even pieces. Do this on both sides.

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Step 4: Continue the cuts until you get to the cape’s neck area where you marked with pins. Do this on both sides.

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Step 5: Braid the ties on both sides.

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Step 6: I used McKenna as a model for the first cut to get an idea of how I wanted the cape to drape and then once I had the first side done I copied it on the other side. I did it this way mostly because McKenna wouldn’t stay still but now that I think about it I’m glad because it makes it even.

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Bing, bang, boom! It really was that easy. I think I got it done in 10-15 minutes. 

 

Next up, DIY tutu!

DIY tutu final

 

Just to preface this, there really aren’t 12 steps but I wanted to make sure it was as clear as possible, so I may combine a few of them for the sake of being concise.

Materials needed:

  • Tulle by the roll in colors of your choice – I used two colors of pink (one roll each)
  • Ribbon to coordinate – I used pink sparkly ribbon (I like to have a stiff ribbon for this purpose)

Tools needed:

  • A piece of cardboard as big or bigger than the length you want your tutu
  • Tape to adhere your ribbon to a wall for ease of tying
  • Permanent marker or pen to mark ribbon with measurements

Step 1: Gather your materials and tools.

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Step 2 & 3: I measured my niece’s waist with the ribbon, and marked it with a permanent marker leaving extra length on both sides for tying at the end. I taped the ribbon on the wall.

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Step 4: I decided on the length of the tutu and cut a piece of cardboard to that length and wrapped the tulle around again and again until it was gone. I always make a note on the cardboard about which side I start on so I know where to cut.

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Step 5 & 6: I cut the tulle down one side so that I have a lot of pieces of tulle all double the length that I want the tutu to be.

 

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Step 7 – 9: I then take each piece of tulle that I cut down to size and I start tying them onto the ribbon making sure that the ribbon doesn’t get twisted up.

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Step 10: You will notice that I tie a bunch of pieces of tulle across the entire length but they are quite spread out. I do this so that the tutu doesn’t become lopsided.

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Step 11: Once I got my first group of tulle tied onto the ribbon, I duplicated steps 4-6 with the 2nd color of pink tulle.

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Step 12: Because I had two colors of pink tulle I wanted to make sure that I alternated pinks so I continued with the 2nd color and filled any gaps with both colors as needed. Two rolls ended up being perfect for this project!

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Comparison

comparison header

When I became a mother that got a lot harder. A LOT harder. If you’re a mom you know that we are always thinking about our kids. And what do we talk about? Our kids. It’s just a fact of life. These little people that we raise are so wonderful and important. We want to make sure that we are doing the best for them that we can. Which is why we talk. But unless we check ourselves it can turn into a very unhealthy thing.

I am so grateful to have close friends that are good about not comparing our children. Not to say that we don’t discuss them at length and ask for help when we need to. But we don’t compare one to another. They are each such amazing little human beings and they are also incredibly different. With different strengths, weaknesses and annoying habits ;-).

On that note, if you would like something to print out to remind yourself not to compare, I made this printable:

Comparison

Click here to download

Then right click and save as to save to your computer.

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DIY presents for the win!

Stella's 4th bday

I have mentioned before that I love DIYing gifts when possible. Especially when I can make something that I KNOW will be adored! One of my nieces turns 4 years old today! It’s so hard to believe that it’s been a full 4 years since she was born. She is a spunky little girl that loves to play dress up.  Her favorites at my house are McKenna’s tutu’s (which I don’t even let her play with – I will explain that another time) and a tie dye silk scarf that the girls use as a super hero cape. I decided that I would make both a tutu and a cape for her birthday present.

Stella birthday pic 1

Let’s be honest, what’s better than being a ballerina princess and a super hero all at once?! I’m totally loving that girls are growing up these days with strength and femininity both available to them. McKenna loves the typical girl stuff but she also adores toys that people typically think of as “boy toys”.

Stella's b-day cupcakes1

Ok back to my niece! Since I watch these two nieces once a week we had a little birthday celebration the day before her birthday. I made some “monster cupcakes” and we had a little indoor picnic lunch (we live in AZ people, it’s too hot outside!) . We were going to do lunch first but I caved and let her open her present right away and she was beyond excited! I am so glad that she loved the cape and tutu as much as I thought she would. The rest of the day was spent playing in her newly acquired dress-up items and dancing around to Disney music on Pandora.

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Trying to DIY right now…

TTD right now

be healthy tag

 

 

I had forgotten how hard it was to get food inside me when I’m pregnant. Nothing sounds good to me most of the time. If I’m lucky enough to have a food sound appetizing you can probably bet that it’s not healthy for me. :-/ Because of this I’ve started looking on pinterest for pregnancy snacks. Generally “pregnancy snacks” mean something filled with protein or maybe other necessary nutrients. I found a few lists of snacks that I’m forcing myself to look over on a regular basis until I pass this stage of pregnancy. Here are some of the ones I’ve found:

FitbottomedMamas.com

RichlyRooted.com

Pickanytwo.net

be thrifty tag

 

I’m working on using every bit of food that we buy. When we don’t get to it, it goes into the freezer! There are a lot of ways to save food (meal form, puree’d, cooked, raw, etc) At some point I will organize a bunch of ways that I use our freezer to save money.

feed tag

Along with the healthy snacks for me I need to entice McKenna to eat more healthily – a friend turned me onto these muffins that she calls “monster cupcakes” but really they are filled with spinach and banana (plus no frosting, mwa hahahaha)!

maintain tag

 

I saw a shirt that says “Napping for Two” and that is exactly what I’m doing  (when I can). I have been sooo exhausted. Needless to say I’m back to following the advice I received when McKenna was a baby. If McKenna is sleeping, I’m sleeping.

make stuff tag

 

I’m making one of my nieces a matching pink sparkly (of course) tutu and super hero cape for her birthday since those are her favorite toys when she comes to our house. Making a tutu is so easy! I’m making up how the cape will be but I plan on doing that as easily as possible but with a little flair.

 

nest tag

 

I’m in the middle of working on my command center and laundry room. I am so excited to get both of these done because it will make life soooo much smoother. If paper and laundry take over we are all doomed. If I call for help it may be too late.

raise a little tag

We have been so busy together lately! I’ve been focusing on counting with McKenna and made a cute toy to help that I’ll be sharing. I found this fun mermaid tail craft that I want to do with McKenna and the nieces that come over every week. We are also talking a lot about emotions ever since seeing Inside Out (we loved it!) and I’m hoping that I can help McKenna learn to express herself better and process her emotions. I found a few fun activities on Pinterest that I may share once we’ve tried them out.

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Dear Future Baby, 15 weeks

15 week collage -new

How far along: 15 weeks

Gender guess: I’m still team boy for my guess. Brandon firmly wants to believe that it is a girl. McKenna thinks I’m having twins still so when I ask her if she thinks it will be a baby boy or baby girl she responds with “boeff of dem!

How I’m feeling: I have had a lot more pain with this pregnancy but I’m trying to stay positive. I’m going to try to do some yoga that is geared towards children with McKenna this week. I used to do yoga in the mornings before she woke up. Buuuuut let’s be honest… I’m way too tired for that business right now.

Highlight this week: 

Miss anything: I miss being energized. I keep thinking that it will get better and then I’m just as exhausted the next day.

Movement: I think I might have felt something! With McKenna I didn’t feel any movement until 28 weeks due to my placenta placement. I’m really hoping that the feeling I had wasn’t just in my head.

Cravings: Nothing. Food sounds pretty gross most of the time as of late. Every once in awhile I am able to eat a lot, but it really just depends. I had a great breakfast casserole at a Pampered Chef party yesterday. I think I had 3 helpings.

Looking forward to: I have an appointment today!  I have some questions about the pains I’ve been having and whether or not marginal previa of the placenta is likely to be a problem if it was last time. Hopefully I will feel a little better after I get these questions answered.

What Brandon says about the baby: Brandon says “It’s past the zygote stage, riiiight?” < that’s my husband….

What McKenna says about the baby: McKenna wants to give the baby hugs and kisses… and binks of course. Binks = Love for her. Clearly that is something that we need to work on.

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Dear future baby,

How come you need to hurt me so?! Ha ok, well you will be worth it. I can’t believe that by January of 2016 we will have you in our arms. It is an amazing thing to think about. We still have no idea where you will sleep after the initial new born stage. We wonder what you will be like. Heck, we wonder if you will be a boy or a girl! We wonder about you all the time. We wonder, and we are struck with awe.

McKenna will love you, there is no doubt. But we also worry about jealousy and how she will handle you coming into her world. I think one of the things that I am most excited for is seeing her with you. Seeing the love in her eyes for you. I know there will be times that you guys fight. But I also know how fiercely you will love each other as siblings. I know because I fiercely love my siblings. It’s gonna be great. I will leave you with that.

 

Love, your future Mama

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Independence doesn’t mean they don’t need mama love

independent kiddo

McKenna has always been super independent, but she has grown even more so. The other day I saw her racing to go potty so I called after her saying, “honey, do you need some help in the bathroom?” Immediately she responded with, “no! I got this, give me some space!”

I stood there shocked. Where had she heard this phrase? What made her think she needed or wanted space? At 2 1/2 does my daughter really not need me?!  After the shock wore off  I gently reminded her of the need to wipe, flush and wash hands.

What happened next was an even bigger shocker. Once she was done she wanted to read books and have some “mama love”. Mama love is a phrase I taught her to say when she needs attention, cuddles and love from her mama. I never would’ve figured that directly after such an independent act she would want to sit and cuddle with her mama. But she did.

I have no problem with my sassy independent child. She likes her space. Guess what? So do I. I don’t expect space anymore, but McKenna does give it because she wants it herself.

I keep wondering what my next baby will be like. Will he/she be just as independent as McKenna? Or will he/she be stuck to me like glue? Either way I’m super excited to meet him/her and I’m glad to have a toddler who is mostly independent, but who also knows how to tell me when she needs mama love. Before this week I was slightly concerned that she would be seen as the independent child and I would have more urgent cries to attend to. I’m so grateful to know that she will speak up for the mama love she needs and deserves.

 

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Motivational Monday – Are you really happy?

are you really happy or just really comfortable

I have to say that at this point in my life I am actually really happy! I have struggled with depression for most of my life and if I’m being completely honest it’s not always easy to stay happy. Maybe at some point I will talk about some of the things that have worked for me. But this post isn’t about that. Have you ever been in a situation where you were truly comfortable but maybe not happy? I have known SAHM’s who are at home with their kiddos but really don’t feel fulfilled by it. I know people who stay in positions at work where they make a lot of money but are absolutely miserable (golden handcuffs, anyone?). For me personally I’m sure I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been comfortable but not as happy as I could be. I don’t really stay in that position long. I’m actually not comfortable unless I am happy. It’s maybe even more than happy when I let loose of what isn’t bringing me joy and move into what does.

Are you really happy PRINT

Feel free to download the above printable for your personal use by clicking on the image to make it full size and then click on “save image”

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Dreaming and Scheming – Command Center

old command center

Our command center DID work for us… for awhile. But as you can see, it doesn’t work for us at all now.

What worked:

  • I loved having pens, markers, etc in the little basket on the hook
  • I had detailed lists of things to do, calendar items and other pertinent info on our roll of paper.

What didn’t work:

  • Because the paper was just a big blank space it required that I prepare it every time and well… I’m lazy – so that didn’t happen. That’s why it has since become an empty sheet of paper.
  • We always have miscellaneous papers and business cards on the magnetic strip that don’t look purposeful. It’s incredibly sad looking.
  • AND the worst part is that I’m losing stuff (not to mention my mind), forgetting appointments, and I’m generally cranky when things are crazy like this.

It was time to make a change. I started looking around the beautiful interwebs for ideas and here are a few things that I found that I might just be able to incorporate into my command center area.

command center ideas

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1. I love the clipboards in the first image. I think they are beautiful and functional – plus I already have a bunch so it’s free!

2. I really like how papers are corralled by that bar and it still looks nice and put together.

3. The pic is a little distorted but this is probably my favorite! It is a mail station that Damask Love made with Home Depot. I didn’t see any instructions so I will have to play around to figure it out if I decide to do it. I have a lot of the stuff I would need from an old IKEA piece so I may try that soon. It would be really nice to have an area to sort through mail right away and then I can close it right up so that the mess isn’t seen.

4. Oh Vintage Revivals, how I love you. Mandi comes up with the most unique and useful ideas for her home. I absolutely love this calendar. My SIL recently made it which gave me the confidence I need to make one for myself. I may adjust it slightly for our needs but this is definitely happening. I have got to stop double booking myself.

I can’t wait to get my command center under control and make my life a little easier as well. Once I get it fixed up I will be sure to show ya’ll!

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