Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prayers for Gavin

I sit here tonight with a heavy heart. A family that my sister-in-law knows was given the devastating news that their little boy's cancer is back after a bone marrow transplant... only a mere 100 days ago. They have an appointment tomorrow to find out if, as she described in a Facebook post, they may only have weeks left with him.

My heart use to go out to families that have lost or may lose a child... but now as a parent myself, my heart is completely broken for them. To look down at my son who is the center of my whole world and try to imagine losing him is... devastating... unfathomable... gut-wrenching.

Prayers go out tonight for Gavin and the rest of the Sima family. Be comforted in knowing that if this is indeed all in God's hands now, that they're the best hands to be in.

Everyone hug and kiss your babies tonight...

DIY: Mario Piranha Plant Wine Glasses

My sister and I (like most children of the 80s) grew up on the classic Super Mario Brothers Nintendo DS games. Yeah, we're super awesome like that. So for her birthday this past December, I decided to create her some Mario Piranha Plant wine glasses.... because we still like Mario.... and now we also like wine.

Creating these does require a little bit of time and a steady hand, but the initial set of them only costs roughly $8. I purchased FolkArt Enamels acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby for $2 each (white, lime green and lipstick red were my piranha plant color picks.) My stemware of choice... high-end Dollar Store goblets of course.

Directions for painting glass and ceramics: Clean surface with alcohol, then clean with soap and water. Paint your masterpiece. Allow time to air dry. Place painted glasses in cool oven (I set mine on cookie sheets) and heat to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes, cool in oven and then remove. 

Only paint the outside of the glass as there should be no direct contact with food. Handwash or top rack dishwasher safe.

I opted to paint the green first, then red and finish with the white. I needed roughly 3 coats for each color for optimum coverage. No worries, the white will cover completely over the red layer. 

Drink up bitches. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Baby Wishes + Predictions ... Results

At each of my baby showers, I asked my friends and family to each fill out "Wishes + Predictions for Baby Arch." I got the idea from Pinterest, tweaked it a little and created my own version. I did something similar on my wedding day and I love going back through and reading everyone's wishes and advice for us. I can only hope that Brody will enjoy reading these someday as well.

Now available in my Etsy shop
100% customizable baby wishes cards available for purchase.

The top half of the sheet asked people to predict when Baby Arch would be born, what the gender would be, height and weight. Just for fun, the winners are:

Birthdate: Brody's Grandma Arch - guessed November 29… right on the money!

Weight: Friends Dana + Delaney - guessed 9 lbs 1 oz… only 1 oz off.

Height: Great-Aunts Darlene, Renee, Cherie, Ann, Linda and Helen; Aunt Shelby; Cousin Autumn; Friends Autumn + Haley - guessed 21 inches… dead on!

Gender: Out of the 47 people who submitted a card, 26 thought Baby Arch would be a girl, 20 guessed a boy... and 1 predicted a giraffe. Don't ask.

The middle section had a list of hopes for Baby Arch. The following are my favorite responses for each:

I hope you learn…

"to not take shit from anyone." - Grandma Z

"to teach your dad that hunting isn't as important as you and your mom!" - cousin Tessa

"to paint beautiful (or not) pictures." - Grandma Arch

"to ball like your Auntie Z." - Aunt Ashley

I hope you aren't afraid…

"of spiders like your dad." - Great Grandma LeBaron

"of new challenges that come your way." - Aunt Sarah

I hope you love…

"Zora." - Alicia

"with every inch of your heart." - cousin Laura

"to be unique and stand out from the crowd." - cousin Tessa

"with all your heart, even if it gets broken occasionally." - Grandma Z

I hope you get…

"to travel to lots of cool places." - Grandma Z

"all the love you deserve." - cousin Jill

I hope you laugh…

"at your dad's dancing."  - Autumn + Haley

"at your problems." - Grandma Arch

I hope you never forget…

"how to smile!" - Great-Aunt Gloria

"to be appreciative for everything." - cousin Tessa

I hope you become…

"famous so you can support me." - Aunt Ashley

"a smart, beautiful person whom everyones loves to be around." - Grandma Z

I hope you respect…

"life…. and doggies." - Grandma Z

"yourself and others." - Great-Aunt Maxine

I hope you grow…

"up close to God." - Aunt Ashley

"This almost made me laugh a little. You are destined to have long legs!" - Great-Aunt Linda

I hope you remember…

"that you are God's child." - Nancy

"to be pleasing to God in all you do." Great Grandma LeBaron

"where you come from." - cousin Christy

"to stand firm in who God made you to be." - cousin Autumn

The last section asked for advice for the new parents. Some of my favorite responses include:

"Do it together!"  - Aunt Helen

"Trust your instincts! It's only hard if you expect perfection." - Dana + Delaney

"Don't forget that you two are a team and each person is just as valuable as the other in raising your family." - Aunt Sarah

"The greatest gift you can give your child is love and wings." - cousin Maria

"Let the housework go." - Great Grandma Neiser

"The days and nights can be long, but enjoy every moment. You'll miss it when your little one grows up and is no longer a snuggly baby." - Aunt Shelby

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mini Apple Pies recipe

  • 1-2 peeled apples
  • 3 Tbsp. (heaping) brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon (I used a cinnamon sugar mix)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine (melted)
  • 1 pkg. crescent rolls

Preheat over to 350 degrees and spread out the crescent roll triangles on a greased cookie sheet. Brush the melted butter or margarine on each triangle. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on each piece as well.

Roll 1 or 2 chunks of apple (I prefer 2) up in each triangle. Brush the top of the crescent roll with more butter and sprinkle the rest of the dry ingredient mixture on them.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Be careful... filling will be super hot! Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream... and a big glass of milk of course. Nom.

Still have leftover apples or an insatiable apple craving? Try my apple crisp recipe.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mommyhood: Week 7

Just thought I'd throw out a little update on what's been going on the last couple weeks with Brody...

We found out right away that Brody slept better at night swaddled because his flailing limbs would wake him up out of a sound sleep. So since the beginning, he sleeps swaddled... until this past Wednesday night. He was outgrowing his current swaddlers and we figured at some point we needed to change things up. He did pretty well the first night, but last night he slept from 10 to 5:30 without being wrapped up... so success!

No more collared shirts. Seeing him in just a tshirt was sad enough... he looks so grown up. A collared shirt makes him look like a tiny 40-year-old man. 

Brody (and I) had another sleepover at Grandma Z's this week. He came to hang out in the cloud (mom's super soft king-sized bed) with Peanut in the morning. They looked so lost in much a big bed!

Wrinkly baby butts are the best! I wish you could just hold naked babies after a bath without getting peed on. They smell so good all baby lotion-ed!

Zora likes it when one of us is gone overnight. She's excellent at keeping one side of the bed warm.

Despite all of lil man's smiles, we think he's become colicky. Awesome, right? The last week or so, he has to be held or rocked almost all the time. Afternoons are the worst. While I was at my Dancebreak class on Wednesday, he gave Clay a run for his money. It even resulted in this rogue sock accidentally spending the night in the wipe warmer. Don't ask. 

Hopefully this doesn't last long. I have two more weeks of maternity leave and will feel awful if he's miserable at daycare. There's no way the daycare lady is going to be able to hold him all afternoon. Maybe I can smuggle him into work with me under a coat in his Moby Wrap.

Even now, I'm typing this one handed while rocking him. Talented, aren't I? No. Fussy baby equals zero productivity. I had 7 loads of laundry sneak up on me, fridge is pretty desolate, managed to Swiffer... but that's it. My hair hasn't been brushed in 3 days, forgot what a shower is, don't get around to brushing my teeth until bedtime and applying deodorant/changing out of what I slept in is totally optional.

...but I manage to keep both lil pisser and the fur child alive and well, so I consider each day a success. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Top 12 Must-Have Baby Items

My little Brody is a whole 7-weeks old today. He's getting so big... has even outgrown quite a bit of his 0-3 month wardrobe already. Yeah, for reals. Not sure why he's not fitting in his britches anymore... he's not unusually long and isn't a Michelin Man baby. Who knows...

Anywho, over the last 7 weeks, I have been pretty excited about/thankful for a few specific products that have made becoming a new mommy much easier. I know I was unsure about quite a bit when putting together my registry... read over countless "must-have" lists on other mommy blogs... hemmed and hawed over the supposedly over-rated items... but now I'd like to share my personal list of top baby items no (new) mom should be without.

Take it for what it's worth...

My Top 12 Must-Have Baby Items

Infant Bath Sponge
I have both the sponge and the fold-up 
tub from Walmart. The tub didn't have
any neck support when Brody was
very little. Lying on the sponge
was more supportive and kept more
of his body in the water for warmth.

Battery Nasal Aspirator
When Brody came down with a nasty
cold when he was less than 2-weeks
old, the traditional "squeeze and suck"
aspirators didn't do the job. This one,
with constant suction, worked wonders
at getting the hard to get boogies.

Wipe Warmer
I don't care if these did land on some
"over-rated baby product" lists. I'm
sorry I don't want to get peed on when
I shove an unexpected cold wipe on
Brody's bare nether regions. Why not
 give baby's buns some extra TLC?

I know some babies hate swaddling,
but Brody loves it. They kept his
flailing limbs at bay which kept him
asleep. I was more at ease with them
over blankets because I didn't have to
worry about them coming undone.

Bouncy Seat
Even more than just a place for baby
to lie and entertain themselves, it also
doubles as a place to quick set them
down when you absolutely need both
hands. I love that the seat is portable
and lightweight to keep baby nearby.

Portable Swing
Unlike most swings that are heavy and
have a 6'+ footprint, this Graco swing is
compact and lightweight to go wherever
you need it to. It also has two different
height settings and multiple speed

Travel System
I love my Graco travel system. I love
the car base options for the carrier
(vs having to buy multiple car seats).
I like how the stroller can accommodate
the carrier as well as be used as an
individual unit.

Comfy Rocker/Glider
We went through great lengths to find
the perfect rocker. Moms-to-be, please
understand that you will spend a lot of
time in this chair feeding, rocking and
sleeping. If it doesn't make you want to
take a nap in it, walk away.

Video Monitor
I would definitely recommend a video
monitor over simply audio. Brody is
a super quiet sleeper and being able to
see his chest move was very reassuring
for this first time parent. Knowing that
 he's safe and well is priceless.

Play Mat
Brody loves to be able to stretch out.
His play mat is a great way to keep
him entertained and happy. It also fits
perfectly in his crib so he's up off the
floor just in case Zora comes running
past or wants to play.

Moby Wrap
Hands-free parenting at its finest. The
wrap secures both Brody's body and
head and allows me to have both my
hands available. Having him snuggled
against my chest keeps his binky
from falling out as well.

Diaper Bag/Purse Combo
A mom's hands are full enough without
having to deal with a diaper bag AND
a purse. Skip*Hop's dual bag is large
enough with enough pockets to
accomodate all the necessities
without looking like luggage.

Obviously as a formula feeder, I don't have any breast feeding related items. So, sorry. Anyways, these are my favorite, most-used items that I feel have helped me transition into mommyhood.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Brody's baptism celebration

This past weekend, we celebrated Brody's baptism with family at the Saturday evening mass followed by dinner back at our home. It was so wonderful to celebrate with everyone and the day turned out beautifully!

Lil man did so great in church. I think all his spa days with mommy helped prepare him.... kid probably thought he was going to get his hair washed.  ;)

Brody's grandparents and great-grandparents

Brody's Godparents

We chose my sister Ashley and cousin Dan as Brody's Godparents. They both did a wonderful job and gave Brody a beautiful personalized bible. A huge thank you to my family for all their help with food preparation, loaning me tables/chairs, the wonderful gifts and for coming out to celebrate! 

Thankfully we have very long basement with minimal furniture and were able to accommodate everyone (30 people). This was the first party I've ever hosted and am very pleased with how well it turned out. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

DIY: Pacifier Clip

I've had a few comments over the last month regarding Brody's binky/pacifier clips. Specifically the ones for the Soothie™ brand pacifiers. For anyone who uses them, you're already aware that they do not have the normal ring handle that other brands have so there's nothing to hook to clip to.

Thankfully, my mom discovered that it's easy enough to adhere the clips onto the silicone nub and she also made some cute custom pacifier clips for Brody.

Luckily, a single-hole punch is enough to put a small hole is that otherwise useless handle on any silicone pacifier.  

Using any ribbon, wide or narrow, sew a small piece of velcro to one end and another 4" or so further down.... just far enough down to loop through the pacifier and back around. Mom cut the ribbon roughly 10-12" long, but make it however long you see fit.

On the other end of the ribbon, attach a Dritz mitten/suspender clip. These can be found at Joann Fabrics in a two pack for $2.99. Now you can make as many pacifier clips as you want for a lot less than you can buy them for... as well as find a way to secure ring handle-less pacifiers to your little one.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shake What Your Mama Gave You

Unfortunately, my mama didn't give me anything in the dancing department. I inherited my father's two left feet.......... and then I signed up for a Dancebreak (think Zumba) class. What?! Yeah, I know... what an idiot.

I saw the kiosk out front of the Intersection Ministries by my house about the class and figured:

  1. It's a free, 75-minute weekly workout
  2. Women only (I don't workout in front of men... too horrifying)
  3. Close by where I could potentially run there and back (but won't... it's frickin' cold out) 
  4. Human interaction at least once a week while I'm on maternity leave
  5. And only half the baby weight fell off the first week... scale hasn't budged since
I survived week one. And by survived I mean I did not trip over my own feet and faceplant into the floor. 

Stay tuned for week 2...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quarantined Husband = Single Parent

Beware, this is my bored out of my mind post. Clayton came down with whatever has been going around about a week ago... so with no interest in a repeat of sick baby chaos/worrying, we've quarantined him in the basement. Like no joke... he comes home from work (if he made it that far), I hand him a change of clothes in the doorway and banish him to the basement. Poor Brody has been father-less all week. Wait, scratch that... poor Andrea has been other parent-less all week. The usual after 5:00 reprieve is gone. Bllaaaahhhh...

This one parent crap is for the birds. I have a bunch to do to get ready for Brody's baptism/party this upcoming weekend but I can't leave him home with a sick husband... but can't take him out either because everyone else is sick. So Clay and I basically live in a duplex right now. I live upstairs with Brody and he's confined downstairs... at all times. Trying to keep Brody healthy makes for a lonely marriage. LoL.

The lil man and I hunker down at the kitchen table in the evenings. I get one half of the table for my computer and he gets the other. Yes, Brody hangs out on my table. That's how we roll...

...and apparently Miss Zora has taken full advantage of the millions of other things on my mind because she said the hell with the "no furniture" rule. Now that I have this tiny human to take care of every second of the day, I tend to let Zora get away with quite a bit. Like when she use to dig holes in the backyard, I would run out there swearing and chase her around the yard... now I flip her the bird from the sliding door. I am but one person.

It's also Peanut's birthday today! We don't know her exact birthday... sometime in January, but my great-grandma loved Peanut... so they share a birthday. So happy birthday to Nutters and Grandma Toni! xoxo

I have been blessed with a relatively happy baby (thank God), but in case of an emergency, I have figured out two guaranteed ways to make the lil man stop crying instantly. Method 1: swimming in the tub. He LOVES taking a bath. Method 2: get him naked. No joke... the second that diaper comes off, he's nothing but smiles. Since when does cold air hitting your balls release endorphins? Oh the things you learn along the way...

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