Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas with a toddler

The week before Christmas we drove to West Virginia. It was a hike and took 7 hours to get there. Surprisingly, Mila did well. Her morning nap turned into a one o'clock nap but it worked out. Mila actually did great the entire trip. She played with her Great Grandpa (PePa) which was a lot of fun to see and the main reason we made the trip. He got her a couch for Christmas that has become her favorite toy.

Mila did a really good job on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I get nervous when she is around my big family. They are pretty loud and a little in your face. I tried to get Mila there a little early before it got overwhelming with people. I think that worked. Mila was still sleepy eyed when looking at what Santa brought and still too young to know what is going on. This year she enjoyed ripping the wrapping paper off the boxes more than what was inside. Next year will be a different story.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bunting Project

It is true that bunting is simple. You can find tutorials all over the internet if you don't just want to wing it. What I didn't realize is how time consuming the art project is. My 8 foot bunting banner took about three hours to complete. I decided to make this banner for my daughter's new room. I think it will look lovely with her teepee. Here are my brief and somewhat sloppy directions but hey it turned out cute.

You will need a sewing machine, minimal sewing skills, fabric, and bias tape.
  1. The first step is to either find a bunting template online or make your own. To make your own just open a word document, insert triangle shape, and drag to your desired shape. I printed on card stock and skipped the step of transferring to fabric paper. That just seems like added work and a waste of time.
  2. After cutting your template out, you will need to cut your fabric out. Make sure fabric is ironed in half. I found it much easier to fold fabric in half and cut two triangles at a time. Cut desired amount of triangles and pin triangles together with the back side of the fabric on the outside. 
  3. It is time to sew. Sew both long edges of triangles together leaving the short edge open. After all triangles are sewn it is time to flip triangles right side out. Poking out the point can be tricky. I have read that chopsticks work well, but I didn't have chopsticks laying around the house. I used the end of a writing pen.
  4. Bias tape is already folded in half but go ahead and iron the tape shut. Next, you will pin triangles to the bias tape spaced out evenly. I used the cardboard my bias tape came in as a guide. It was probably three inches wide. A guide is a lot easier than measuring between each triangle. After all triangles are pinned to the tape, sew all the way across. It will be a lot less time consuming to go ahead and sew the entire length of bias tape than to stop after each triangle and start again. Enjoy your bunting. Thumb tacks are a great way to hang these banners.

Friday, December 19, 2014

I want an alpaca, so Mila must want one too.

I  have wanted an alpaca for about four years now and my desire has not lessened. In fact, it has increased tremendously. My parents have a farm so at first I thought my Dad might actually get me this adorable wooly animal for a pet. Maybe Poppie will say yes to his granddaughter when she asks for this small llama look alike in the future. That is my only hope at this point since clearly I am not getting an alpaca at the family farm as a thirty two year adult.

Alpaca fiber is used for for making yarn, felting, and fabric. This would be perfect for my arts and crafts. Not only that, I am sure I can make a pet out of them. Alpacas are easy to care for, aesthetically appealing, have lovable dispositions, are very intelligent, and seem to love children. What is not to love? Alpacas don't require a great deal of land and only cost around $1000. Some people spend that much on a dog. I will get my alpacas one day. Hopefully, my husband will say yes when we move to Hawaii after we retire. Fingers crossed. 

Here are some interesting facts about alpacas taken from
  • They’re ancient - Alpacas were domesticated by the Incas more than 6,000 years ago and raised for their exquisite fleece. Due to its quality and all of its superhero characteristics, alpaca fiber was reserved exclusively for the elite and nobility.
  • They’re trendy -In the 1984, a small group of importers brought the first of a carefully selected herd to the United States and Canada, and they’ve been dotting the bucolic landscape ever since. The North American herd has grown from a few alpacas in zoos and private farms to about 20,000.
  •  They grow superlative, hypoallergenic fleece -Alpaca fiber is much like sheep’s wool, but warmer and not itchy. It is lacking in lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic and also allows it to be processed without the need for high temperatures or harsh chemicals in washing.
  •  They're flame-resistant! -Well, technically their fiber is flame-resistant, meeting the standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's rigid testing specifications as a Class 1 fiber for use in clothing and furnishings.
  •  They're water-resistant -Like wool, alpaca fiber is water-resistant, but it can wick away moisture because of its unique ability to mimic cotton in moisture regain. These attributes are what make alpaca feel lighter than wool, but warmer than cotton in cool and damp climates.
  •  They come in a rainbow of hues -Alpaca fiber comes in 16 tones that are recognized by the textile industry, from white to light rose gray to dark fawn, in addition to the blends that can be made from those, thus minimizing the need for pollution-intensive dying.
  • There are two types of alpacas in this world... -Alpacas come in two types: Suri and the huacaya. The suri has fiber that grows long and forms silky dreadlocks. The huacaya has a wooly, dense, crimped fleece — like a teddy bear — giving it a very wooly appearance. About 90 percent of all alpacas in the North America are huacayas.
  • They can mix and match -Alpacas and llamas can successfully cross-breed. The offspring they create are known as huarizo, which are valued for their longer fleece.
  • They share a bathroom -Alpacas use a communal dung pile (where they do not graze, thankfully). Because of their predisposition for using a dung pile, some alpacas have been successfully house-trained.
  • They hum and haw ... and orgle -Humming is the most common sound that alpacas make, which has been described as a kind of musical purring. Alpacas hum when they are curious, content, worried, bored, fearful, distressed or cautious. When startled or in danger, a staccato braying is started by one animal, then followed by the rest of the herd in the direction of the potential threat. During breeding, the male alpaca Romeo emits a unique throaty vocalization called “orgling.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blue Eyed Beauty

I remember when pregnant with this little girl, wondering what she is going to look like. I expected that she would have blue eyes since Wes and I both do, but I did read that two blue eyed parents could make a brown eyed baby. Mila did indeed inherit our blue eyes. I just saw on an eye doctor guide posted online that in the United States blue eyes are becoming increasingly rare. A hundred years ago about 50% of those born had blue eyes. Seventy years ago about 30% of those born had this trait. Currently only 1 in 6 are born with blue eyes. Luckily for Mila, our culture seems to have a fascination with blue eyes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Gift guide for my 17 month old

Buying gifts for my daughter is pretty easy. She likes just about everything, and I want her to like toys that I like such as My Little Pony. I don't believe in spending a lot of money on a toddler. Her Christmas budget this year is $100, but I think she will love her gifts. Plus, she has her grandparents to spoil her. I do most of my shopping online. This year's presents all came from Amazon.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mila's Christmas Card

I admit designing a Christmas card with my beautiful daughter on it is pretty enjoyable. I designed three cards and left it to my husband to pick the winner. I wanted him to at least think he helped with the design. Here is the winner.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Big Facebook Reveal

With Mila, I was so eager to share the news that I was expecting with Facebook. I waited until the twelve week safety zone but as soon as that marker hit I told the internet world. This time it just seemed different. I kept putting off the Facebook photoshoot and finding excuses to wait for the big post. I had the adorable, I am going to be a big sister shirt, for almost a month. Well last night I threw in the towel. It was time to share the big news with my 1000+ friends. Surely they all need to know and will be ecstatic that I am preggo for the second time. I am almost sixteen weeks this time. I know the sex of the baby. It was time to share this secret with former classmates I don't talk to, people I met once and don't even know their name, and all those phony friends that can't take the time to pick up the phone or come visit me. I received many comments and likes but it all seems silly. Facebook has become so fake. It is like this is the way I want people to perceive me and the funny thing is it actually works. I am just over the poser social media site. The people I am closest to already knew the big news. They are the ones that matter. Maybe that is why I was so hesitant.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mila's Big Girl Room

A new baby means a new bedroom for Mila. It just makes sense to move her to the bedroom with the bigger closet and the connecting bathroom. The new baby will get her room. Most close to me know that I love decorating and interior design. It has been a blast planning Mila's new big girl room. Here are some of the purchases I have made so far. It is going to look so good when it is complete. I can't wait to see her reaction.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Oh brother!

I have to admit, I was thinking it was a girl. It was only about ten seconds into the ultrasound, and I could see that it was no girl. It's a boy! I have no idea how those that don't want to know don't see in between the baby's legs and make an educated guess.

Mila was there with us but she had no idea what was going on. She was being entertained by the ultrasound tech's two year old daughter and Daddy. Wes was feeding cheese puffs to both girls trying to keep them entertained. He missed out on a lot of the experience but I think all he needed to know is that baby #2 is a boy. I looked over to my husband when the tech said out loud what I had already seen with my own eyes. Wes had a small smile on his face. I know he is so excited but he said he just wanted a healthy baby and the sex didn't matter. Good answer Daddy but you are getting a son!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gender Reveal

Some don't even know I am pregnant and today is the day we find out if the baby is a boy or girl! Some decide to wait until the baby is born to find out the sex. My husband and I want to know as soon as the ultrasound will show us.We are paying to find out at fifteen weeks, the earliest Prenatal Peak will take a look. And actually I am two days earlier than that.

I know all the pros and cons to finding out baby's sex, but I am not exactly sure what my need to know is. Sure, setting up a nursery is fun. Buying cute little baby clothes is enjoyable. I don't need time to accept one gender over another because honestly I don't care. Maybe it is because the sex of the baby is one of the favorite and only conversations friends, family, and people behind you in the grocery line know how to have with a pregnant woman. Anyone and everyone will talk to a pregnant lady but usually the conversation starts and finishes with, "Is it a boy or girl?"

Not knowing a child's sex until their birthday has been the human experience for centuries, which makes not finding out seem natural. I guess I am just unnatural. I have never been good with surprises and my husband often comments about my lack of patience. That has to be it. 

Mommy and Daddy are dying to know, is there a little XX or XY baby in there? Our hopes are up high, so baby please be in the right position.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The location was beautiful, but the temperature wasn't quite right. There was even talk of cancelling. The rain managed to hold off until the end of our session. Luck ran out after that.

We bundled Mila up and crossed our fingers that she would smile for the camera. The twenty minute wait by that cold fountain was long and full of tears but we were not about to leave. Finally, it was our turn. We hiked to the location. I was immediately impressed with the decorated tree, ornaments, and sled that made up the backdrops. Mila sat in assumed spot but not for long. She can walk! She can run! Mila was not about to sit still and pose for a camera. Most pictures ended up like this one.

But to my surprise, we ended up with this beauty!