Thursday, April 28, 2011

Naptime is Craftime {Tutorial: Homemade Wooden Memory Game}


I saw this idea on Etsy and wanted to make it for Bradley.  Then I thought, this would be a great gift too!  So I made a game for Bradley, Sammy, Larken and Amalie.  All you need is:

14 to 16 wood pieces per game (3” by 4”)

2 of each of your favorite wallet sized photos

Mod Podge

Sponge Brushes

Acrylic Sealer Spray


Cut some wood to fit a wallet sized photo.  My wood pieces are 3” by 4”.  All of my games have seven or eight matches.  I have to be honest and tell you that one of Chris’ workers cut all of the wood for me.  But, I think this could definitely be done if you were handy or have a sweet hubby to recruit. 


Then gather up all of your favorite wallet sized photos of your sweeties.  Two of each!!


See, a perfect fit!!


Gather up your other supplies.  Mod Podge and sponge brushes.  I actually tried this first with a bristle brush, but so many of the pieces fell off, and got stuck to the pieces.  Not good!!  So a sponge brush is definitely the way to go on this project.  The Mod Podge is really hard to get off of the brushes.  I would try to do as much as possible and then throw the brush away.  It just didn’t ever come really clean for me.


Apply a thick coat to the back of your picture, then adhere to the front of your wood.  Then apply a coat over the top of the photo.  Try to get the edges well so your photo won’t be peeling up later.  Don’t worry it dries clear!


This shows how thickly I put on the mod podge, and how much it changes as it dries.


Repeat over all of your photo pictures.  I let them all dry overnight.  Take care to not drip or get any mod podge on the back of your wood, or it will stick to the newspaper.  I learned this the hard way!  It doesn’t come off easily!


Cut scrapbook paper to fit the front of your wood pieces.  I cut mine 2 3/4”  by 3 3/4” to give it a little border of wood around the edge.  The trick is also finding the right scrapbook paper.  You want something that is going to look the same on all of the wood.  The boys I chose polka dots, and for the girls I gave them birdies. 


Repeat the same technique for the pictures with the scrapbook paper.  Once everything has dried overnight, take them outside and spray them with the Acrylic Sealer.  Do this on newspaper on the grass.  Beware:  It Stinks!!!  I had Chris do it, because I didn’t want to be breathing it in while I’m preggo.  I had him put on a very thick coat.  Allow it to dry and then flip them over.  This will keep the Mod Podge from sticking together.


Taa- Daa!!  You made your very own homemade Memory Game!  If you didn’t want to make it this complicated, you could do the same exact thing with pictures, cardstock, and laminate them.  They would last a long time that way too! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby Love


We got to see baby #3 last week.  (that still sounds so weird to say, baby #3)  It doesn’t seem to matter which pregnancy, or how many times you witness a sonogram.  It is magical.  The little baby parts.  Little feet and hands.  The doctor thought that the baby was sucking on their hand in this picture.  Looks like it to me!  I just know that I am in love.  100% amazed again.  And beyond happy.

Bradley joined us for our doctor’s appointment.  He was SO excited.  So patient in the waiting room, coloring his Thomas book and waiting for our turn to see the baby.  The first images were of the baby and listening to the heart beat.  Everything was being shown over large screens in the room.  He was entranced.  Hands next to his face, just staring with his mouth open.  Interested in every little part and piece. 

Mommy, that is like my heart beat.  It gets fast when I run a lot.

Mommy, look the baby kicked their feet.

It is a boy.  Only boys kick inside their Mommy’s belly.  Ellie just slept the whole time.  This must be a boy.  I just know it.

I am hoping that he isn’t disappointed.  Poor little thing was so intent that it was a boy.  He even told the nurse all about it.  “It’s a boy, he was kicking A LOT.”  I had been set on waiting to find out the sex of the baby.  I thought that we had stuff for a boy and a girl.  I didn’t find out with Bradley, and I just thought let’s do it again.  It is so fun to wait.  But, he is so determined that it is a boy I am a little nervous.  I think we may have to find out just to prepare him.  We keep gently saying, you know Bradley it could be a girl too.  We don’t know yet!  He just says, well I know it is a boy.  He is a determined big brother!

Baby #3, thank you for being strong, healthy, and perfect.  We are so excited to meet you this fall.  Bring you home to this family.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mama.  I love you!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

That Crazy Rabbit


This Easter was so special.  Just a great day spent as a family at home and at church.  Of course I can’t forget chris cooking up a fabulous Easter dinner.  Bradley was in our room bright and early.  He was surprised to find a new basket outside of his door and a trail of eggs going downstairs.  I just love the little things.  How excited he was about his basket.  Little wind up toys, whistles, and a REALLY big chocolate rabbit. 


Ellie was so pleased to find some bath toys and a new push and go alligator.  Hours of fun! 


Of course Bradley always wanted a wind up robot!!  A little picture of our Easter morning fun….our little man is into the playmobil toys in a big way.  He has the entire fire station, and the Easter bunny got him started with the police department.  His police car went straight to school on Monday morning for “share.” 



Then I saw this great idea for bunny shaped cinna~buns. All you need is raisins and a container of cinnamon rolls:


Use one roll for the face, and another roll for the ear. Raisins are great for the eyes and nose. They showed sliced almonds for the rabbit teeth, but I left those out.


Add some icing and pink sprinkles and you are in Easter bunny yumminess!  I adore this picture of Bradley.  Happiness with his bunny roll and police car filled to the brim with police men and two bad guys and a wind up robot of course! 


Then the Easter bunny left a funny trail by the door, with a clue. Can you guess what he brought us?





Tip toeing through the dew to uncover a sandbox!






I think everyone enjoyed it!!  Even little Ellie!!  After a few times telling her not to eat it, she figured it out and squealed and tried to scoop the sand like Bradley.  We have been in it almost every day twice a day since Sunday.  So much fun! 

We were planning on possibly getting a swing set, and then we found out about baby #3.  We figured a sandbox was a good alternative, and maybe the swing set will come later on.  We are going to have quite a few purchases coming up this year. 



I also made Bradley a homemade memory game.  I am going to give a tutorial on it later this week!  It is so much fun, and really easy to make. 

Hoppy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

While Your Busy, Life Happens


I love this picture.  It sums up so much for my life right now.  My focus is on my children and my family.  Everything else just spins around me.  Time passing more quickly each year, each month, each week. 

Until next thing you know you are 31, expecting your third child.  How did it happen?

There have been times when motherhood has been difficult.  There are the middle of the night feedings.  The tantrums.  The scary moments.  The infertility.  The surgery and the endometriosis.

But I have to say that mostly it has been sunny skies, roses, and happiness.  If I look back on the big picture of it all, I just think wow,  I am so lucky.  I am home with these beautiful children.  I get to take them to the playground, on walks, and snuggle them at home.  I am truly blessed.

And now I get to have another baby.  If you had asked me in 2008 that I would be writing a blog post about having a THIRD child I would have probably told you that was impossible.  Just having a second baby seemed to be a goal that was just out of my reach.  Everyone else in the world was pregnant, could get pregnant, except me and Chris. 

Now here we are.

So this little baby is truly a tiny miracle.  Chris and I knew that we had a slim window to try again to have another child.  We could either use that window, or go back on birth control and cross our fingers that the endometriosis wouldn’t progress like it had between Bradley and Ellie.  I would never have another surgery to try and get pregnant.  We were content.  A boy and a girl. 

But, I walk past that third bedroom upstairs and always wondered.  What if?  Could we be so lucky?

This whole time I had continued to nurse Ellie and didn’t try to think anything of it, or let that be my focus in any way.  But, slowly around 10 1/2 months she started to become very uninterested in nursing.  I was so sad, but I kept with it.  I continued to nurse her twice a day for weeks, and then she would only nurse for me in the morning.  I just thought, well she is slowly weaning herself. 

Then February came.  I started to get tired.  Instead of knitting into all hours of the night, or sitting at the sewing machine, I would just plop down on the couch.  Still, I didn’t think anything of it.  I just thought, man I am tired.  I was waking up at 6 to work out, so I thought that was the cause.  Life continued.

Then I started to be very tired and very hungry.  I still didn’t put it all together.  Maybe I am just readjusting to only nursing once a day. Hmmmm…

The last week in February Bradley got the stomach bug.  Looking back, I was about 7 weeks along.  Well, that is always when the nausea hits me at full swing.  I thought that I had Bradley’s little stomach bug.  I never threw up, I felt like I was going to.  This happened Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning.  Hmmmm…  I even asked Chris if he was going to be working close to the house, I just feel horrible.  But then when he called later in the afternoon I would be feeling fine.

Thursday morning we had a playdate with Chloe.  Greta and I were talking and I was telling that I just didn’t feel well.  She said, “I bet you are pregnant.” 

Ummm, no way.  That is just impossible.  First of all that just doesn’t “happen” for Chris and I.  We KNOW about these things.  We have doctors, shots, appointments, charts, dates.  We don’t just walk around not knowing.  That is just not how it works for us.  Thursday night we went to dinner at our favorite little restaurant.  I walked in and the smell made my stomach curl.  You would think after all of this, I would have ran directly to the store.  No, like I said, that isn’t the way things happen for us.

Now, Friday morning, 6:30 am.  I am doing my weight routine at the gym, and staring at myself in the mirror.  This is what I was thinking….

maybe Greta is right?

there is no way?  How could that just happen for us?

I don’t even want to take a test. 

I have taken a million and they almost always say, NOT PREGNANT, YOU SUCK. ok they don’t say the last part, but that is how you feel.

If I even go and take one, I am thinking that it could “just happen” for us and I don’t want to be that naive.

but I have been REALLY tired.

I have been feeling REALLY nauseas.

I think I have a random stick at home from ellie.  I won’t say anything.  I will get bradley to preschool.  I will put ellie down for her nap, and we’ll just see.  then this silly thing will be over, and I can remember that stuff like this doesn’t just happen for us.

we aren’t that lucky.


I guess the morale of the story is, we are that lucky.  We are blessed.

I immediately called Chris.  His exact quote, “That is FU**ING AWESOME.  That is the way it is supposed to be.”

I love him. 

To baby 3, I love you more than words.  I love the magical style that you have come into our lives.  I get to see you today.  Swimming around inside me. 

31 years old.  Pregnant with my third child.  It happened.  I am so thankful.     


Monday, April 18, 2011

I’ve Been Dying To Tell You


I’m going to be a Big Sister!!!!!!!!!!


I am so over the moon excited about it, I can hardly contain myself…


I would like to apologize for my Mom’s lack of blogging and just being motivated in general.  Any free time she has had in the past 9 weeks was spent on the couch eating, sleeping, snacking, or thinking of things to eat that wouldn’t make her stomach curl.  You understand, this growing a baby thing is a tough business. 


Luckily, I am really cute and an easy baby, so I haven’t made things difficult in the least.


Alright, enough with all this tiredness talk.  Let’s get down to business. 

Everyone at our house is over the moon about this new baby.  The baby will arrive sometime on or around October 28th.  I will be just turning 19 months old.  Don’t worry Mom, it will be a breeze.  Right?

Mommy and Daddy had hoped and dreamed of a third little baby to fill up our house, but didn’t think that it could happen so easily.  She can fill you in on the details later. 

Anyway, I am off to fight my morning nap.  See people, I am growing up and will be walking and talking just in time for a little newborn to take over the house again!

By the way, Bradley is SUPER excited too!  He is glad that he is the oldest and the biggest.  He told me.  He had to go to his big preschool this morning, so he couldn’t make the photo shoot.  I am sure my mom will torture him later!

Love, Ellie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When Did It Happen?



This weekend at Busch Gardens you ended the day looking like this. 

And it seems like just yesterday you looked like this…

bradley black

Bradley 19 months, running through the backyard

This weekend you decided you wanted to ride this…


Do you see the leaning forward death grip?? He said it was an "Awesome" ride!


You used to sit in your bumbo and look at adorable soft baby books...


 Now you fill your time flying in special planes around and around



You used to ride in your little car for hours, now you love to bump into other drivers when you get the chance.





I don't know when it happened little boy. Sometime in the past four years you decided it was ok to grow up without checking with me. I think I will always miss the days of toddling around the park and playing in your diaper.


Bradley and Larken circa June 2008 McGuffey Park

But there is also something so special about how grown up you now are.  Letting the lady put on a face paint mask is a huge step.  With an airbrush non the less.  Chris and I just stood back and took in your whole new grown up brave self.  We smiled.  We were extra proud.  Just last year you would let a face painter come near you with a ten foot pole.  Guess we have warmed up to the idea?



Of course Batman had to do some flying once he was fully masked!




I love you my little, big Batman loving boy!