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Monday, April 14, 2014

getting stains out of the baby clothes!

One of this week’s  tasks was getting out all of Owen’s tubs of baby clothes.  The first tub of clothes were around 6 months and I spent a long time just ooing and ahhing over the memories of Owen wearing them.  But then I got to the newborn tub and I almost cried.  Almost all the little things I pulled out had yellow stains all over them.  These clothes went into the tub clean and white, so I was baffled.IMG_9498 But after a little googling, I found that this was a very common issue with clothes that have been spit up on and then stored, even if they appear clean.  Numerous message boards gave good ideas for how to get them out so I combined a few and had great success.IMG_9499 IMG_9500 I have a front loader washing machine which doesn’t let me soak clothes (that’s a whole other post but I don’t think I’d buy a front loader again).  So instead, I just used a large plastic tub.IMG_9501 My mom picked this up for me at Babies R Us.  IMG_9502I filled my tub up with the hottest water I could from the sink.  I followed the instructions on the detergent tub for how much to add per gallon.  I would mix the detergent in the pitcher with a big spoon as well as I could with the water running into it before dumping it in the large tub.IMG_9505I let the clothes soak for about 8 hours.  I stirred them every so often.  I wrung them out as much as I could and ran them in a regular load with Dreft detergent.  Upon inspection all but about 4 things looked great after soaking.  The other 4 I threw back in the tub and let them soak overnight and washed them again.  And that pretty much solved my staining!!  Most of the boards I read said that if the double soaking didn’t work to lay them out in the sun for a day and that final step should get the last of the stubborn stains out.  Whew, crisis averted.IMG_9522 IMG_9521 Hope this helps if you open your cute old baby clothes and see yellow like I did! :)  Now they’re all washed and hung/folded and ready for another round of cuteness!
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Monday, March 31, 2014

33 weeks

Finally,  33 weeks (on Wednesday)!  Not gonna lie that this pregnancy has sure seemed like the longest 40 weeks ever.  Even during my short “feel good” weeks, they went slow.   I’m hoping the panic of how long my to-do list is will make this last stretch not seem quite as long as I think it will be.
Appointments:  My last 2 appointments have been quite annoying.  There seem to be more and more policies being put into place that make just getting a “normal, run of the mill” hospital birth really hard.  On Feb. 19, I met with Carissa for my 27 week appointment.  She gave me a hard time about my weight gain.  Really?!  First time that’s ever happened.  Now granted, I had gained 9 pounds from my last appointment, but really folks.  Weight gain happens.  Then, informed me that the specialist we had met with wrote in my chart that I needed to see an OB to be cleared to go back to the midwives.  AND DIDN’T FEEL THE NEED TO MENTION THAT TO ME.  I fought that one and got Carissa to agree that it wasn’t necessary.

Then I met with Ray on March 19.  He had two students with him which I always find annoying but feel too bad to say no to.  We chatted about ways to help my gbs test be negative so I wouldn’t have to get an IV this time around.  But oh, new policy, I have to get a heplock no matter what to go down to the 4th floor.  I know it’s not the end of the world, but it would be so nice to labor without a needle sticking in my hand/arm.
Baby Name:  Well, we are almost 100% sure of our name but since we haven’t announced it publicly yet, might as well just wait.  If you ask me in person, I have no problem sharing it, but I guess it will be fun to be able to share it with more people on the day he arrives.
Stuff I done for the man:  Hahahahaha.  I mean a whole lot of nothing.  Ok well I have lots of ideas but the our basement reno has taken all priority right now.  Also baby’s room had been housing the stuff from the basement, so I could barely walk into the room, let alone start decorating.  But the room got cleaned out this weekend and the painting has begun!  Here’s a little preview of the color scheme in his room.  The walls will be the aqua(ish) color with accents of  grays and yellows.760a5eea083757913610ed10ab03c4c1 Will's Yellow & Aqua Abode
The trim, closet, and window right now are a cream color so my first job is to paint the trim white.  I decided to keep Ellison’s room the same and not move her out of her crib just yet.  I felt like Owen was ready before Ellie arrived and he got a big boy bed.  But she’s just now giving us more nights without waking (if you don’t count waking up at 5:15 ready to go)and I don’t want to mess with it.  So this baby gets new white furniture.  Here’s his crib (which has arrived but is not put together yet).

I have quite the growing list of things like a blanket, his coming home outfit, art for above the crib, mobile, nursing cover, updated burp cloths, etc that need to get finished in the next 10 weeks.   I keep telling myself it doesn’t have to be done before he gets here (as he’ll be in our room for the the first month) but let’s be honest – I’d love to have it completed beforehand.

In other news: Jenna has decided not to fly out for little man’s birth.  While I’m super sad to not have her beautiful eye taking pictures, it does relieve a little pressure of only have a 3 day window in which to go into labor.  So I’ve booked Holly Birch Photography to take pictures for me.  She does amazing work and is in town so she can come whenever the big event happens.  It’s been so great to not have to worry about snapping pictures and having gorgeous shots of the biggest events in my life!

How I’m feeling:  Like a whale.  Ok, it could be worse.  Just feeling the normal end-of-pregnancy things where you have 5 pillows in your bed and still can’t sleep and are peeing every 20 minutes.  But I’m also getting really excited that we get to meet him soon!

Pictures:
January 7 (20 weeks, 6 days)Picture 1865 January 19 (22 weeks, 4 days)IMG_1597February 5 (25 weeks)IMG_1647 March 30,2014 (32 weeks, 4 days)IMG_1798
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Big Brother class

This morning, Owen and I went to Carle for a big brother class.  Another family from church was there too so it was fun to sit with them.  Even though Owen’s been through this before, this time he really “gets” it.  He talks a lot about his brother, how he’s going to help, and things he’s going to teach him.  So I thought this little class might be something fun for just him and I to do together.

When we got there, he got a snack and then went through his folder and checked everything out.  We watched a silly video about being a sibling which Owen thought was fun.Picture 1620 He picked out a baby and tried to help me put on the diaper and then swaddle him.Picture 1621 Picture 1622
Then we got paper and crayons and made a picture for baby brother.  We turned it in and they’ll laminate it for us and mail it to our house to bring to the hospital.Picture 1624 He got a cool goody bag with sunglasses, crayons, big brother stickers, and a slinky.Picture 1625 Then they had a little graduation and he got a certificate saying he’s ready to be a big brother.  Overall, a cute little class that I think he enjoyed.  Also, an interesting side note.  William has been vying for the name ‘Grayson’ since I was pregnant with Owen.  I love the name, it’s just becoming super popular around here which William didn’t believe.  In the class there was one Gracyn and one of the babies-to-be was going to be named that.  After reiterating this to William, he agreed to use it as a middle name instead of his first name.  Picture 1627 He got to choose where we ate lunch and he wanted chips and salsa, so Mexican food it was!  What a fun date with my little big man.Picture 1629
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Monday, January 20, 2014

It’s a . . .

healthy baby!!  I think I took those two words for granted with my first two babies, but we learned this time around how so important they are.

On Friday, December 20th, we loaded up the van with our bags packed for Peoria but took a detour to our 18/19 week appointment first with both kids in tow.  The ultrasound felt a little long, but I chalked it up to trying to wrangle two kids while in that small room.  Owen was pretty into it!  EPSON009EPSON008-001And then came the shocker. . .It’s a BOY!EPSON009-001I wasn’t sad in the least but, I guess I just had really thought it was a girl because of how sick I was.  Seeing how excited Owen was made it very real instantly!  I immediately started imagining opening all of Owen’s tubs of clothes and getting to use them again.  Ohh the cuteness!IMG_1525So then we headed upstairs to my midwife’s appointment and the nurse said Ellen would be right in.  But then we waited.  And waited.  And in my heart I just knew.  Something wasn’t quite right. 

Several days after I found out I was pregnant, William had a very vivid dream that we had a baby who had down syndrome.  He told me about it immediately but we hadn’t really talked about it since.  Maybe it was simply a way of preparing us for this appointment and all the emotions that came with it.  When Ellen finally came in, she informed us that our little man had choroid plexus cysts.  It is one of the “soft markers” they use for downs and trisomy 18.  She reassured us that the chances of there actually being something wrong were very very small.  And we actually left the appointment with a lot of peace.

We drove to Peoria for Christmas and had planned on having my mom open a big box of balloons the next day when we all opened gifts.  She didn’t know we had our ultrasound moved up.  But when Owen was playing cars with Grandpa, he made a comment about having a brother and with a few more probing questions, my dad had it out of him and us.  So much for the surprise. :)  Oh well. EPSON MFP imageOn January 7th, we went back to Carle and met with a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor.  She tech did a much longer ultrasound and then the doctor came in a basically did the same thing again.  Then we went to her office and chatted with her.  While she was nice, you could tell immediately she fell on the conservative side of medicine (a sentiment that has been verified by several people who have dealt with her and a midwife).  The detailed ultrasound showed no other markers or growth issues, so she felt we were pretty much in the clear. Picture 1737-001Picture 1737
Picture 1738-001 Picture 1738She did offer us a newer blood test which is a 99% accurate screen for chromosomal issues.  William said he was fine without out.  But being someone who just likes information, and since it only involved me giving blood, I went ahead and did it on the way out.

The only super annoying thing that she was looking back through my charts and made me explain all the crazy that happened after Owen’s birth with my heart (see here).  After reading and listening, she said she was going to recommend me going back to the cardiologist.  Which I had already done after Owen and before Ellie’s birth.  She asked if she could schedule that and I said no but I’d be happy to chat with my midwives about it.  It just felt like she was looking for things.  Ugh.

But less than a week later, my blood results came back great!  While I know we could have handled what ever challenges this little man brought us, we are so so thankful that we are having a healthy baby!  Now to compromise on a name.
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Alyssa's shower

My cousin, Alyssa (and her hubby Nate) is due any day with her first little girl.  This weekend I got to help throw her an adorable shower.  Her nursery is navy and  pink so that’s what I went with for the decor!  Navy is almost always associated with boy decor, so I had to get a little creative.  I grabbed some fabric at Joann’s and with my rotary cutter, cut them into 1 inch strips.  I simply tied them to a ribbon to make a little banner.  (I didn’t get a great shot of this in action, so here it is in the making).Picture 1908I also make a simple 2 tier diaper cake (directions here).  I tied some tulle around the bottom to make a “tutu” skirt.  The flower piece around the top layer is headband for baby K!Picture 1901Here’s her gift from my mom and myself.  She registered for the pink baskets which I filled with some of my favorite things for baby.Picture 1927Here’s a few beautiful shots from Erica.  I took the leftover pieces of fabric and sewed them together for a table runner.

The pink lanterns were just bought from Hobby Lobby.  I found a small embroidery hoop at the IDEA store for $.25.  I took it apart and covered both parts with more strips of the pink and navy fabrics to make little “mobiles”.  These all hung over the chair where Alyssa opened her gifts.It was such a sweet shower with cute games and yummy food.  Here’s a few of the ladies with my cousin Alyssa (who’s in the black and white striped dress).  Cannot wait to hear the news of this little girl’s arrival and finally learn her name!!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Pinned It, Did It {file tubs and recipes}

pinned it
I’ve done quite a few projects lately so I’m feeling the need to resurrect my Pinned It, Did It Mondays.  Yeah yeah I know it’s Friday.  I’m working through a huge list of blogs to catch up on and this was an easy one to write today.  Pinned It, Did It is where I actually take some of the things I’ve found on Pinterest, put them into action, and then review them for you.
pin #1
Oh how I love January organization.  I’ve been itching to start on the little man’s room but right now the entire contents of our basement are in there, so I can’t do anything.  So I’m just working on a few small projects until I can go organizing crazy!  I pinned this a year or so ago and finally just did it!  Memory Boxes - Great idea to organize kids paperwork, school work, pictures, etcSource: Baby Boxes from Destination of Domestication
My pictures:IMG_0845 My review: I bought 7 of these tubs from Wal-Mart. 3 for kids and 4 for some of my school/home files.  I bought several large packs of file folders (yes this took my entire “home” budget for several months.)  For my kid’s boxes, I made folders with the labels:
  • Baby Information
  • Health Records
  • Documents & Certificates
  • Age 0-3
  • Age 4-5
  • Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade
  • Lots of extra blank ones for things I didn’t think of
Then I just cut their names out of vinyl and done!  Now no more searching through all my piles files to try and find something.  Each kid has their own tub where I can throw everything pertinent to them!
pin #2While I’ve made it known that cooking is not my forte, it has been nice to finally feel well enough to make something for my family.  Here’s a few recipes that we’ve enjoyed the last month:Prepare a delicious holiday feast with inspiration from our 20-plus Christmas dinner menus. Each menu features a main course paired with two or three side dishes to jump-start your Christmas meal planning.Source: Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin from Better Homes and Gardens
My review: Sad, no picture, but this was fabulous!   I made this for our Christmas dinner and it got rave reviews from myself and William (kids wouldn’t touch it).  Now, I did try it later with a not-so-good cut of meat and I learned my lesson not to do that again.

pin 3
Eat Yourself Skinny!: Better-than-Chipotle Bowl...yummy
SourceBetter Than Chipotle Bowl from Eat Yourself Skinny
My picture:Picture 1708My Review: I love Chipotle so I can’t say this was better than Chipotle.  It doesn’t have quite the kick that they get into their salads.  But this was really good!  I love cilantro so this was right up my alley.  William ate it with chips like a salsa and I just ate mine right out of the bowl like a salad.  Definitely worth keeping this pin.pin 4 IMG_5395
Source: Mongolian Beef Broccoli from Blessed Eichelbergers
My picture: Picture 1665My review:  yummy!  It’s definitely a little sweet and I only used about half the brown sugar.  Next time, I’d use only about 1/3.  But served over rice, William definitely approved.  And as you can tell by my pictures, I threw in a few extra veggies into mine.

Happy cooking!
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