Monday, May 4, 2015

Welcome Young Prince!




So the blog has been neglected lately (how many posts do I start with that phrase?!?) But I have a semi good reason. We welcomed a "Young Prince" into the world. He arrived the day after Valentines Day.

The Little Princess' birth was a little nutty. As in, my water broke in my sleep and she was born some 40 minutes later. Oh and we live an hour from the hospital. Yeeeah...fun times. Turns out you can get there in less time when you really need to. Turns out, we really needed too. So the pending arrival of the Young Prince left us (the husband especially) a little nervous. How nervous? Well, he actually purchased an Emergency Delivery Kit off of Amazon. That's right, for $10 you can deliver your baby on the side of the road and have everything in one tidy kit. I found this whole thing quite comical (I don't think the husband really appreciates that). I mean seriously, what exactly did he plan to do with this handy dandy kit on the side of the road. I can just see him ripping it open and gauze and clamps and scissors flying everywhere! Anywho, I'm grateful he was willing to be prepared but I WAS NOT having this baby on the side of the road (because everyone who does totally planned on it - right?). Thankfully, we didn't need it. Not sure if the husband wasn't just a teeny bit disappointed that he didn't get to use his kit. Just a teeny bit. ;)

The story of the rest of his life began Saturday, February 14, yup, Valentine's Day. I was 5 days "overdue" (whatever that means) and the weather forecast was not looking good for the coming week. Snowpocolypse 2015 was going to happen people and there is nothing like an impending snowstorm to make women drop babies left right and center! So I woke up that morning and decided to go and get my hair cut - for me that is a sure fire way to get things moving. It was the 10 year anniversary of mine and the husband's engagement so we celebrated with a lunch date. 


See. Hair all did.
Obligatory belly shot.





















All day I was having contractions about 10 minutes a part but I wasn't telling anyone that. You see when you have babies quickly and are overdue and have a husband who has a touch of PTSD from the last baby, everyone panics when you scratch your nose the wrong way. So yeah, quietly having contractions all day. When I went to bed I was pretty sure that it was going to happen that night (if the husband is reading this this is probably news to him - sorry). I discretely made sure my bag was sorted and I left clothes out to throw on in a hurry.

Around 2am I woke up to more contractions. Not bad ones but these ones were 3-5 minutes apart. Even though the contractions weren't bad I decided we'd better get on the road (remember, one hour away). 

About 20 minutes down the road the contractions started to get more intense. A moment of honesty, labor scares me. I've had two unmedicated deliveries and it's far from being a box of fluffy ducks. But I hate not knowing what is going to happen, I like to be in control (shocker) and there's nothing like having a baby to make you feel a little at the mercy of whatever happens. 

I will never forget the moment my contractions picked up. It is at this point that I started to wonder if I can really do this. I start to panic. I can tell you the very moment and the very place on that dark road as we sped down the interstate that I breathed out a prayer. There were no eloquent words, just a breath of "O God." Right at that moment this song came on the radio:


Now every time I hear it, I cry. I don't believe that things happen by accident. I needed those words at that moment and I so vividly remember being in the middle of intense contractions and singing along to every word, sometimes all I could muster was a whisper, but in those words I found reassurance and strength. It's a moment I will never forget. (Here I go getting all sappy on you) ;)

We made it to the hospital in time (much to the husbands relief) and the young prince was born about 20 minutes later. I felt awesome right afterwards, I could have taken on the world. 

The staff were fabulous and told me I was their favorite patient because I was so easy (I think that they liked that they got to sit around while I did my thing).

I believe the words, "Don't touch me!" came out of my mouth at one stage but the husband forgives me (because I have born him a man child!).

I also think I told the nurses that I knew it was going to happen that night because I got my hair cut and, circling my face with my hand, "I do not usually look this cute!"

I'll spare you all the gory details (because don't no one need that visual!) but it was perfect. And he was perfect (all 6lbs,10oz of him). And life is very, very good. Welcome Young Prince. 






 PS: The Princesses are over the top besotted with him!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Overdue and Over It.


Today I am 40 weeks and two days pregnant. 

Today I feel like a ticking bomb. I can't hardly scratch my nose without someone grabbing my bag and heading for the door.

My dear sweet husband has started treating me like an American Express..."don't leave home without it". And as much as I love spending time with him I'm feeling a little bit like his latest accessory. 

Yes, my body hurts at the end of the day. It is impossible to put on my shoes and breath at the same time. I feel like Free Willy when I try to roll over in bed. My pants don't fit and I have resorted to wearing leggings 85% of the time (and don't try to tell me leggings aren't pants. Leggings are totally pants when you're 40 weeks pregnant and you have a bowling ball in your pelvis). 

But I am one of the lucky ones. I don't get especially huge and for the most part I stay active and really enjoy being pregnant.  I like the roundness of my belly and the way it shifts with my baby's movements. I enjoy the process of growing my babies and even though this is my third baby I am still amazed at what my body can accomplish. I love to read about how he grows from almost nothing into this perfect little person. I love that when I say "feed me" food magically appears. I love afternoon naps. 

I have enjoyed this pregnancy just as much as the other two, if not more so. I say this because this might very possibly be my last pregnancy and my last baby. Because of this I have chosen to relish every last beautiful and uncomfortable detail. Every kick and wiggle reminds me that this might be the last baby I feel move inside me. 

But dear friends, I know you are so excited for us. I know you are anxious to meet our new baby. And I know that many women are anxious to have their pregnancies over with as soon as possible but that is not me. 

Can I ask you, please, don't rob me of these last few days. Don't rush this special time for me. Don't ask me if I'm ready to be relieved or ready for it to over with because though I want very much to meet my new baby, there is also a big part of me that will mourn the passing of this stage in my life. There is a part of my heart that will ache a little knowing that my baby days will soon come to an end. And though I look forward to the future ages and stages and all the magic that those will hold, I want to redeem these days. I want to make life slower and really appreciate and enjoy all that this time has to offer. 

Because I cannot get these days back. Before I know it my belly will be empty and my arms will be full. Before I know it there will be the last time I have a newborn. Before I know it the teeny tiny clothes will be replaced with bigger and bigger ones. Before I know it there will be no more tell tale signs that a baby has been in my arms and in my house. 

Everyone will be big. Everyone will be independent. Everyone will be gone. 

So again, please allow me to redeem these days, all of them. I want so much to just slow down and just breathe in life and all it's beautiful craziness. I want to enjoy all the little moments. I want to selfishly enjoy these last days that I have with my baby while it's just me and him. 

So please wait with me. Please give me these days. 

C

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ruched Duvet Cover DIY


In New Zealand everyone uses duvets and duvet covers. I move here and use the word "duvet" (doo-vay in case you were wondering) and my husband looks at me like I'm speaking a foreign language (Maybe it is a foreign word. Is it French? Ok, so maybe he had a point). So since I'm all "when in Rome" I was doing the Roman thing and buying comforter sets. See the (s) at the end of 'set'. Yup, multiple. Here's the problem, we actually sleep in our bed. Kids get in our bed. Dogs jump on the bed. Cats hide from dogs on the bed. It is possible that I eat in the bed (get over it husband). Over time that thing gets naaaah-sty! So I proceed to try and stuff it in my washing machine and wash it. And my washing machine proceeds to eat it. And being cheap, I put it back on the bed thread bare and still kinda gross. Yes, we are disgusting nasty people.

Thus I decided that I was going to buy a duvet cover. I fell in love with this one...


Its gorgeous. Its from Pottery Barn. It's $179 for just the cover. Ouch, So being cheap  crafty like I am I decided to DIY one. I mean, how hard could it be, right? (FYI: My friend later told me there are some awesome tutorials out there on how to do this. Me being me I just winged it. Tutorials are for wimps. ;) )

I got to work right away (ie. before my husband got home and tried to talk me out of it) and here is my version:


It's no Pottery Barn but I'm pretty stoked with it. Want to make one? Well, I'll do my best to talk you through it.

Supplies:
1. Three flat white sheets. You can get these on sale from Walmart for around $10. They're 200 count and pretty nice and soft yet sturdy enough to stand up to wear and tear from being on the bed.
2. Thread
3. Scissors
4. Sewing machine
5. Twill tape or ribbon

Step 1 

Clean your floors. Seriously. You are going to have loooooots of fabric and it's going to be all over your floors and its white. Need I say more?

Open your sheets. I should tell you to wash them first but I didn't. Do as I say not as I do.



These are the ones I purchased. I used two queen size sheets for our queen bed.

Step 2

Cut off the top finished edge off of one sheet (leave the top edge of the other sheet) and the bottom finished edge of the other sheet.

Snip, snip!
Step 3 

Sew the raw bottom edge of one sheet to the raw top edge of the other sheet. You'll now have a reeeeeally long piece of white fabric (see why I told you to clean your floors!)  Now here's why I didn't wash my sheet. When you unfold it there are all these lovely straight lines running down the entire length. I used these lines as guidelines for where I was going to gather. If you were a good little seamstress then you're going to need to get the old iron out and press your creases as guidelines.

Step 4

Decide how far apart you want your gathers. In hindsight I would not have done as many gathers as I did. You'll definitely want one on each edge about 1/2" from the edge. Then at least 2 in the middle of the sheet.

To gather set your machine on a its longest, biggest stitch and sew all the way down it. DO NOT back stitch at either end and leave long threads for gathering. If lots of fabric jammed into a machine scares you, I suggest you look away...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Step 4

 Lay out your duvet and cut your backing sheet to fit. Make sure you leave some seam allowance.


Step 5

Take your twill tape or ribbon and lay it the length of your duvet to measure how long it needs to be.

Step 6

Gather, gather and gather some more. Don't worry about the correct length just yet. You'll adjust it later.


Step 7

Place your cut twill tape or ribbon onto of each gather and adjust your gathers to fit. This is not an exact science and the gathers are very forgiving so don't obsess too much over it. Use like a gazillion pins on each row of gathering. Don't skip this step (and don't blame me if you do!) Now sew down the length of each piece of twill tape close to one of the edges. When you get to the end, turn around and come back up the other side. Do this for each row of gather except the two outer edges.

Step 8 

Sew your duvet top to the bottom rights sides together.Use pins. Pins are your friends. Don't sew along the entire top (the one with the finished edge). I sew about 8" in on each side. Turn it right side out and squeal a little because it's almost done!

Step 9

For the closures for the top I used snaps but your can use buttons or ties. Whatever floats your boat.

Step 10 

Stuff it and throw it on your bed. Toss yourself on top and snuggle. :)


Not too shabby, huh? One thing I did to my cover was add snaps to the inside corners of the cover and to the four corners of the duvet. This helps keep the duvet in place. Don't worry if your don't have a snap press. When I was growing up I remember my Mum using safety pin so you could do that instead.

So my biggest fear in making this (aside from the ruffling - ahhhhh) was the fact that it's white. But let me tell you, white is your friend. White you can work with. White you can bleach. Colors or patterns you cannot bleach. I am all about the white. Also, it hasn't gotten dirty at all. Perhaps we just aren't as nasty as we used to be, I don't know. And another plus, it gets dirty? You whip that sucker off the bed and toss it in the laundry. And because it's not bulky your washer shouldn't eat it.

You should definitely make one. Don't be scared of the ruffles. It took me about a day of on and off work (the small people were making demands on my time!). You can totally do it!

-C

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pregnancy Questionaire: Week 19


Did I mention I am knocked up? Yup, kid number 3. Life is about to get reeeeally interesting. Tomorrow we are having our big ultrasound and we're taking the kids. It's funny, having two other kids, especially one who is older (6 years) makes this pregnancy a lot less about just me and the baby and more about all of us. The princesses are fascinated by what is going on. They don't really get it but I get some really interesting questions and comments ("whoa mummy, that dress makes you look HUGE!" - said in a positive way that only a 6 year old can say). 
The weeks are passing so quickly, too quickly. Next week I will be half baked. Crazy. But then the months can't pass soon enough seeing as every time I leave the house BP is convinced that I am headed to the hospital to have the baby. Oh and the touching. I'm not a toucher in the first place so having two small people want to hug, kids, stroke and shake the baby fifteen thousand times a day is about to drive me nuts. Nuts.  It's going to be a long 5 months. 
So, a quick lowdown of what's going on...
How far along? 19 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 10lbs. Whoops but it is what it is. :)
Maternity clothes? Yeah buddy! Since like 6 weeks! This time around I found some pants with stretchy panels in the side. Where have these been all my life?!?They look like normal jeans on the front and back but the sides have elastic. These pants are the BOMB! Check 'em out at Old Navy here. I swear, they should make all pants this way. I plan to wear them long after I'm pregnant. I will call them my "Going Out to Dinner Pants." The kids will see them and yell, "Golden Corral here we come!"
Stretch marks? Just the previous ones.
Sleep: Only at 4pm in the afternoon. Grrrr....
Best moment this week: Ultrasound tomorrow! Woop! Woop!
Have you told family and friends: Yup. Told family first then made the big Facebook announcement at 16 weeks.
Movement: I'm at that 'was that a taco or a baby' stage.
Food cravings: Carbs. Chicken burgers from Burger King. Gross I know. Oh and the other day I bought Ramen noodles that I've not cooked yet because I changed my mind when I got home.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Salad. Gag. But why oh why can't I want salad food. Pregnancy plus carbs does not bode well for my waistline!
Exercise: Zumba 3-4 times a week. Makes me feel good about my ever expanding body. 
Have you started to show yet: Yes. I think I started showing as soon as I took the test. My abdominal muscles waved the white flag early. Traitors.
Gender prediction: I'm not sure don't have a gut feeling. But if I had to pick one I'd say girl. But then I was sure LP was going to be a boy. 
Pregnancy Symptoms: Tired. So tired. Some might say I'm a tad moody (ok, so the husband would say I'm incredibly moody but I think maybe he's gotten a little sensitive. Or maybe I am moody). Baby gut. 
What I Miss: Cold lunch meat. Weird because I'm 'meh' about it when I'm not pregnant but when I'm pregnant I crave it so badly. 
What I'm Excited About: Teeny clothes. I love teeny tiny things. :)
Here's to 19 weeks and 21 more! (Excuse the camera bathroom shots!)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Organizing the Things: Book Edition


Books. They breed. Late at night while you sleep they are busy multiplying and before you know it your house looks like this:


We have a lot of books. They're given for birthdays, picked up at yard sales, and then at random people will drop boxes of books on my doorstep. I don't always know who these gifts are from and in these situations I can't help but wonder if they know the mixed blessing they are bestowing on us hence the anonymity. Don't get me wrong, we love books and a box of new to us books causes great excitement amongst the small people. However, do you find that your kids can't just look at one book? My kids have to look at 5 or 6 at a time and then they "forget" where they're supposed to go when they're done with them. Also, because we have so many I find that a lot of books just do not get read. They tend to just get lost on the shelf slotted in to be read later but often never to be seen again.

To combat this problem (books that don't get read are just sad) I turned this (FYI: This is about 1/8th of the books I had to sort. They didn't all fit on my 10 ft long dining table):


Into this:



Ahhh...that's better. And yes, it has for the most part solved the book mess problem. We've had it like this for around 8 months and  miraculously, the books get put back in the correct folder and if they don't its easier for the princesses to put them back where they belong.

The boxes are from IKEA but I bought them off of Amazon.


The labels I printed from HERE. They're cute and free. It could also be cute and useful to have a picture for each book category.

So if you're looking for a quick and easy way to organize your books I highly recommend these boxes or you could do the flowing out the door technique like in the first picture. ;)

-C

Sunday, August 17, 2014

School Days


Tomorrow marks the second week of school for Big P. Were you wondering how I fared dropping my precious flower off? Did I cry? Did she? Did the hours drag by until I could see her sweet face? Well, after an excited nights sleep ("GO TO SLEEP" x 4000) we walked her to her classroom, she sat down at her chair and that was it. She didn't even say good-bye. Seriously. No lingering hugs. No slight hesitation. Barely a glance people. Ungrateful little punk. 

And me? How did I feel? Well, this was a little unexpected but the following pretty much sums it up...


Those other people? They're the other Mums and Dads. Of the 1st graders.  

I'll admit, for two seconds I felt this...



But then, as the door shut behind us...



And when we fled exited the building...



But it wasn't until we were leaving the school parking lot that this emotion hit me...


I know, I am a terrible, terrible person.

But let me be serious for a second, here's the moral of the story: When it's right, it's right. I was ready. She was ready. Her school is awesome. Her teacher is awesome. When it's right, it's right. 

-C

PS: And if you were wondering what I'm up to while Big P is at school, here ya go...


Afternoon naps yo. Don't judge.