Saturday, December 31, 2011


I always get all tingly at the start of a new year. It's so fresh and clean, no mistakes in it, no ANYTHING in it, just blank newness waiting to be mucked about it.

I know that's rubbish.

And also I've been watching a lot of Doctor Who, which explains the British phraseology. Seriously, if I had a British accent, I'd shut up even less than I already do.

Anyway, like I said, I know the whole idea of the new year being fresh and shiny and new is utter rubbish, because really, there's nothing special about tomorrow. It's just another day. But somehow it's so full of opportunities and choices to be made or not made or unmade or remade. It's just so darn EXCITING.

I am a resolution maker, and this year I have three four resolutions for my brand new, shiny year:

1. Organize. This sounds dumb, but we live in 1200 sq feet, and until the economy turns around, we're going nowhere fast. It's time to take this hodge podge of a house and turn it into a well-mannered, organized home.

2. Get Healthy - I'm little, but I am nowhere near as healthy as I wish I was. Starting tomorrow, I'm exercising, feeding my family more whole foods and no more eating cereal that changes the color of my milk. I may even start to buy *gasp* 2% instead of whole. The end goal here is to run a 5K next December.

3. Read. In 2010, I read 100 books. 100. I didn't set myself a reading goal last year and I read precisely five books. Or so. So this year, I'm cutting the goal in quarters, because I have doula training and work and a BABY. So, in 2012, I'm reading 25 books. At least. And only seven of them can be Harry Potter.

It's funny because there are seven Harry Potter books.

4. Word. As in "The Word". My relationship with God fell to the wayside when I became a mother, but if I want to raise up this little girl in the way that she should go, I need to make sure I am on the way that I should go. I miss reading the Bible every night. I miss the closeness I had with God.

So there it is. Organze. Fit. Read. Word.


Or WORF, if you prefer.

Actually, I do.

WORF: New Years 2012

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bird Sillouette Wall Art *DIY*

When Paul and I looked into decorating Munch's room, I made a discovery.

Baby stuff is effing expensive.

It really is. Early on, I fell in love with the Bananafish Love Birds set. I love the birds and the leaves and the OMGITSSOCUTE of it all. Unfortunately, $179 on a fitted sheet, a dust ruffle, a bumper and a quilt makes my heart want to explode out of my chest. So, instead of biting the bullet, realizing that EVERYONE spends ridiculous amounts on baby bedding and purchasing the set, I settled on a pink, green and brown color scheme and that was that. We were even gifted a very cute bedding set from one of my class parents that matches the scheme perfectly:
I sort of detest this picture. It's way cuter in person. Still, as cute as the bedding is, I kept going back to that darn Bananafish. Something about the little birds and leaves and muted colors just speaks to my heart. So, instead of breaking the bank, I said "Well, maybe just the wall art. That's compromising, right?" Plus, look how cute it is:And then. Oh, and then. Did I mention that this piece retails on Amazon for $64?! Just let that sink in. I'll wait.

Once I recovered from my sticker shock induced coma, I grabbed Paul and the two of us marches ourselves down to Hobby Lobby. I love Hobby Lobby. My entire wedding was from their shelves.

Now, my version is a great deal simpler, but you could easily add whatever flowers/leaves/vining/color you wanted. You could even make the pieces fabric covered with a little bit of fabric and a stapler. It's really not tough stuff.

Here's what you'll need:
- Two 8x10 Canvases (I found a 2-pack at HL for $3.50)
- Two sheets of 8.5x11 Scrapbooking paper (I got four in case I messed up, but they only run about $.44 apeice)
- Ribbon (This is optional, depending on how you want to mount your art
- Mod Podge ( I used the matte finish, and it turned out well)
- Spongy craft brush
- Bird Template (I used this one from Under the Table and Dreaming)

This is seriously the easiest project I've ever done. You don't even have to print out the bird template. Just bring the picture up on your computer screen, zoom to the size you want it, and trace it onto printer paper. Cut that out and VOILA! insta-stencil.

Obviously, the first thing you're going to do is trace your birdie stencil onto the back, and I repeat, the BACK of your pieces of scrapbook paper. Don't do it on the front. The Back. Otherwise, you end up with pencil marks on your cute new bird.

Cut those out. I assume you know how to use scissors. Just be careful going around the rounded edges. It's easy to not round enough and end up with jaggedy edges. Not cute.

Note: Remember to trace your birdies so they are facing opposite directions. I almost made that exact mistake before I stopped and said "Wait...what?"

Now for the fun part. Using your spongy brush (I used the little one), apply Mod Podge to both the canvas and the back of your bird. I found that just a single layer on one or the other just doesn't cut it. Carefully position your bird and smooth out the air bubbles. I found that no matter what I did, I had a few air bubbles. I'm only fake crafty, so I'm not really sure how to remedy the situation, but they seemed to calm down a lot after I put on the sealing coat of Mod Podge and let them dry.

Let the Mod Podge dry for about 15 minutes, then put on a thin layer over the entire canvas, including the birdie. This will (Apparently) help seal the piece so you don't end up with a little birdie peeling off in a few months.

So, after all that, you should end up with something resembling....THISMy little birds aren't perfectly even, and I opted to go a LOT simpler than the original wall art, but I'm pleased with how they turned out. I don't even think I'll hang them with the ribbon. I like the simplicity of just mounting them on the walls.

If you wanted to do extra pieces, it would be super easy to just add them into the above instructions. If you wanted a fabric background, I would suggest using cotton and applique-ing, rather than Mod Podge, although I hear they make a type that works well for cloth, so have at it.

When we get her dresser/changing table in, these little cuties will hang above it. Soon and very soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cosleeping, the story of how we became "those" people

We cosleep. Munch sleeps next to our bed in a bassinet, and, in a month or so when she is too big, we will be taking the side off her crib and moving it into our room as a cosleeper bed.

I was always the first person to say that my child would be in her own bed just as soon as possible. I really was super judgey about parents who kept their children with them in bed past the six week mark, and I swore up and down that it would never happen in my family.

And then.

Munch came along and my boobs became the proverbial milkshake parlor. In the beginning, she slept next to our bed in a swing. At three weeks, like any good American, Kids-need-to-learn-to-be-independent parent, I moved her into her own bed in her room. She slept fine, but now I was getting up in the middle of the night, every two hours, walking into her room to nurse her, then rocking her back to sleep, a process that sometimes took the better part of an hour and left me in frustrated tears.

Finally, after a night of fruitless attempts at putting her back to sleep, I simply brought her back to bed with us. I nursed her on my side for a bit, then both of us snuggled into each other and fell asleep. I was astonished at how easy it became to keep homegirl asleep when she was with me. The arrangement worked so well that she stayed. BAM, we were suddenly not just a cosleeping family but a GASP, bed-sharing family. And when we were given a bassinet so that her sweaty little self didn't have to plastered against me all night (seriously. Munch is the sweatiest kid on the planet.), she stayed longer. It's just so darn easy to pull her into bed with me, nurse her and put her back (or not). I get way more sleep, and she sleeps great. Its also such a comfort for me when the Hubs is working late to just pull Munch into bed with me and go to sleep together.

She's four months old now, and there's not really an end in sight for our cosleeping adventures. When she's night-weaned, perhaps. Or maybe not.