Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Lizzie had fun playing with eggs...not trying to find them yet. She just started walking last week so she was toddling around the house looking for eggs.  And trying to eat them. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Early Graduation Gift For Baby

For the past several weeks I've thought it would be a good idea to write a letter to future Lizzie, keeping track of important "firsts" from her first year and letting her know what is going on in our lives. Then I realized that she will be graduating high school in 2030. Holy crap. So that led to this "Early Graduation Gift" idea.

Early Graduation Gift

Get an envelope, write your child's name and "Do Not Open Until Graduation."

Each year at a specific time (birthday, holiday, specific date) write a letter to your child, telling them about the past year in their life, how much you love them, and any other important stuff.

Add a set amount of $$ to the yearly envelope. Because Lizzie has a May birthday she will be 18 when she graduates. 

On the 17 or 18 days leading up to graduation give your child one letter a day. I'm adding $25 to each envelope...which means that by the time Lizzie opens her 18th envelope on graduation day she will have received $450 total for graduation. Not bad if I say so myself. 

This would be a great grandparent idea too, and I'll probably add some other little keepsakes each year as well. This year I'm also adding a picture and a card from her doctor listing her 4 month height/weight which might be fun to look at.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Not Homesick

Though we've been stationed in the Charleston area for almost three years now, I still sometimes get homesick for snow and Wisconsin weather. Until I get a picture like this, when we have 80 degree, sunny weather. Then I'm good. 

This is a pic taken down the road from my mother-in-law's new home in Phillips, WI.  From two days ago. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Easy Ikea Bookshelf Redo

Finally! This is one of those projects I've been dragging my feet on for months and months but I finally have it all finished so we can use it and I can get organized.

We both really love reading and books. A lot. The only problem with that is that every time we move we have to move a dozen full, heavy boxes of books with us. So I bought this Ikea bookshelf from someone on the Charleston Navy Marketplace on Facebook back in September before we moved to new housing for $10. Then we moved and I had an actual garage I could put it in and forget about it. But it's finally done!

It was very easy. After cleaning everything, I gave it two coats of Zissner Oil Based Primer. 

Then I painted everything except the backboard with Semigloss Olympic paint in Babbling Brook (D61-2). 

I painted the backboard using some leftover white paint from another project, then I stenciled the quatrefoil design on the back with a pencil.  

Next, I hand-painted in the stencil with a sample size can of Olympic paint in Nectarina (C27-4). It didn't take as long as you would imagine, and you don't have to be perfect. 

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and it still cost a lot more than it would have to buy brand new bookcases. I think I spent less than $50 on the whole project, so I WIN!  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pottery Barn Inspired Easter Basket

While deciding what to do for an easter basket for Lizzie, I came across these lovely Pottery-Barn baskets. Lovely and very expensive.  I wasn't completely in love with any of them so I wasn't willing to shell out $24 for the liners and more for the baskets themselves. But I did like the tulle on this particular one so I decided to do an easy no-sew version for Lizzie.

First, I headed to Michaels. Luckily they were having 50% off on all baskets so I was able to get this one for only $6. I picked this because it has such a loose weave and pretty neutral colors.  

Then I picked out some tulle, and grabbed my scissors. 

I measured out the tulle. Folding it in half, I shoved it through the weave going from the inside of the basket to the outside. I then brought the excess over the top and threaded it down through the loop I just pulled through the basket. Originally I was measuring to make it as long as the basket but that became much too puffy so I cut it down a little shorter. Try cutting the tulle in diagonals to give it more of a jagged edge and make it more aesthetically appealing. 

If I were to re-do I think I wouldn't do two colors (or else I would do a blue-blue-white pattern). I don't really need a liner on the inside as I'll be putting some Easter grass in there. Otherwise this was sooo easy and cheap I'm glad I didn't spend all that money at Pottery Barn!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Baby Led Weaning

I'm a big fan of simplifying my mommy life as long as it's safe.  So when Lizzie started solids we decided to practice baby-led weaning, which I learned about from this book. If you haven't heard about the process before, it basically means that you let baby feed themselves suitable foods right from the start. No messing around with purees or spoon feeding.  I won't go into too many details, but you should definitely check out this website if you haven't heard about it. 

The reason I mention it now is because it was a lifesaver on our trip home last week. She's been feeding herself for a few months now so I didn't have to worry about hauling stupid little jars of baby food all over the state of Wisconsin. Thank the Lord Sweet Mary Baby Jesus.

Because she eats from my plate mostly, it also forces me to be more contientious about what is going into my mouth too. Normally my go-to airport snack is something greasy but this time we split a block of cheese and some fruit. I let her have anything in the fruit box except the pineapple because I'm not sure how she'd handle the chunky bits. She just cut her first two teeth (finally!) so it might not be too long now before we tackle that. 

The key with this is to LET THE BABY PUT THE FOOD IN THEMSELVES. Yes, they will drop most of it at first but they need to learn how to feed and move the food around in their mouth before they are ready to swallow. This method of feeding has about the same amount of risk of choking as spoon-feeding but make sure you do some research to be completely safe!