Thursday, April 29, 2010

Diaper show off

Readers of my blog this last week have seen my current project--a handful of super-cute cloth diapers for my almost-five-month-old son. Here is the round up (which include a couple new ones at the end for you faithful readers). I now have 16 diapers for him in his current size, half of them functional red and blue, and half of them with fun fabrics and prints.

First of all, a soft minky diaper. I love how soft this one is, and I think it's Adam's favorite one.
Happy baby.
Little animals and camping diaper in honor of his Scoutmaster daddy!
The backs.
I experimented with fabric paint on some of the diapers I had already made and the results were great.
Star Trek diaper made from a Star Trek t-shirt using applique on the back and paint on the front.
I love the U.S.S. Enterprise on the back.
LOST diaper made with fabric paint.
A cute Russian fabric as a nod to my interest in Russia. (I minored in Russian and spent three months there on Study Abroad for those of you who didn't know).
The back.
And finally, my fun patchwork diaper made from patching together PUL from all of the other diapers I made. I took pictures of it when it was finished too, but the colors were funny in the photograph, so am posting some pictures from before I quite finished (it still needed topstitching and some velcro at this point).
This diaper took way too much effort! PUL is so hard to work with when you're trying to make 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch seams! All the seams are encased seams for extra waterproofing.

So there you go! My fun diaper project. I'm done for now, but I'm pretty excited for when Daniel goes up a size in diapers because I'll have an excuse to make even more fun ones. :]

This post is linked up to Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design, Strut Your Stuff at Something Simple, and Sew and Tell at AmyLouWho!

First shared bathtime!

I so desperately wish I had been able to take a picture tonight when I gave the kids their first combined bath, but I couldn't step away for the camera. Here was my sequence of events:

Adam leaves for home teaching
I change Daniel into his nighttime diaper and decided he needs a bath because of the gunk in his neck
Katrina tells me she needs to go to the bathroom, so I deposit a naked Daniel in his crib and help her
She had already pooed
So I put her in the tub with the water running, then run over to put water in Daniel's tub.
I run back to check on Katrina and she has turned the water to the cold side so it's freezing. I let the water out of the tub.
I go get Daniel's tub, full of water, and put it inside her tub
I get Daniel, who was screaming and naked this whole time.
Katrina turns on the showerhead and I barely get it turned off in time before Daniel gets hit by the water
They proceed to have a very fun combined bath and both kids enjoy it.

Whew! Are you as exhausted reading that as I am from doing it?

So I'm going to post another post tonight with all of the fun diapers I've done. It's not meant to be overkill, it's simply so I can show them off in a few blog link parties without linking all the diaper posts from the last week. I'm done with diapers for now. I have a yoga bag to make for a friend. Last night and today I worked on a very simple but super cute project that I can't share yet because it's a gift! Those are my favorite kinds of projects--simple but cute!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One of my long, meandering posts

I know I have the bad habit of writing really long posts that cover ten different topics--this is one of them, sorry! I sometimes try to kick the habit, but I'm just so darned lond-winded. Does anyone else keep a running list in their head during the day of things that happened that they want to tell their spouse about? Adam and I chat fairly regularly on the computer but I still keep up a list of things to tell him that are funnier/easier to tell in person. I also have a running list of things to share on the blog, which I regularly forget about and then have to try to remember what they all were!

So this diaper isn't finished but I'm done sewing until tonight and felt like blogging now, and what's a good blog post without pictures of either A. my kids or B. my crafts?
I found this idea on a Cloth Diaper Sewing forum I'm on (yes things like that really exist). I'm pretty proud of this diaper because I figured out how to do it just by looking at the other person's pictures and by one comment she made on the techniques. I had to use basically every scrap of PUL (polyurethane laminate) I had large enough to make into a square and still ended up scrounging for scraps, but the result is great!
It just needs to be topstiched and have the velcro sewn on the wings.

I think it looks awesome--possibly my new favorite.
So, children updates. Daniel is sleeping all right--last night he only ate once during the night but woke up a bunch more than that. He usually eats three times at night. It's not too bad--he's a quick eater and I just fall asleep sitting up in bed and then after five or ten minutes I wake up and put him back in his crib. He is starting to grasp toys and likes to laugh. Mostly he just watches me and Katrina all day, though I'm trying to make sure I read to him and interact with him one-on-one. He still has a kind of fussy temperament but when he's in a good mood he's the sweetest little baby.
Katrina is actually a little easier these days. She is still hitting but I just grab her hands and hold them, and then she signs "sorry" and we move on. It's not as good as if she didn't hit, but it works. She likes to scream and throw things too, but at least she says sorry now without me telling her first.
I called Early Childhood Intervention after the doctor recommended it. Her pediatrician wants kids her age to be putting words together, and while her vocabulary is growing, she doesn't string words together. She has a few phrases that are two words long, but they're words we always say in sequence, like "all right," "thank you," and a new one--"nownit (found it)." They are coming in next week for an initial discussion and then will evaluate her. I have mixed feelings about calling them. Relief, because I feel like she needs a little help. Guilt, because I feel like it's my fault for not spending as much one-on-one time with her and by watching tv so much since Daniel was born. Also, I'm wondering if it'll turn out to be nothing and then I'll be embarrassed! Katrina is constantly surprising me with what she does know. She can count to three! We always count before going over speed bumps and so when we're driving she tells me "One, two three, bump!" So I go out of my way to find roads with speed bumps. :] She picked up her foam numbers this morning and said, "nine, nine." I looked over and she was holding the 6 and the 9. I identified them and then we started playing with all of the numbers. I tried to get her to identify the numbers and she couldn't do it correctly, but she is starting to say numbers and recognizes that those particular symbols are numbers, just not which is which. Yesterday she was reading a counting book and saying, "One, two, dree, seben." Unfortunately she seems to have a mental block on colors, but we keep trying to teach them to her.
I'll be interested in how far, if any, her speech is delayed. At her 2-year visit they asked if she could say 20 words. The internet says kids her age should have a vocabulary of 50-100 words. One person said their kids' therapist said they should have a vocab of 250-300 words. I am keeping a running list now with her words. It has six categories: Names, Words she says clearly, Words we understand, Words she tries to say (but take a lot more effort to understand or are so far from the real word that no one else would understand), Words she imitates on a regular basis but never says by herself, and Words that she signs. I'm counting her working vocabulary as the words she can say clearly (including names) plus the words she uses regularly that we understand even if they're not super clear. They come up to 96! I was amazed at that. Plus she's imitating us more and more. I'll purposely end my sentences with easy words because she often will repeat the last word I say, so I try to make it a good one!
Funny things:
--When she's eating a meal in the dining room and I'm in the kitchen or living room feeding Daniel, I'll often hear, "Mom! MOOOOM!" I look over, say "Yes?" and she says. "Mmmm. MMMMMMM!" That's so I know that she likes her food. :]
--I hear a lot of, "Mom? Mom!! Mom!!" and when I look at her and say "Yes?" (she will keep saying "Mom" until I look at her and say yes, just looking or just saying "yes" aren't enough by themselves) she'll respond, "Hi Mom."
--Often when I go in to wake her up in the morning, one of the first sleepy words to come out of her mouth is, "Book?" So I leave a book by her bed sometimes so I can read it to her when she wakes up.
--She loves her little wooden dolls I made for her and I often find them sitting on various surfaces with two of them kissing. She especially loves the Nana and Poppop dolls and the other day Adam said she had a little dialogue between them that consisted of "Hi! "Hi!" and then a kiss.
--If the characters on tv ask the viewer to interact with them, like dancing or doing the "Sprout stretch," she follows along.
--Going out to the car and back takes approximately ten minutes because she wants to go up and down all the many stairs by herself and is really good at dawdling and teaching me patience. :] I typically have enough patience but it is definitely stretched if Daniel is on the verge of screaming.
K, that's all about Katrina for now! And I can't promise that I won't post again tonight when I finish my Russian fabric diaper. I'm nearly done with diapers. Just this patchwork one, the Russian one, and once I get it in the mail, a Toy Story fabric applique one. I decided against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one for now, though it's cute fabric.
One last thing. A couple of months ago I heard of several people who got their student loans forgiven if they had a balance of less than $1000. I thought to myself how awesome that would be if it happened to me. I felt guilty for doing so, but I said a prayer asking if maybe I could have my loan forgiven too, especially because we've been sacrificing and working so hard to pay it off quickly. The next month my bill arrived like normal and I figured the time had passed where they were writing off loans (for tax purposes, since UHEAA is a non-profit organization, they forgive loans if they extra funds at the end of the year). Last week I made my final payment! Hooray! Then a few days later I checked my account and I owed 12 cents in interest. Erg! I called and they said it would be written off. A few days after that I checked just to see if the 12 cents was gone and to my surprise, my last payment (a large one too) was back in my account as a credit. A phone call later, it turns out they did forgive my loan! We actually found the letter yesterday where they informed me of it. It had gotten lost on the counter under the junk mail that I was waiting to recycle. So that's my story of a direct answer to my prayer and it reaffirms my testimony that the Lord blesses us for being responsible people and doing our part, plus he knows all the things that are important to us, even if they don't mean much in the long run (like one month of a loan payment).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Geekiness Extraordinaire

Okay, so my geekiness has reached new heights. I made this diaper out of a Star Trek t-shirt. I ended up appliqueing the Enterprise from the front of the shirt onto the fabric from the back of the shirt. And then I painted a few extra touches on the wings of the diaper. If you're not savvy in Star Trek insignia, those four dots signify a Captain. :]

I like the above picture because it looks like the Enterprise is literally flying off of the diaper. But the one below is a little truer to what it looks like, if a bit blurry.

Unfortunately, my other super-geeky diaper didn't turn out so well. I'm going to try to fix it with some black fabric paint, but I need to let it dry first. Don't worry; it will be ready in time for the LOST season finale in a few weeks.

And now I'm off to bed! Here's hoping Daniel will sleep better than last night, when he woke up at 9:30, 12:00, 1:00, and 4:30.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Scout campout

Adam's away for a campout tonight. :[ He was asked to put it together Wednesday and was less than enthusiastic as he had to leave tonight. The Scoutmaster is in his residency right now and can't really perform as scoutmaster anymore, so Adam is stepping up and taking over. This exact same things happened a year and a half ago, actually.

I finally got the living room cleaned. It's been messy for so long. We moved all of Katrina's toys except her play kitchen into her room two days ago and that pretty well confines the toy mess in her room and it's simpler to clean up. However, she's had two days of no nap. Soooo, we need to find some way to store the toys so that we can lock them away, or possibly face a napless Katrina every day. Hmm.

It's been a pretty productive day here cleaning-wise, but I didn't get dinner made. Oh well. Cleaning or cooking, at least I got something done. Katrina doesn't mind chicken patties and I don't mind cereal.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because everyone likes superheros and Harry Potter

Painting diapers with fabric paint. Adam keeps calling me a nerd but hello! They're cool! I also have a Star Trek diaper planned and in the next batch, when Daniel outgrows these diapers (hopefully not for awhile, but I can plan, right?), I'd love to make a few more (hem, Lord of the Rings? Star Wars? Toy Story, if he's anything like his sister?). I still have a fun Russian print in the mail and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Print that was totally an impulse buy and I'm not sure if I'll actually use. Oh, and I'm making a LOST diaper with the Dharma logo on it. I'm not sure if I'm going to paint one of our existing diapers or one of the new ones though.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pictures and rearranging furniture

I love rearranging our furniture. Our living room has gone through multiple iterations since we moved here almost two years ago. Today I was reflecting on the garbage pit that my living room resembles and considering whether or not to move Katrina's toys into her room to try to contain the mess in there. My brain started whirring and a I ended up changing things in the living room, Katrina's room, and our room too! My sewing stuff, which ended up scattered after we moved the crib into our room, is now in a little corner in the living room behind the couch. All of Katrina's toys except her kitchen toys are in her room. The mini elliptical machine is more accessible. The changing table is in our room. It's great!

Here are a bunch of pictures from the last few days. Katrina showing her Star Trek pride.
Daniel talking to me from the bumbo. His left hand is whacking the side over and over. He likes to whack things a lot. Right now he is nursing and pauses regularly to smile at me and hit me several times with his hand.

Getting a little more forceful in his conversation.

This is by far the cutest diaper I have made yet. It has minky fabric on the outside.

And here it is on Daniel.

I also made two other diapers with knit fabric on the outside. You have to be careful with cotton because it wicks moisture onto the outside of the diaper, but I followed a specific technique I found online and we'll see how it works.

Aren't they adorable? Animal friends and camping!

Katrina got a bathing suit, sandals, and a cover-up from her aunt for her birthday. She loves them!

She also got a tutu and new outfit. This hat is too small for her, but she loves wearing hats.

I was in the middle of cleaning her room and putting away all the old disposable diapers, and Katrina decided to help by taking things back out after I cleaned.

She also likes to take the camera and press the "button," a word that she really likes to say.

This next one is entitled "Self-portrait."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Emergency Preparedness

I don't know how many of you have a decent food storage, but we don't. It is something that has bothered me in the past but it just hasn't felt like we can devote the energy and money into it at the time. Plus there's the fact that if I buy food that I'm never going to use (like dried refried beans), then it feels like a waste of money. It's hard to figure out a balance between buying the necessities for survival and buying a rotating food storage.

But a couple months ago I came across the document at this link. I immediately liked it because unlike other not-so-clear-cut counsel (ranging from "buy a few extra cans of food a week" to "a person needs a x bags of flour for a month"), this tells me exactly what to buy. I showed it to Adam and he liked it too. But then I kind of backed away from the idea because nowhere did it tell me exactly how long this supply of food was supposed to last, and I kind of wanted to have a better idea of how much food I'm storing. Then a few weeks passed, I heard the news of several more small earthquakes, and I started feeling a growing urgency again to prepare. After all, "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear," and we are not prepared. We have had a couple of power outages since living here, one in the middle of winter, and we were sadly ill-equipped. We have a handful of flashlights (which are all in the wrong places--I have no idea where any of them currently are, though I suspect several have been lost in the black hole of Scout campouts), some matches but no candles, and food for a couple of days. So this list appeals to me because it gives not only a list of specific foods to get, but first aid and hardware store objects too.

Well, I found this list at another link with more information, and it turns out that it's only intended to give you 3-7 days worth of food and supplies. While that doesn't seem like much, it is enough to get through most natural disasters. If we follow this plan for six months, then we'll be in really good shape in case of an emergency. After that we can work on a three-month supply like our church leaders have counseled. And years from now, when we have a house and a basement, we can work on a year's supply.

So I just thought I would share this helpful link because I know there are several readers of this blog who are in exactly the same situation as us--in a small apartment with limited space and limited budget. We have been trying hard to have Family Home Evening each week and this list also creates ready-made FHEs for the next six months. Well, for the adults at least. For FHE with Katrina we talked about how Sunday is a special day where we are reverent.

Laughing video

It's been awhile since we had a video, isn't it? Our video camera was full and our computer out of memory, but I moved a bunch of things to our external drive and freed up some space. Today I looked back at the blog to see what Katrina was doing at Daniel's age and found a video of her laughing, so I decided we needed a video of Daniel laughing. Sorry it's lengthy--I got caught up in concentrating on making him laugh. Don't you love his little dimple? He got it from his daddy.

He's a fairly serious baby but I know a few tricks. :]

This week I have a couple of crafts going on. Did I mention that I ordered some cute fabrics to finish up my diaper stash? Now that Katrina is potty-trained (today was our first day with absolutely no accidents) and wearing pull-ups for sleeping, I have fewer to diaper to wash each night and it would be nice to be able to wash every other day instead of every day. So I decided to go ahead and make the remaining diapers that I have supplies for. These ones are all going to be cute. I got some minky fabric today as well as two cute knit prints. I think I have two other prints in the mail and plans to use fabric paint on one diaper. Those will go quickly since I have so much practice. The other project is to make a yoga tote for a friend of mine. The construction of the bag looks pretty simple, there's just a few tricky spots that I need to figure out with muslin before I start on any real fabric.

Well, I'm currently munching on some carrots to counteract the effect of the fast food Adam is out getting. Daniel and Katrina both tend to wake up from naps at 4, right when I want to be starting on dinner, and then today Adam got home a little later than normal, so no homemade dinner tonight. :[ That's all right, because I have been doing so much better lately and most of our meals are homemade and not fast food or cereal like they were just a few months ago.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Birthday Party!

As I've been uploading all of these pictures I've been listening to the faint sounds coming from Katrina's room: "You're my favorite deputy....There's a snake in my boot...Yee-haw cowboy!" Katrina is having fun with one of her birthday toys.

We celebrated my birthday too because it's in a week and a half. I'll be 24!
Emily, Adam's sister, is a talented cake decorator. We decided that since Katrina loves Toy Story, she should have a Toy Story-themed cake. And what better than to create the scene that elicites the best reaction from her every time? "Uh oh. Oh no! Mom! Mom! Oh no!"

The two kids were awesome at their little table. One of the cutest moments of the entire day was when Jordan said, "Hi Katrina" and Katrina answered from across the table, "Hi Jordan." She just barely started saying his name last week. Oh, and another accomplishment today was that she started counting (to 2, but still!). She was trying to get Adam to roll down her window. Her counting went like this: "One, do, one, down!" or "One, do, one, window!" I tried to get her to say three, but she didn't quite get that down.

The rest of the family.

My cute daughter!

So Katrina seemed to like her cake. The first thing she did was pick up the traffic cone and start eating off the icing and fondant. Later on I peeled off the fondant and gave her ice cream in the cone.
She almost burned her fingers and nose while blowing out candles--yeah she's still a little too young.
Close-up on Mr. Potato Man. Do you like the gum on his shoe?
Katrina was thrilled at her Woody doll. "Woody! Woody!" She waited patiently while Nana got him out of the box. Do you like her tutu?
She absolutely loved the Woody doll and I got to replace his hat for her all evening.
I got lots of gifts too! I requested gift cards and will now be happily shopping my little heart out these next few weeks. I need clothes sooo badly. I also was thinking this morning, "I wish I hadn't told them I just want clothes because I would really love a gift certificate to Joann fabrics too." Well guess what? I got a gift certificate for Joanns as well as some for clothes stores and Barnes and Noble too, so I'm really happy.
You like Katrina's outfit?
We blew up the bouncer and let the kids go to town!

Here are the other cute kids in our family. Here is Jared, the mellowest, cutest little 10-month-old.
Jordan, in the middle of a jump.
And Daniel, chilling in the chair yesterday while I read some books to him.
So that was our fun day! Hope you enjoyed the plethora of pictures! Oh, and Katrina liked her quilt and pillow too. Especially the pillow. :]