Friday, February 28, 2014

Being Crafty

On the night of our Olympics party, a friend thought he had ruined a pair of leather gloves.  I was able to save the gloves with a little glue, needle/thread, and some material.

Our friend was wearing his leather gloves inside a pair of oven mits as he carried in a hot pot.  The heat from the pot ended up going through the oven mit to his gloves and burned a little hole in the finger.

He left the gloves with me and the next morning I headed to the store for some material.  I found some pleather that would match perfectly.  Thanks to a coupon + getting only 1/8yd, I got the material for less than $1. I found some dry cleanable fabric glue, made my purchases and headed home.  

 I individually cut little pieces of the pleather to fit each finger of the gloves.  After I had each one cut to size, I glued them on each finger.  I set the gloves in between some heavy books and let the glue dry all day.  In the evening, I hand stitched some thread around the edges of each new tip to make sure the pleather wouldn't slowly peel off over time.  This was the hardest part as I had to make sure I didn't sew the wrong things together (for instance, I wasn't paying attention at one finger and ended up sewing the tip closed.  Ooops!).

I was able to finish my little project up by bedtime and take them to church the next morning to hand them off to their owner.  I was pretty impressed with myself and hope they hold up!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

4 months!

I started writing this post last week ago, but didn't get it finished up before a busy weekend.  I intentionally didn't post this on Bean's 4 month mark, because  I wanted to be able to share all of Bean's 4 month stats from her appointment earlier last week.  Bean is weighing in at a slim 13.5 pounds and is 25" long.  That puts her in the 50th percentile for weight and 75-90th percentile in height.  So in layman's terms, she's long and lean!  No "Michelin Man" rolls for this gal.

This past month was by far the hardest month for me being a mom.  I'm not sure if it was because of the freezing weather and feet of snow keeping us bound to the house or the fact that we had zero visitors (other than getting to hang out with friends in Lima).  I also really came to the realization of what being a mom really means -- I no longer do things for myself.  Everything I do, centers around taking care of my baby girl first and then taking care of my husband.  All. Day. Long. The only time I get "me" time is in the shower, but even at that, it usually comes to a quick end with a baby crying (or I have to rush in order to make it somewhere on time).  I love being a mom.  It's what I've always wanted.  It's just a whole lot harder than I ever expected.  I have no idea how teenagers and single moms do it.  Without Steve, I'm pretty sure I'd be balled up in the corner of a dark room sobbing.

Another reason this past month has been difficult is because Bean is growing and changing her nursing needs.  I almost threw in the towel on breastfeeding this past month.  I was at my wit's end.  Bean decided to go from nursing 8-10 min on one side + 8-12 min on the other side per nursing session to maybe 5 min total.  This caused a lot of stress on me.  I was concerned I wasn't producing enough milk and that Bean wasn't getting enough.  In each nursing session, she'd pull away, scream, and even bite (thank goodness she doesn't have teeth yet!).  Many times, we'd both be crying together.  I thought maybe she was teething - she'd pull at her gums and cry a lot, but so far no teeth have come up.  After doing some research, I discovered that babies become more efficient about nursing and become quicker.  I guess all her pulling away and screaming was because I was "forcing" her to eat.  I've now become much more relaxed and letting her dictate feedings and things are much better!  She now nurses 3-20 min a session every 2hr45 min - 3 hours.  Luckily, her spitting up has gotten much better, although she still has days that are bad.

In the past few weeks, Bean has started to change her routine as well.  Instead of eating, playing, and sleeping in a 3 hour cycle.  She has started to establish a bigger nap in the morning, and a couple of catnaps in the afternoon.  Sometimes she'll just do catnaps all day, or she'll go crazy with a 3 hour nap.  She likes to keep me on my toes.  I am starting to be able to tell how tired she is and whether it'll be short nap or a long nap.  She has dropped her "dinner" nap and stays awake from 5-8pm at night.  At 8 is when she gets her last feeding before bed and is typically asleep by 9pm.  She will then sleep until around 4am (sometimes a little sooner, sometimes closer to 6:30 or 7) and be hungry.  I'll feed her and she'll fall back asleep within a half hour and then sleep anywhere from 8-10am.  My goal is to get her sleeping from 8pm-8am, but i'll take what she's doing now!

Bean has really started to show her personality.  She loves to lay on her back and stare up at either the ceiling fan, bird mobile, or activity mat and just laugh.  Tonight, she started doing this crazy thing with holding her feet up in the air while laughing.  She can entertain herself finally!  She will play with her little caterpillar toy, tug at critters on her activity mat, or even play with blankets laying on her.  Her absolute favorite toys are still mommy and daddy.  Bean just lights up when daddy is in the room (which can be a bad thing when it is bedtime!).

She's become much more vocal and has even begun to fake cry.  Oh goodness child.  You can always tell if it's fake by making funny faces at her.  Then she'll start laughing and remember she was throwing a fit and cry again.  She has a cute giggle and little screeches.  Her new thing that just started last week is that she tries to blow raspberries with her tongue. It usually results in lots of spit coming out of her mouth (she always has a bib on now!).  She's also started to show more signs of wanting to be mobile.  She loves to be held upright so that she is standing on her feet.  She'll then pretend to walk by picking one foot up at a time in a "step" pattern.

Tummy time has become a thing of the past.  Every time she's placed on her tummy, she immediately rolls over onto her back.  Sometimes I'll repeatedly put her back on her tummy, but she never stays long in that position.  Just recently, she was laying on her back on her activity mat while we were getting dinner ready.  We heard her crying and Steve went in to find her rolled onto her tummy with her arm pinned under her!  Since then, we've seen her almost roll over from her back to tummy while trying to look at something behind her, but we've never witnessed her roll over from back to tummy.  This is much harder to do than from tummy to back.  My days of being able to leave her propped on the couch or bed are coming to a quick end.  I now make sure she's got pillows all around her!

At her 4 month check, Bean ended up getting 3 shots.  Last time she got shots, she screamed for a good hour that evening until Tylenol kicked in.  This time, I kept on top of the Tylenol for 24 hours.  She didn't seem to be in much pain, but she was very clingy and needy for the next day or so.  The whole next day, she did have a fever and I could tell she didn't feel good.  But my Thursday, she was my happy goofball daughter again.

(Bean is a scooter!  Many mornings, I find her scooted all the way up to the edge of the crib.  The morning I took this picture, she had been cooing and squealing with laughter - as well as hearing lots of toots!- on the monitor for awhile before I went in and got her up.  I typically wait until she is actually crying to get her out of her crib.  When I went in, she was playing with her blanket and covering her face with it.  Such a silly girl!)

(Bean has become very aware of the tv!  When propped up on the boppy on the couch, she likes to look behind her up at the tv.  She definitely gets this from me.  I could watch tv 24/7 if I could get away with it.  I now have to turn it off sometimes when she gets distracted by it.)

(Bean is balding! I started to notice that her hair had been thinning, and just thought maybe her head was growing but her hair was not.  After investigating her bed, I found lots of Bean hair in it.  It's very common for babies to lose their hair like this because they are born with fine hair.  Hopefully, her hair will start growing in better soon!)

(Even though there are no signs of teeth poking up anytime soon, she is definitely in the beginning stages of teething.  She pulls on her gums a lot, constantly is sucking and chewing on fingers and toys, slobbering a lot, and sometimes is just very cranky and won't nurse.  I try not to give her Tylenol often.  But sometimes, she will cry while puling on her gums and I can tell she's hurting.  Tylenol always does the trick in those instances!)

She is growing up way too fast, but we are loving every minute of it! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Olympics - Sochi

I am an absolute Olympic nut.  I have always loved watching them and soaking up all the facts about all the events and the athletes.  In 8th grade, I had an unhealthy (haha) obsession with Apolo Anton Ohno.  I still keep track of his doings and love that he is currently a correspondent for Sochi.  Why oh why did he have to retire?!

We decided to go crazy and have an opening ceremonies party for this year's Olympics in Sochi -- complete with themed dinner!  I made Chicken Kiev (chicken wrapped around an herb butter, breaded, fried, and baked) in honor of Sochi, Russia.  Others followed suit with the Russian theme by making a Russian poppyseed bread and a beef stuffed potato in a tomato/sour cream sauce. We also had an Olympic themed fruit pizza - awesome!

We enjoyed feasting on our goodies while watching the ceremony and laughing at all the crazy athlete outfits from the different countries and trying to figure out the crazy Russian alphabet.  All in all, we had a fun evening.

(Russian Poppyseed bread on the right, and a special one of a kind Sara bread on the left - ha!)

(Olympic ring pizza complete with American flag and a special "Ainsley" flag. The potato dish arrived later and I forgot to take a picture.)

(Look at my little Olympian! I somehow managed to take a $2 onesie that said "World's Greatest Niece" and turn it into a Sochi onesie.  It turned out better than I expected! I can't wait for her to get as excited about the Olympics as I do.  Until then, I will just have to continue to push them on her.)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow Daze

It seems like this past month, all we've seen is cold white stuff everywhere.  This has been one of the most brutal winters I've ever remembered.  Feet of snow and subzero temperatures has become the new norm.  Bean and I have been holed up for most of the month.  We don't get out with the freezing temperatures, so I try to make sure I have everything organized and ready for errands in the "warm" temps (like 20s, ha!).

We have had lots of firsts this winter (along with just experience winter with Bean).  One day, I woke up to the doorbell and a five year old in his pajamas on the coldest day of the year.  He and his cousin were staying with grandma next door and somehow locked themselves out (the cousin was probably 12+ and half naked - only shorts and tank on).  I didn't believe their story of "we thought the mail came", but whatever.  I came to the rescue - literally.  I had to piggy back the older cousin to our house (he had NO SHOES!).  We almost made it halfway when I lost my balance and down we went.  The kid was covered in snow and ran the rest of the way into my house.  I'm still laughing over that one. . .

Growing up, I never had to worry about snow digging up our yard.  In fact, I made fun of neighbors who had reflectors and sticks marking their yard.  We learned that lesson the hard way.  After a plow ripped up a good foot of our yard, we now have reflectors marking the edge.  We had to buy the extra tall ones so they wouldn't get lost in the feet of snow we have.  One day alone, it snowed 9"!  That was on top of another 3+" and before another 3+".  Supposedly another 5-8" is coming?!

Steve has gotten his entire year's quota of exercise done in the past few weeks with all his shoveling.  For his birthday, his parents got him a snow blower!  It arrived on Friday and he already has gotten 1 use in on it.  Instead of taking 2ish hours to shovel (that was for the 9") it only took him about 30 minutes outside.  Even though he ended up blowing snow all over himself, he enjoyed the much quicker (and less physical) process.
We had lots of concern when buying our house due to the 17 year old furnace.  So far it is pulling through!  We got a new thermostat system (The Nest, we highly recommend it) and it tracks our energy usage.  I think so far the record is almost 15 hours of heat used in one day.  Yikes.  We are ready for that number to be declining! We keep our house set at 67, but in reality, that means our living room is anywhere between 61-63 degrees.  We use lots of blankets and I get in lots of snuggles with Bean.  (I like the excuse of "I'm too cold to do stuff"!).  Back to the Nest - why I love it -- you can change the thermostat from your phone.  Meaning, when I'm snuggled under blankets and still feel cold, I just reach for my phone and bump up the heat.  No more having to get up and walk to the dining room.  Yes, I have become that lazy!  (It's also nice to bump up the heat with your phone right before getting home and walking into fresh hot heat.

So for now, I will continue to snuggle with my baby and stare out at the frozen tundra that is our front yard.

(Check out the city workers that came and fixed our yard after the plow tore it up!  I'm not sure how they knew, or if they were just driving around checking out yards, but we'll take it.  Thanks city people! Also -- what the heck is that green stuff. I'm not sure I'll ever see it again. . . )

(I had to share this picture.  Look at all those cute little birdie tracks right outside our door.  There are still signs of life out in our tundra.)

(Woooo!!  Steve breaking in his new snow blower. - thanks again Mom & Dad Ackerman!)

(What a goofball!  Bean just chilling out on the counter in her Bumbo all cozy under her blanket while Momma made dinner.  This girl's sweet coos and giggles are the absolute best!)