Monday, January 31, 2011

Online Magazines

I love magazines. Anything on home decor, crafts or organization, I can't get enough. Add in a dose of fashion and I'm hooked. Generally, I love to cuddle up on a coach with my new issue of Real Simple or Martha Stewart Living at the end of the day (usually after Audrey has gone to bed) and unwind. So as you can imagine, I have never been a fan of online magazines. I mean, how do I cuddle up on a couch with a laptop? (No, I don't have an iPad which would probably make that a bit easier.....perhaps one day) I also just love to touch the magazine; to dog ear pages that have something truly inspiring on them and to let them sit on the ottoman to be picked up and looked at on a whim throughout the day. But I must confess that I may slowly be tiptoeing toward the online mag bandwagon.

It all started last month when I found Gifted Magazine, a great holiday magazine with tons of lovely inspiration. Then came Lonny Mag (started by some of the same people behind the great and late, Domino Magazine) and just lately, Rue. I found myself glued to my laptop scrolling through pages and pages of beautiful images. So today I'd like to share these with you and perhaps make your Monday a little more inspiring. It's not exactly the tactile experience of holding a hefty issue in your hand and turning the pages slowly but in terms of great design and taste, they do not fall short.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Am I Crazy?

A few days ago Audrey had three bad napping days in a row. Really they were my fault as we were out and about and she got overtired which means she just couldn't go down for her naps and when she finally did, they were very short. After the third day, they caught up with her and she woke up multiple times in the night and at one point it took over an hour to get her back to sleep. (She discovered she can take her pacifier out of her mouth with her own hand. Too bad she hasn't discovered how to put it back in. Mental note: no more pacifier!)

That's when I decided: "That's it! I'm never leaving the house again."

I guess every mother is different. Some can't wait to get out of the house for some free time and I can't wait for plans to get cancelled so I can stay home again. I've always been a homebody so I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise. But sometimes it's difficult for an introvert to be married to an extrovert. At first I really appreciated how Ovi forced me to get out more and hang out with people. It helped me meet some great friends, but things change when there's a baby involved. I would love to go out but if Audrey doesn't sleep well then I pay for it at night and the next day. I don't say this to justify my staying in only to share my thoughts on the subject. This brings me to the next discussion topic in our family: trip to Mexico. What? Are you kidding me?

First, I can't leave her for five whole days while we enjoy the sun and sand. (Insert husband saying, "Yes, you are crazy.") Second, we can't take her with us and risk her getting sick on the airplane or in a different country where we are stuck and can't go home because our little baby is in some hospital where no one speaks English and everything smells. (Yes, all hospitals in all countries smell.) Sigh. So the answer is no Mexico. (Apparently I am told this topic is not yet closed. We shall see.)

Another topic of discussion: Ovi going back to choir. My understanding was that he would not go back until next Fall. It seems I am mistaken and he is going back this Spring. I know, it is very selfish of me to want him to delay serving at church.

Here's why I am nervous about it.
-On Sundays it means that we must get to church 30-40 minutes early. As anyone with kids knows, this is no easy feat. Especially since we live an hour away. Then he will be sitting with the choir the entire service leaving me alone with Audrey in the overflow room. (There is the possibility of leaving her in the nursery but I haven't felt comfortable with that yet. I see another discussion topic coming up.)
-Then there is practice every Wednesday night which means Ovi gets home late so no help with bath and bedtime.

I can just see some people rolling their eyes at my silliness. Am I crazy?

I guess there comes a point where we all have to do things out of our comfort zone. I'd like to pretend I can handle whatever life throws at me but somewhere in the deep dark corners of my conscience, I know the truth and you might as well too.

I guess Ovi can join choir in the Spring.....................but Mexico is another story.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fabric Flowers

I have been trying my hand at fabric flowers and have finally finished two of them that I could use to adorn one of my cardigans. There is a really simple tutorial I found here. They were actually pretty easy. I just found some scraps of fabric lying around and cut out the circles by hand, no tracing.

I'm excited to try them with different fabrics and add some life to otherwise drab tops. I would go into Audrey's closet and have fun with some of her clothes too but I thought it might be better to wait until she's older and there's no chance of her ripping it off and shoving it into her mouth.

This is a good project to do when you need a break from all the winter snow and want to think about warm happy thoughts. What better than a bright yellow fabric flower to help in that? I also made some cute flower pins out of old sweaters that I will share with you later. They are gifts and I have not given them out yet so I will wait so as not to ruin the surprise. This is precisely why I hate to throw things out. Old sweaters can be reused in so many different ways. Stay tuned for a post all about the potential an old sweater has.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Finally, the Garland!

Hello everyone. For those of you who have waited patiently for the garland project I mentioned in my "Relaunch" post, it has finally arrived. Ideally I would have liked to have this done for Christmas to be able to put on the tree but that did not happen. I still think it's a pretty edition to decorate the home any time of the year.

I basically just cut out two sizes of circles out of decorative card stock with big circle hole punchers and glued the string between two circles alternating the size and design. I used a strong glue stick but paper cement would also work. Initially the project started out much more complicated which is why it took so long. I did not have a large hole punch so I started to trace and cut out circles by hand. I also did not have any pretty card stock (only paper) so I started to cut out circles from old greeting cards I had lying around and then I was going to cut out circles of pretty paper and glue them together to get a more substantial circle. As you can imagine, that was going to take a long time. I didn't mind though since I love being able to use whatever I have on hand for a project rather than buy new craft supplies. (And I still plan on using the other circles I made for another project. I hate to waste things.) But for this one, Ovi put his foot down and said I need to go and but a circle hole punch to make this process much more efficient. So I gave in. (I was not going to turn down an offer to buy crafts) The only problem was getting to the store. I did not like getting out of the house just me and Audrey. She doesn't always like her car seat so if she started crying I wouldn't really be able to help her and I was afraid of messing up her naps. Which incidentally did happen when I finally went to the store but different story for another time. So I finally went and bought the circle hole punches and I love them. Not only did it make the garland much easier to make but there are so many uses for those hole punches. For gifts I cut out circles from a brown paper bag to use as name tags. It adds a great finished look to gifts.
Thanks for your patience on this one!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy 4 Months Audrey!

Audrey is four months old now and definitely getting bigger. At her last appointment I learned she had grown four inches in the last month. Talk about a growth spurt. No wonder last month was so terrible with sleeping. She's now 16 lbs. and 26 in. tall. Daddy's hoping she'll be a basketball player, and softball, and soccer player. Or, she'll be a creative writer/crafter like her momma.... only time will tell.

As I mentioned last month I had gotten the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book to try and see what I can do about Audrey's sleep. This past month has been the worst with that. Her naps were either short or not happening and she was waking up multiple times in the night. I tried to implement a few things to try and help her. First I tried the "Ferber" method which basically just means you let them cry for a few minutes then go in and sooth and keep increasing the time you let them cry though you don't go more than 10 minutes. I must say, that was a very traumatic experience. After a few days of that I did everything I could to make sure she didn't cry and I didn't have to get to ten minutes. (This is where I started using the pacifier during naps) It's such a heartbreaking thing to hear your baby cry the way she did. She cried so hard her face turned red and tears ran all over her cheeks. I would sit in the bathroom with the fan on crying. This was not working for me and it didn't seem to help her either. Since that didn't work out I knew "crying it out" was also not going to be an option. So instead I tried to just be consistent in how I put her down for naps and tried to watch for signs of sleepiness and put her down drowsy but awake. I don't always do it perfectly consistent but things seem to be getting better. I learned I need to put her right back down in the morning after she eats. I change her first, then feed, then put her down and she usually falls asleep after a few minutes. What is also helping is that is has started to suck her thumb and sometimes uses that to soothe herself to sleep. The first nap is usually the best though the time can vary still anywhere from 1 hour to 2 1/2 but I'll take it. The other naps vary more and are not always great but I see light at the end of this tunnel. She wakes up less at night. We also moved her bedtime so that her last feeding is at 8 and she's in bed by 8:30. We usually give her a bath before her last feeding and have a sound machine in her room. I'm proud to say that the last three nights in a row she has slept through the night from 8:30 to 7am. I'm trying to prepare myself that she may still wake up again but so far I've enjoyed the past few nights.

This past month has been such a challenging one and has taught me quite a bit about what being a mother means. I've had to let go of many expectations and understand that with children, things keep changing. I don't like change and prefer consistency and that has not been the case with Audrey. I know God is working in me to shape me into the woman He wants me to be and He's definitely using motherhood to do that. All I can do is lean on Him to be my strength for every day.

I'll end on a good note. Audrey has also started to play with toys. She can grasp them more easily though not for too long. She holds her head up very well and can sit in her Bumbo for short periods. And even though it's hard many times, she is such a joy in my life! Thank you Lord for this gift.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a great start to 2011. The past month has been very rough with Audrey's sleep or lack thereof but this week has been a little better and I hope and pray that is a good sign for what's to come. I have been thinking about what resolutions I wanted to make this year. At first it seemed pointless to make any as I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep them (my pessimism sometimes likes to rear its ugly head) but I decided to make a few anyway. Maybe a lot of them won't be kept very long but sometimes I think we all need to feel that we can start with a clean slate and change some things in our lives for the better. So here goes:

1. Have joy and praise God in all things!
This is a big one that I have been struggling with lately. I always think that if my situation were different somehow, I could have more joy. But God has been showing me that there is no ideal situation and joy is something I need to learn now. Life goes much more smoothly when we surrender all to Him and just let His joy and peace fill us. It's sounds so simple yet I have had such a hard time in this area. Lord give me the ability.

2. Be dilligent with my time.
In this I include finding time to have my devotions, keeping up with my writing and even finding time time for some fun stuff like crafting and reading.

3. Be more organized.
This will forever be on every year's resolution list but I find comfort in knowing that each year I will try again and maybe this will be the year I finally get my stuff together. One can dream.

That's it for now. I could go on but I find it's best to keep it simple and not overburden myself right from the start. I hope and pray the new year brings many more blessings to you all.

Feel free to share any resolutions that are really important to you this year.