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June 30, 2012

Breakfast ~ Goal: Wellness

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Scenario 1:
You wake up to screaming kids, the toddler is going through once again another growth spurt and the baby has teeth coming in. You hold them, cuddle them, read them books, fix them breakfast, try and clean up the mess that the toddler made while you were feeding the baby and changing her diaper. You somehow make it to nap time. Once the kids are finally down you go looking in the pantry to find something to eat, by this point your feet are dragging until you see a short blue box in which you know that you will find double stuff comfort. You start with one and that dissipates some of the frustration and exhaustion you feel, then a few minutes later you look down and realize that one whole sleeve has just vanished in front of your eyes. You put it back and try to pretend that you weren't the one that ate it. 1 hour later you feel the crash....
Scenario 2:
You wake up to screaming kids, the toddler is going through once again another growth spurt and the baby has teeth coming in. You decide that you would all feel better if you ate breakfast, you think over your list of quick nutritional breakfasts. You know that today is going to be a challenging so you fit your nutrition for your needs. You sit down and eat breakfast with your toddler, he is glad to have the company at the table and eats a little more than usual. Afterward you cuddle, hold and read books to your kids. You are relieved when the kids go down for nap time, you think about what your family might like for dinner and get your prep work done. While you are in the kitchen you find a piece of fruit and snack on it....

I have come to experience the truth in the adage that, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day". As a mom of two young ones it is challenging to take time for breakfast when my kids have so many things that they need from me. But when I do I feel better and I have the energy to move forward, with my to do list. When I don't eat breakfast I usually find less than stellar dietary options that fulfill my daily caloric intake but don't give me the vitamins and nutrients that I need to keep up with my life.

Today's Wellness challenge: Make Breakfast.
Today I made one of my favorite breakfasts; sunny side up eggs with toast, sliced cheese, fruit and a glass of milk. It took me less time to cook the egg than unload my dishes (I started on my dishes while my egg cooked). The thing I love about this breakfast is that it has everything I love/need. The egg yokes make a tasty sauce over the cheese and the toast. The banana had the sweetness that I love. And as a bow to my up bringing nothing like a good swig of cold milk.

*note: I am not a dietitian I have simply done research that has lead me to my own dietary opinions.
Now this is a lot of food I know (when I want this and am not feeling really hungry I will have one piece of toast and one egg), but remembering that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" I can't think of a better meal to eat a lot of food for. This breakfast usually keeps me extremely full until 2 when Ryder is ready to eat lunch. I also have the strength and energy to work hard.
June 29, 2012

Goal: Wellness

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Before I got pregnant with Boston I set the goal of setting patterns of wellness in my life that could be a life style I could continue for the rest of my life. I did pretty good I ate really yummy but good food. I worked out a lot and lost quite a bit of weight (40 lbs.) but once my hips started hurting in the 2nd trimester and I threw up everything I gave up on my goal of wellness. Here I am 1 year later and I am recommitting myself. What does this mean?
1. I am committing myself to get moving. I am going to explain more about this on Monday, I am even going to have a sweet free printable for how to track your exercise time and reward yourself for good behavior.
2. I am going to try and eat less processed foods. I want to make more things from scratch, I think what the Heavenly Father gave us is better for our bodies than anything a scientist can cook up in a lab.
3. Eat healthy breakfast and snacks. Hunger can be the worst enemy of wellness because if you are starving it doesn't seem too ridiculous to eat 2 whole sleeves of Oreos in one sitting.
4. Creating Order and Balance in my life. My stress feeds off the level of distress my home and time schedule, so by getting this in order I am hoping to relieve some stress. 

What it doesn't mean?
1. I am not going to stop eating desserts/hamburgers/gravy/etc., though I am going to be balancing out my comfort eating with exercise and a large consumption of fruits and veggies. I love life but I love life even more with yummy food. I agree with my grandparents that if your not going to enjoy life why in the heck even try and live it. 
2. I am going to take everything in stride, my goal is not to loose 50 lbs. (though it would be nice if it decided to detach itself from me) but to set patterns of lifetime wellness which is a lifetime marathon and not a 2 month sprint.
Please join me! I am working on a giveaway for those that are taking the journey with me. Maybe a few of my favorite healthy cookbooks, a jamba gift card....this is still in the brainstorming stages. But everyone that joins is sure to gain patterns of wellness. If you are up for the challenge please commit below and if you are blogging about it please leave your address below, I would love to be inspired by your journey as I hope that I will be able to inspire you through my journey.

All of the Wellness posts can be found by clicking on the button below:

June 28, 2012

Sewing on a Budget: Part III

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Buying Fabric Online
Thought I haven't bought a ton of fabric online but between Al and I we have gotten some pretty great deals. Both of us have had great success with ordering fabric through Amazon retailers. I bought a few yards of a few different types of apparel fabric from Fabric.com through Amazon. One of those was the ruffled material that I used to make our skirts for Nae and Bubba's wedding.
Al has bought charm packs, layer cakes and yards of cotton gauze. Both of us have been very satisfied with our purchases.
My favorite part about this is that I can put things in the cart, think about it, take it out and put it back in and I don't annoy my husband or bother my kids sleep schedule.
I love the great deals that Fabric.com has on their knits!
My Sewing Challenge
I love the blog sewinginnomansland.com. I love the rules that she had for her sewing projects when her family was in Timor, as her husband worked for the Foreign Service. She had 15 yards of fabric of cute fabric from the US and after she was done with that she had to deal with the fabric that she could purchase in Timor.
I am so lucky to have so much fabric at my finger tips, but often times my purchasing fabric detracts from completing projects. So I have issued myself a personal challenge.
Rules:
1. No BUYING FABRIC for One Year (Last fabric purchase was June 14, 2012 for the crib sheet)
2. Notions purchases are allowed but only for the projects that are currently on my workstation (because even though I might have a years supply of fabric I know I have no where near a years supply of notions).
3. I will accept donations of fabric, bedding or old clothing from family and friends that would be giving away said items.
Potential exceptions:  Christmas/Birthday presents for the kids. I am hoping not to have to break this for Christmas or Birthday but before I made this goal I hadn't purchased fabric for these events. But I really will try my best not to break it.
Update: I have failed but I am doing an excellent job not over doing it.

What I hope to gain from this:
1. Creativity.
2. Focus: each time I go to the fabric store I find myself planning ahead for ten
3. Perspective: not all people are as lucky as me to have two fabric stores within 5 minutes and 2 more within 30 minutes.
4. Save Enough money to go to LA and visit the fashion district and by fabric $2/yard and $2.50/pound.
June 27, 2012

Sewing on a Budget: Part II (Joann's & Hancock Fabric)

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Joann's/Hancock
Joann's/Hancock both have great deals on fabric and patterns, usually their best deals are around 3 day holidays. You can speed your shopping time by looking through their online fabric selection before going to the store. If they have deals on patterns I think it is easier to look on the pattern manufactures website before going to the store. I usually have a list with all the numbers written down.
When I plan a project, I usually go to either retailers website and see if they are running a deal on the fabric that I need. If they aren't I usually just wait a couple of weeks and it is sure to be 25%-50% cheaper.
Often times Joann's has a 50% off one regular item.
Joann's clearance fabric is called Red tag area, sometimes they do an additional 50% off the fabric.
Hancock clearance fabric is called Spot the Bolt, once in a while they do 50%, 60%, 70% off the regular price fabric.
I have had great success with Joann's Remnant fabric section, that is where I found the fabric for the Cuddle Soft blanket with Satin Ruffles. The great thing about the Remnant section is that they give you 50% off the current price, so if there was a 20% off sale for that type of fabric then you would get that in addition to 50% discount on remnant fabric. If you are getting fabric cut at Joann's and there is less than a yard left on the bolt after yours fabric cut they will ask you if you are interested in remnant fabric, in which they will give you the 50% discount on the current price.
Both retailers offer mail flyers and e-mail flyers to help you be aware of current prices.
And unless I have Slim Jim as back up I don't take Ryder into the store. One time I made the mistake of going into Hancock alone with the kids and it involved Ryder being a dead sprint with a shopping cart, me running after him shouting, "No!....Ryder!.....STOP!" The lady from Hannock that was cutting my fabric got him stopped by putting up both her arms straight out and saying firmly, "STOP!" he stopped immediately but it was within inches of hitting her and running into half the bolts in the store.
June 26, 2012

Birth Story Part 2

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Sorry if this is too detailed for most of you to read, but part of me writing it is so that I remember what happened.
Part 2 (a week overdue- to see part one click here)
 
Heber getting new baby check-up things done a little while after he came.

That night after my appointment Scary took me on a fairly long walk to Wal-Mart. It was kind of ridiculous in a really great way because we only going to buy a ½ a yard of fabric and we took the kids (2 toddlers and one baby). In order to coax the screaming toddlers back in the stroller to go home (they were able to get themselves out of the harness), we got each one a bag of popcorn from the Subway before coming back.

That afternoon (a few hours after my appointment) I had started having contractions and they continued on my walk and later that night when I was watching a movie and as I went to bed. They weren’t anything huge, but more regular than anything I had ever experienced with Ty (just a reminder: I had to be induced with her at a week and five days over; I was barely dilated to a 2 when I got induced). I was pretty excited by this, but I didn’t tell Power Shoes because until I was sure I was in labor I didn’t want him to get too excited (since we had yet to really ever experience it).

This is one of the really great critical moves leading up to the hours before Heber’s birth. I remember learning in my birthing class that if you were having contractions and it was bedtime that you should try to sleep through them. Once I was all ready for bed, I turned on one of my meditation cds. It was just the trick for relaxing and falling asleep. It was such a blessing to be rested.

(a week and a day overdue) The next morning, I woke up ready to have that baby. By that I mean I wasn’t actually in labor, but mentally I was determined that Heber come soon. The night before a girl in my ward had brought me castor oil (I was going to get some at Wal-Mart, but had no idea where to find it and I didn’t have the guts to ask where it was. In the future I would probably just send my husband to the pharmacy section and ask them where to find it). In my Hypnobabies workbook it was one of the last natural things I hadn’t tried to induce labor. I decided to try it out. Kelly, my doula, suggested I mix ¼ cup of castor oil with 1 cup of ice cream. I figured I had nothing to lose in trying it. The day before when I had been at the doctor’s office I read an article that said that 30-50% of women poop when they’re pushing. So at least if I used castor oil and I went into labor I wouldn’t have to worry about that because my system would be all cleaned out.

I finished my castor oil chocolate shake just before 11am and then went on a walk with Scary and the kids to the playground. We got home around noon and made the kids lunch. Then we put them down for naps. By 12:30pm I had some diarrhea (it wasn’t that bad), and by 1:30 I was starting to have stomach/back pains. Scary downloaded Hypnobabies “come out baby” track so I could listen to it. As hard as I tried to meditate and get comfortable, I couldn’t completely shut off my light switch and keep my muscles loose and limp. I was going through my books trying to figure out different positions that would make me feel better, but nothing was really working. Scary was really funny because during some of my contraction she would pretend to give my stomach a really tight bear hug. It made me laugh, but even though that was helpful I knew I needed Power Shoes home. We had learned a lift in our Birthing class to take the pressure off my back. I called him at work around 2:40pm saying, “I don’t really know if I’m in labor or not, but I need you home because my back hurts really bad.” Apparently I didn’t have enough urgency in my voice because Power Shoes finished what he was welding and cleaned up all his tools.  He didn’t get home until 3:30pm (and it only takes 6 minutes to get from work to home).

Just a funny side note, Scary and I were watching these 2 little boys (one was 3 and the other was 1) while most of this was happening. The 3 year old was giving me the funniest looks because I couldn’t hold still. I was just trying to find a position to be in that felt comfortable and I probably made a few weird noises during contractions because my back hurt so bad. There was one point where I was reading this little boy the story of Hansel and Gretel and I had to pause multiple times in the middle of a sentence so I could take deep breaths through contractions. All the while I thought I was so uncomfortable because of the castor oil. Scary was doing my dishes and whipping up almond poppy seed bread because she was convinced I was in labor. She knew that I would want my dishes done (so that I would feel comfortable having Kelly come over) and that I needed the bread to take to my nurse at the hospital (to give to her when I gave her my birth plan so that she might actually read it and try to follow it). Snaps for Scary for being more in touch with reality than I was.
                                                                        At the hospital the next day. Isn't he handsome!

I didn't want to get my hopes up for nothing. At 3:45pm Ty woke up from her nap and at 4:00pm I looked at my clock. The thought then crossed my mind that if I wanted to get checked and have a reference point to go by (to know if I was in labor, and how far dilated) I would need to go then, before the clinic closed. We left Ty with Scary and went to the midwives office.

Neither one of us had been timing contractions, but when we were barely on the road to the clinic I had a contraction and then I had another one once we got there. This told me that my pressure waves were only a couple minutes apart, but I didn’t know how regular they were. As we were at the clinic, they took my blood pressure and said it was high. I told them that I didn’t see how it could be normal with how I was feeling.

Shortly after that Helene came in and asked what was going on. I explained everything from my measurements the day before, to getting my membranes stripped, to taking the castor oil and now having contractions. I then proceeded to tell her that I felt like I was losing my cool and just needed to know where I was in terms of my labor progressing. I had expected an improvement from my measurements the day before, but I had definitely not expected what she told me right after she checked me. She said, “You are at an 8 or a 9 and you need to get to the hospital. The reason you are losing your cool is because you are in transition.” I really had no idea we were so close. If we wouldn’t have gone into the clinic, I don’t think we would have made it to the hospital in time because I was in denial and it happened so fast.

I told her I needed to run home and get my bags before we went to the hospital (I did need to grab them, but I was really wanting to go home because that’s where my phone was and I wanted to call Kelly so that I could have her at the hospital with me. The plan had been that we would call her once we got home from the clinic and have you join us in our home, if I was in fact in labor.). Helene told me I’d better make it quick.

When we got home we were on our way into the apartment and I had a really intense contraction and had to lean against the wall of the building. I was by the playground and there were about 10 kids on it. They came over to me and asked what I was doing. Power Shoes told them I was about to have a baby. They were looking at me like Heber would pop out right then. It was funny. Then  we went into the house and grabbed the bags, cd player, cds, birth ball, camera, video camera, and cell phone (and I called Kelly and let her know we were headed to the hospital). The bread for the nurse still had about ten more minutes, but we  decided not to stick around to let it finish.

Somewhere in the midst of Scary helping me grab everything we lost Power Shoes in the house. Apparently he had to change his clothes so that he was dressed nicer to go to the hospital. He had been in a pair of basketball shorts and a t-shirt. Can I just say if I had been the husband and my wife was that far along, I definitely wouldn’t have made a wardrobe change?! Plus I wear basketball shorts and t-shirts all the time. Maybe it’s just the athlete in me, but I don’t think it’s that inappropriate to wear in public.

When he came out, we headed to the hospital. It is about 7 minutes away most of the time, but it was just before 5pm and traffic is a heavier. We had taken a road that doesn’t meet up with the light and I was worried we would get stuck there, but after a minute or two we were able to pull out. We parked at physical therapy (so Power Shoes wouldn't have to repark later), grabbed bags, and started to walk in. About 10 feet from the car my outer sac of my water broke. I was wearing a nightgown (not maternity so it was short) and a pair of workout pants. I took of the pants and threw them in the car since they were wet. It's funny how modesty gets thrown out a window when you're in labor and you don't even care.
                                                                         Me, Ty, Heber, and Power Shoes about 45 minutes after Heber came.

When we were about to get off the elevator at the hospital I had a contraction and I just focused on getting off before dealing with it (I have a friend that got stuck on the elevator and had to ride up and down it 3 times because she was having contractions at just the wrong times). Kelly was standing there waiting for me. She rubbed my back as I leaned on the wall just outside of the elevator. She then led the way to the L&D Unit. She had beat us there and so the staff was wait to open the door for us. She took me to my room and helped me change while Power Shoes re-answered the authorization questions I had taken care of a couple of weeks before. The nurse asked if I should have and IV and both my midwife and doula said no. It was so good to have them advocate for me and give me what I wanted. Pretty soon after getting there, I told Kelly and Helene that I felt like I was pushing. Kelly told me that it sounded like I was pushing. It was great to have that reassurance since I hadn’t really ever experienced real labor before. Kelly and Power Shoes each let me put my arms around their neck and lean on them during contractions. It was good to have them to lean on and it felt good to push that way.
                                                         This picture was taken a couple of minutes before Heber was born.

Pretty soon I could really feel our baby moving down and I was worried that he would come right out and no one would catch him. So I got on my hands and knees on the bed so Helene could check me. As she did, the rest of the water sac broke. She said I was fully effaced and dilated so it wouldn’t be long. I stayed on my hands and knees to push, but then my arms started getting tired. Kelly asked the nurse to get me a birth ball, but the nurse said it was probably in use (without even looking). Kelly then went and got the ball herself. I was able to rest my upper body on the ball and push. In that time on my hands and knees and on the ball (which wasn’t very long) I drank 2 of the hospital mugs full of water. I was so thirsty.

                                                                                 Just after Heber came out. Look at the size of those feet!

Probably the most surprising thing about the whole experience was all the pressure on my behind. I was not prepared for that. Kelly helped with hot washcloths and reminding me of my hypnosis visuals. Helene helped relieve the pressure some by pushing on my behind. At the end, I remember Kelly trying to give me all the things I wanted. I got there so close to coming that a lot of things that I had been prepared for weren’t really applicable like my birth plan and the olive oil to help Heber’s head slide out. I also remember just before Heber came out that they were telling me to push easy. I was trying to hold myself back as much as possible. His head and body slid out in one easy push. Heber was born at 5:17pm (less than 4 hours of labor) and only 27 minutes after reaching the hospital. He was 9 lbs 5 oz, 20.5 in long, and absolutely perfect!. As he came out Power Shoes announced that it was Heber (we hadn't known what we were having, in the moment I had forgotten that we didn't know the gender).
                                                                     Heber the next day, just a couple hours before we left the hospital.

Those few moments at the hospital leading up to Heber’s birth were like a blur to me. Everything went so fast and so perfectly. I loved pushing. I didn’t get to experience that the first time because I had an epidural. What a cool feeling. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to push when the time came, but it was such a natural instinct. No one had to coach me or tell me when to push, although I’m glad I had Kelly and Helene to remind me to push easy. I could literally feel my body push at just the right times. I only had to get one little stitch (as opposed to an episiotomy and 3rd degree tearing last time)! After the birth, Kelly gave me the most fabulous foot massage, got me my food and fed it to me (so I could rest), helped me get cleaned up and gave me some pointers to help make my recovery quicker.
              
                                Kelly, Me, Heber, and Power Shoes the next day (we made a quick stop on the way home to get this picture taken because we didn't have any pictures with Kelly besides one Scary got of her back as she was giving me a foot massage. This is because she was busy taking pictures for us). I absolutely love this lady! She is a dear friend.


        It was my awesome support staff of Power Shoes, Kelly, and Helene that helped to make things go so perfectly. This experience has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and has helped me realize what a special role I have been given as a daughter of God. I get to help bring the sweetest spirits into the world, and then teach them all that I know. Our bodies have been designed for such a wonderful purpose and work so beautifully. It’s absolutely amazing. Regardless of how long it takes to lose the baby bump, I will probably never look at my body the same again. It is incredible and I will do my best to think of it as the temple that it is.

                               I felt so much better the day after Heber was born, than 2 months after Ty was born. It was an incredible difference.
June 25, 2012

Things I am Afraid to Tell You - Scary

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On Wednesday we will return to Sewing on a Budget but today I will be doing something fun. Remember our friend McKenna from Mother's Day? Well she issued a fun challenge on her blog that I thought I would do as well.

1. I have a explosive temper. Not the logical kind that snaps at big things and then gets over the little ones. Mine is the type of temper that takes little pieces of hurt and anger and lets it grow and fester until I am so overcome by frustration that I blow. And when I blow it isn't like a little thing no big deal it is an exponential blow up.
2. 95% of the time my bedroom is a mess. Most days my dishes and my floors vacuumed, but my bedroom is always the last room in the house to get cleaned. If I don't have time to put stuff away I simply just throw it in my bedroom and ignore it. Last week I pulled everything out of my bedroom that had accumulated over the last month of craziness and tried to deal with it. Our brother, Bubba stopped by and as he looked around the living room (which had been straighten before I was dealing with the mess) he said, "is everyone okay?" I said, "Yes. I am just dealing with the stuff from my room." He surveyed the room once more and with wide eyes said, "All of this was in your room!"
3. I HATE wearing bras. No really I don't like them! But I wear them but I don't like it and when I am not nursing I am glad to run around the house without one (at least for the first and last  few hours of the day). And I love cheep bras that probably don't do a lot of keeping things up but luckily I am young enough that they pretty much stay up on their own. And if I am not in the mood to put a bra on while I am cleaning and need to take out the trash I usually throw on a baggy sweatshirt and run out to the trash with no bra on (but it isn't like anyone can tell because I am talking about really baggy. 
4.(If you have ever lived by me you know this one.)I think getting ready for the day (anything more than showering, brushing hair and teeth, and putting on a fresh t-shirt and workout shorts) is frustrating/silly as a mom. I know I can clean up okay, but most days about the only time I am in front of a mirror is to help Ryder wash his hands after going to the bathroom. I hate when I get dressed up (nice clothes) for the day and then I get spit up/peed/pooped/spilled on.
5. I sleep very little. I am a worry wart. I have a hard time sleeping much more than 4-6 hours most nights. Which I hear insomnia gets worse when you get older so I am a little nervous for that.
6. I once thought I could easily handle 4 to 8 kids (I also don't like odd numbers McKenna so I was thinking 4, 6 or 8), but I barely am surviving having 2 kids. Right now I feel overwhelmed at least 10% of the time, and my house looks 50% overwhelmed. Maybe we are done...maybe we are not...but for right now I am overwhelmed.
7. I hate how Minivans look and hope never to drive one. I know that the Minivan is the modern image of a stay at home mom but I love how cool cars look and driving a Minivan seems like a life sentence to boxy, blind spot, ugliness me. (this should not seem like me battling against my minivan driving friends, I love you just not your car). I am stopping at 7 so that I can try and get over the odd numbers thing.
June 22, 2012

Sewing on a Budget: Part I (In Town Deals)

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My mom made most of our clothes when we were really little because she said that it cost her less. Now there are a lot of options for dressing kids and it is usually pretty easy to find deals on clothing for children. It is often harder to find deals on fabric than it is on clothing. I am not into the glitter princess or pretty kitty look for our our little girl, which severally limits my selection. It is much easier for me to find fabric that fits what I am looking for than department stores carry, but the budget minded side of me can't spend a fortune on fabric when there are less expensive options out there. I am then left in a bind, budget or fashion. I have found a way to satisfy both. Here are some of my tips for saving some green.
In my town the only two places to buy fabric is Walmart and Porter's Craft and Frame.

Porter's
Porter's has an amazing selection of Cotton, Flannel and Minky. They carry the major designers (Moda, Micheal Miller & Amy Butler) and have every style of fabric you might want, whether that be contemporary, traditional, holiday or children prints. Their material is of the finest quality and the sales staff is super knowledgeable but you end up seeing that quality and expertise in the price of the fabric. At Porters cotton and flannel is usually about $10 dollars/yrd., Minky $20-25/yrd., and they have a small selection of ruffled fabric for $24/yrd. Porter's makes it easy for their loyal customers to save money by sending e-mails out with their weekly deals.
One deal that I was able to save quite a lot of money on was the two Minky blankets I made. They ran a promotion from 5-10 one evening where Minky fabric was $10/yard (a savings of $10 to $15/yard). The retail value of crib sized Minky blanket (36" by 50")  is regular price is $85/blanket (then 50" by 60" are $125), my blankets were (45" by 60") and came in at $25/blanket.
I also received a great deal on the fabric I purchased the Minky fabric for the Minky crib sheet. My crib sheet came to $16 dollars because I found it at the special selection Minky for $7.88/yrd. Since a regular crib mattress from Walmart will set you back $11 on average, $16 dollars for Minky doesn't seem to extreme.

Walmart
Saving money at Walmart on fabric, is a little tricky because they rarely put their fabric on sale. One deal that I found on fabric is when our store does their semi-annual flannel sale ($2.50 instead of the regular $5). I learned if you are going to take advantage of this deal arrive early in the morning or late in the evening and don't take your kids, because lines will be long. With this deal I made extra long flannel receiving blankets.
Walmart occasionally has $1-2/yrd fabric, this is great to purchase to mockup a sewing pattern or if you like the look of the fabric and won't be wearing/washing it a bunch. I used this to make Boston's ruffled crib skirt (maybe someday I will get around to posting a picture of her crib).
Which I needed 7 yards of fabric to do this project I was happy to get a deal on it. Occasionally, Walmart will close out of some of their quilters cotton (giving you a $1 dollar off a yard deal).
The biggest deal on fabric you are going to find is going to be when they close out of clothing at the end of the season, when this happens get the largest size of shirt you can (think yardage).
June 19, 2012

What We Wore Wedding/Family Picture Edition

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Al's family: Al & Kayleen peasant top with three tier dresses made by Al and her mother-in-law, Brigham is wearing cream satin pants made by Al with a striped tie onesie by Scary (me). Al's hair cut was done by Jo.
My family (Scary): My shirt purchased from Maurices, Brooklyn and I were wearing matching skirts made from pre-ruffled fabric (I used this tutorial to make it). Rhett is wearing a tie shirt that I made using satin and ribbon.My hair was dyed by Jo.
Nae's family: Nae ordered her bridesmaid outfit for herself.
Jo's Family: Boys (#1-4) wearing tie shirts with custom strips made by Scary (me) for each boy, (#5) No-sew tutu made by Jo, Jo wearing a jersey shirred dress from Walmart. Jo's was hair cut done by our friend Rachelle.
My beautiful Mom and my handsome Dad.
The unedited family picture- now to work for a few weeks to combine layers to get the perfect shot.


June 18, 2012

Minky Crib Mattress Tutorial

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Update: This is still a favorite almost a year later. Looks as good as the first day. Boston usually has her Minky blanket by the corner and her face against the crib sheet. I made one for Heber and he is a big fan as well! Heber is notorious for super pooping and Al said there isn't a single poop stain on it.  It has washed sooooooo well!

This week Boston just reached the 5 month milestone this week. This milestone comes with to expectations, she needs to go without her very-early morning feeding (really 3 am gets really old after 5 months). She has been rolling for 1 1/2 months and now she is getting to the trying to crawl and can roll to her stomach whether she is bundled or not. Both of these milestones coming at nearly the same time made me realize that I needed a good solution for comforting her through the long night without bundling her.

Boston is a comfort queen has been since birth. She has always preferred her Minky and Cuddle Soft with Satin Ruffles to her flannel or cotton blankets. Her Minky and two sided fleece blankets are too large and bulky to put in the crib without suffocation hazard.

Enter the solution:  Minky crib mattress. I can feel good that she has something to comfort her. She will be satisfied in laying on a bed of luxury and will be okay in the fact that she is not being bundled.


It has been several days since I made it and she has already fallen asleep successfully on it several times without being wrapped up. At 3 am when she woke up this morning I went into their room, put the pacifier back in her mouth and patted her back gently for 30 seconds, until she was still. Then I left the room got back in my bed and waited to hear her protest (as has happened before) but instead she didn't make a pep until 6 am (I know early but for my kids it is pretty normal).
Tutorial time!

Project Difficulty: Easy (1 1/2 hour project, this is with cutting time)
Yardage Needed: 2 yards of Minky, 1 package of 1/2" elastic (one package made 2 sheets)
We need a 69.5" x 45.5" rectangle

Lay your fabric out measure: Out 69.5" (I found it was easiest to make sure I was measuring right to pin the tape measure along the way)

My measuring tape only went to 60 so I pinned there and then pinned another 9.5" inches. I did this on both sides of the fabric. I folded my fabric and matched up the 69.5" markers, I then used my mat, rotary cutter and ruler cut my fabric. Once I had my 69.5" edge cut, I laid out and measured the 45.5" inch from one salvage edge. I then measured and pinned on the other side of the fabric and matched up the pins and folded twice to make it fit on my mat.
Now to cut 1-8 by 8 inch block out of each corner of your rectangle (Also did this with a rotary cutter).
Take up and match the outside edge of the sides of your fabric and pin together. I used my serger to finish my edge so I matched up my right sides but if you don't have a serger you will want to do a french seam because Minky sheds so bad.
After I had finished my corners I sergered around my edges. Then I made a casing for my elastic by folding the edge, if you don't have a serger you will need to make small little fold (1/4" and then your 3/4"). Tip: I like to put two pins down to remind me to stop so I don't close in my casing before getting the elastic in.
Now you will use a safety pin to run your elastic through the casing. I like to put a knot in my elastic because then if my elastic breaks off on the safety pin I can easily find the end and don't have to start all over (and with this the worlds longest casing it is nice if you don't have to start all over). After it was all the way through I tried to distribute the elastic evenly. I am not sure how much elastic I ended up using because I just ran it until it felt right (I know super right brained of me).
Once I have met up the two sides I like to do a zig zag stitch to secure it. I usually drop my stitch length down to 1 or the special stitch and go back till I am satisfied with the security of the elastic. I then cut off my knot. And then I finish my casing.

Then I immediately put it on the bed and let the little lady go down for a snooze. The result was one happy baby girl, what a sweet little sleeping bug!
I loved this project so much I made one for her cousin, Heber. She decided to test that one out to make sure it met the sleeping baby test.

I Heart Nap TimeSew Chatty Our Delightful Home
June 09, 2012

Capturing Your Family History through Pictures

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Last night I participated in a Relief Society workshop for our ward about photography. I wanted to focus my capturing your family history through pictures. I thought I would share this information here.

Capturing Your Family History through Pictures

As we write, tell or blog; our family stories with pictures our posterity will have a physical witness of where we have been and what we did. If a picture tells a thousand words think how much more meaningful our history will be with the addition of pictures.

Get Close

Get down to the level of your kids so you can capture the moment from their perspective.
Ryder at about 17 months, he was super tired because of the time change he napped for 5 hours straight. To take this picture I opened the blinds, turned the flash off, put my camera on the crib mattress and used the timer to snap the picture.

Just Keep Shooting

If your kids are doing something funny,interesting or are excited about something pull out your camera and follow them around like Momma Paparazzi. And you are sure to capture a magical moment.
Ryder was at our grandma's house running around. He was so excited that he wasn't paying attention to the fact that it was super muddy. This picture change into this next picture within a matter of seconds.

 This is the point where he picked himself up and was in the process of dusting himself off. If I wasn't already taking pictures there would have been anyway I would have got this picture.

Capture the Story

Don’t always focus on making sure every part of the frame is perfect or well lit just shoot the moment so that you can remember. Keep your camera close and don’t hesitate to take the picture because it might show that you have dishes in your sink.
Al had invited Ryder over to a sleep over with Ty and while Al was making cinnamon rolls he got into the flour and covered himself and Ty in flour.

When Ty was just born then Grandma Shaffer came over to help Al and Ty. The other kids were fighting for her attention. They all thought that she should hold them. I call it Grandma Attack.

Take Evidence You Were There 

When you visit somewhere don’t just take pictures of the things that you see but the people that you’re with. Otherwise your pictures might not mean any more to you than a postcard.
Slim Jim with the Old Faithful buffalo
What my Yellowstone adventure was, transporting two kids around the paths.
Visiting downtown Salt Lake City on the train with Grandpa and Austin


Babies: Make them comfortable
Remember food, clean diaper and good temperatures and they will work for the camera all day long. Heating pads are good for keeping a new baby asleep while you are taking their picture. Lighting is really important because their eyes are so sensitive so open your blinds and prop them by a window.
Put the heating pad under the first layer of the afghan.
I used the natural light from our balcony door.
Snap shots of their stages.
Toddlers: Use Props
20 month photo shoot at the park with his favorite ball
Love this picture! And the balloons were perfect for a day where we had skipped naps and the kids were tired.
Saint Patrick's Day Photo shoot. They loved playing at the park and didn't even mind that I was taking their picture
Remember basic needs plus toys or activities. When you have a little one that can’t hold still give them something to play with and just keep shooting.

Kids: Let them be silly (works for husbands too)


Taking Matthew to the pumpkin patch (5 years old).
Kids are naturally silly so embrace that inner silly side and you are sure to capture a natural smile.

Just Keep Shooting

Some days your kids may not cooperate and you might have to bribe them with a treat but when you reflect back on the pictures you have taken and the memories you have captured you will be glad you went through the work, the struggles to capture your family’s history through pictures.

Treasure the Moments

Every day is a gift and every picture is a witness of that. A snap shot might end up meaning a lot more to you and your family than a perfectly posed and scripted photo shoot.

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