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Monday, August 31, 2009


Today I decided to make cookies for convention.

I was only planning on bringing spelt bread this year, but I found this awesome "fall" recipe while I was browsing over at The Pioneer Woman today, and I just couldn't resist trying them!

They turned out great- even though I used 3/4 cups of honey instead of 1 cup sugar, and I only had a scant 1/4 cup of maple syrup.

Plus, I added double the chocolate chips. Yum. ;)

So, after taste-testing them with my daycare after-schooler (dunked in milk, of course!) I thought, "Hey, what a great diet-table recipe for convention!"

Made doubly great because I made mine out of spelt flour.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

We Interupt This Program For An "Awwwww!" Moment

Today, I went "grocery" shopping.

I needed a second kitchen rug, and of course I wanted one to match the one I already have, so I stopped at Target.

I love Target.

It's a dangerous place for me to shop though. I spend too much money there.

And, today, they were having their "end of the season, lots of cute stuff on clearance (or at least on sale)" sale.

Uh oh.

So, you guessed it, I bought stuff.

Stuff that I really didn't "need" persay, but that will come in oh-so-handy!

It's stuff I can use. You know?

Like, an incredibly cute baby outfit...

It wasn't "technically" on sale, but it's SO STINKIN' ADORABLE!!!

I had to buy it for my baby girl.
(Boy, are we in for a shocker if it's really a boy that's just been hiding away in there!) ;)

Unfortunately, I couldn't find this particular dress in the newborn size, so this is a 3 month size. The shoes are "newborn", so she probably won't actually be able to wear this outfit together, but STILL- way, way too cute to pass up!

Plus, the maternity clothes I picked up to wear for convention were on sale (well, okay, most of them), the cute new bag wasn't (but it will work so well for a "convention" bag this year and can double later on as a small diaper bag!), and the other two cutie-pie tops I bought for the baby were too.

So, please, I beg you, don't think less of me.

I just couldn't help myself.

I blame the gestational related hormones- they're ruling my brain these days.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WIP Wednesday: More Napkins, and Wipes

The napkin project continues.

It hasn't been completed yet- but I'm getting there. I guess that's why they call it "Work In Progress", right?

Truth is, I've been busy with other things- like getting a start (finally!!!) on our bedroom remodel project, freezing the abundance of tomatoes from the garden (oh dear- once again we've planted waaay too much- soon it'll be the squash, zucchini, cukes, and who knows what else!), and just plain trying to "keep up" with daily life in general- who knew the end of pregnancy could be so t i r i n g?


Anyway, here are the first set of napkins that I did get finished.

My daycare boys will appreciate the vehicle theme we've got going on here.
(A lot of trains, planes, trucks, etc. make their way through this house every week.)

I also decided to take the extra wipes pieces I had left over from the sets we're getting made for the shop and sew them up.

I'll either keep them for Regan, or we'll send them out to our tester mamas who might be interested.
(If you are interested in trying them out- or any of the other products we'll be featuring- let me know in the comments!)

So, here they are.

Not quite done yet either, but, hey- I'm worn out these days!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bring on the Remodeling!!!

(A very BIG sigh of relief.)

Finally, finally, finally our 2008 taxes are done.
(Yes. I did just say "2008".)

I think I've mentioned before that we filed for an extension this year due to various reasons.
The main reason being that we are just not organized people, and are both prone to procrastination.

Ugh. (Blushing of embarassment.)

Anyway, getting the tax thing done has been our biggest road block to getting a start on remodeling our bedroom.

And, I have been stressing out not being able to do my pregnant-mama nesting thing to get my (and the baby's) space ready because of it!

But now, all will soon be right (or right-er) with the world!


Tonight folks, yes- I said TONIGHT- the clearing of the bedroom (currently in use as an office/spare room/catch-all room) begins!

(Can you hear me screaming of joy all the way through the computer???)

The window is ordered (yes, we're going down to the wall studs here, people!) and will be arriving in about two weeks.

Just enough time (keep those fingers- and toes!- crossed) to get the rest of the room cleared, "demo-ed", and new sub-flooring (?) & drywall in!

It should all come together nicely (she says while knocking on wood).

I'll do my best to post pictures as we make our way through this project.
(I am so excited! I can hardly focus- at last, one room that will be just how I'd like it, pretty, and my very own just-so little sanctuary!!!)

Would you like to see what we're starting with?
*On one condition- you must not judge! I promise (promise, promise, promise) the way this room currently stands is NOT indicitive of the rest of our home!*



Here it is.

(This was a second doorway that was originally in this room when we moved into the house. It led into the bathroom. I guess in case you had to get up in the middle of the night to use the "facilities"? A short cut? There was also a second doorway for the bathroom itself. It was a maze of doorways. A plethora of doorways. So, we took it out. Notice that we weren't able to "cover it up" before the plaster started to fall apart?)

(The only window in the room. Poor thing. It's a nice, sunny, south window, but it's literally falling out of the side of our house. Pete and I hold our breath any time we need to open it. And, I make him do it- that way, if it does fall completely out, I have time to run and hide before the "aftermath". The entire lower right corner of the window- sash and all- comes away from the side of the house. Seriously, it's not even attached anymore. It's not good. Not good at all.)

(More plaster that has avalanched it's way off the wall at various times throughout this past year.)

(And, the closet. I will never understand the construction of some of these old homes. The biggest bedroom in the house, and it holds the smallest closet in the entire house. Ridiculous.)

(And, no over-head light. You see, the wiring in our cozy old home was, apparently, all "hand-done". Meaning, in our attic- when my dear husband went up there to add some wiring to the dining room ceiling in order to install an actual light (can you imagine?!- sorry, a little sarcasm there- apparently all previous owners enjoyed the dimness of lamp light throughout the house), he found that all of the wiring, for our entire house, was electrical taped together.
I am not exaggerating.
So, when the wiring to the light fixture "blew" in this room last year sometime, we didn't even bother trying to fix it- it's going to take a total re-haul.)

So, that's that.

At least, for now...

Wish us luck!


Monday, August 24, 2009

"Cloth Diapers?!"

That's what Pete and I hear a lot when someone finds out for the first time that we are planning on using cloth diapers for our little one.

"What? Are you crazy?!", their tone of voice and facial expressions seem to say. :)

I think that's because so many people still think of the "old fashioned" cloth diapers from 20+ years ago- the folding, the pinning, the hot, sticky plastic "pants" that went over them- if that were still the way cloth diapering was done today, there's no way we would consider it (let alone be excited about it!) either!

But, thankfully, cloth diapering has come a long way since then!

Are you curious?
Because, let me tell you, the savings can't be beat.

Check it out- there's so much to choose from now-a-days! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Updates

Updates from my first WIP Wednesday project! :)

I've currently gotten the kids' napkins pieced together (sewn on three sides and then tucked and pinned on the fourth side) and ready to be top-stitched. Yay me! :)

Tonight I was also able to spend an hour or so getting 9 sets (sets of 6) of cloth wipes cut out and pieced together, ready to be sewn and added to the shop. It may take us a week or two to get them listed (life is busy these days), but I think they're turning out incredibly cute! :)

Next, on to some "girly" prints! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WIP Wednesday: Children's Cloth Napkins

Today began a project of necessity.

We ran out of napkins.

In fact, we (Pete, the daycare kids, and I) had been using "Happy Birthday" napkins for quite some time because I, in all my baby-brainedness always forget some important item that should be added to the grocery list.

Like napkins. An item I've been forgetting to buy on a regular basis these days.

Pete and I often use cloth napkins anyway (they're easy to wash, and there always seems to be a load of laundry going in anyway- and I somehow feel a little guilty going through so many paper ones, just to throw them out all the time), but the adult sized napkins are too much for little hands to handle.

Trust me- we've tried it, and end up with them going in and through the food, as well as across the faces and hands. More of a mess than we began with! :)

"So", I thought to myself, "I'll just cut some out today while the kids are napping, and stitch them together real quick sometime later tonight."

And, sure enough, I found just the thing in the bags and bags of shared "stash" fabric from my mom (and business partner).

Since most of my little ones right now are boys, I grabbed some of the trains, cars/trucks/vehicles, and zoo animal prints, my trusty quilter's square, and slick little rotary cutter.


8 1/2 in. by 8 1/2 in. squares of cotton fabric ready to be matched together and sewn.

My very first Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesday! :)

Look for them (and cloth wipes!!!) soon in the shop!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New In the Shop!

Nap Mats!

Our Nap Mats
are approximately 43in. long by 28in. wide.

They're so cute and, (according to the daycare kids who've been using their own for a few years now) extremely comfy! :)

Made of cotton, and filled with 100% Polyester batting, they feature long velcro "ties" so they can be rolled up for easy storage.

Great for taking to kindergarten, daycare, or grandma and grandpa's house. :)

Each mat has an attatched pillow- all your child needs is their blankie and they're ready for nap or rest time.

Each mat also has a velcro tab cover that closes over the "scratchy" velcro side of the ties, to prevent the velcro from snagging and catching on other clothing/items in the wash.

100% Machine washable and dryable.

Today we've added three new mats:

Purple Princess

Thomas the Train

and, Diego!

So, hop on over to the shop and check them out! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Reminder to Self...

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials."


Oh, thank goodness for Fridays. :)

They're my favorite day of the week really. The end of the work-week, with two days of non-work (at least, ideally) ahead of me.

I have to admit, as much as I love the little ones I teach and care for (and I do!), I am feeling very relieved to see the end of Friday this week.

I've been so distracted with our life this week, that I feel sort of torn in two directions- caring for our home/preparing for baby/taking care of the "Murphy's Law" situations/trying to keep up on the housework as my energy level starts to fade, and caring for/teaching/really being here and present for the kids I care for.

I feel, in a word, DISTRACTED.

I'm not sure if it's nesting, hormones, or what, but my mind goes 90 miles an hour while my now third trimester belly, body, and poor swollen feet seem to only be able to go about 45. :)
Plus, my mind seems like it's going in a million different directions- I get all these ideas for things I want to do/get done, and I just can't keep up.

For example, last night- as I was waiting for my pictures to be developed- roaming the Wal-Mart aisles, I found myself in the baby section (DANGEROUS!!!).

As I looked at the bedding and blankets I remembered one of my favorite baby gifts we've been given so far- homemade cloth wipes. They are so cute! I decided to buy what I needed to make some too- I had originally planned on using baby washcloths sewn together (which would work just fine too), but the washcloths I bought are not, shall we say, "cute". So, yet another idea was "born" that we'll see if I'll be able to accomplish.

Anyway, I am glad it's Friday today, and that the weekend is fast approaching.

I need some time to focus a little closer to "home". :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Help! We're Being Attacked!!!

By "Murphy" and his/her "law".


Current list:

-Dryer is dead. Price to fix it is almost what a new one will cost. Hmmm, perhaps we should price clotheslines?

-Printer is possessed by demons. We've given up the fight against them. Do not have the extra cash to buy a new one right now. Headed to the library on a regular basis these days to pay 10 cents a page for copying and printing.

-Taxes (that we had to file an extension on) are due at the end of the month, and we still haven't had the chance to get started. Darn to morning sickness, crazy work schedules, and appliances breaking down!

-The bedroom remodel project is still un-started. Darn to the same things listed above!

So, any extra peace and tranquility vibes you've got laying around would be much appreciated if you sent them our way! :)

(10 weeks- or less?- to go today!!!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How I Feel About Our Mini-Van...

So very un-cool.

I feel their pain. I really do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're Back!

And, we have been for quite a while, but with everything going on in "real" life, I haven't had (or made?) the time to pop in here and say hi. :)

We've had two baby showers in the last two weeks (Yay! We're getting a good start on what we need for babykins.), and with school starting again next week I'm back to my full time daycare schedule here at home again.

The "nesting" instinct is growing a little stronger by the day (a very frustrating thing with not having the time I'd like to devote to organization/preparation projects, or the energy- I'm starting to feel the third trimester fatigue), and I'm working hard to keep myself calm and not stress out (ha!) over the fact that we still haven't been able to get started on our room remodeling project. BUT, we are creeping closer to starting it- my wonderful hubby is, in fact, going after work today to look at windows- so it will get done (it will, it will, it will...). :)

We're now right around 7 1/2 months along- yay! I feel so unprepared for her birth, let me tell you! Excited, but slightly terrified. :) Pete says he's feeling pretty much the same way- and we try to console ourselves by telling each other that we'd make for some pretty poor parents if we weren't afraid of somehow messing it up! ;)

So, without further ado, here's the 7 month picture:
(please pardon the pained expression- that morning sun was fierce!)

Yes, the poor, poor garden. It's been a strange year for gardens here in our corner of Iowa. Lots of cool temps and lots and lots of rain. So, the weeds love it (the ever-growing belly doesn't- bending to pull weeds is not a plesant or easy task!), and the flowers, well, they're green and leafy, but the blooms are fairly minimal this year (at least, they have been in our gardens).

My mental "To Do List" is growing too- between now and when I start my several week maternity leave I'd really like to accomplish the following:

* Finish organizing the house. It's a small two bedroom, growing smaller by the day! I'm going to feel so much more peaceful once everything has a place, and everything is in it's place.

* Get the master bedroom completely remodeled, and all of our "stuff" in it. This includes all of the baby's "stuff"- at least the absolute necessities- since she'll be bunking in with us for quite a while (her room is next on the remodle list). By the time this project is done I hope to have a peaceful and pretty room to snuggle into with my brand new girl. :)

* Get all of the puppy's paperwork and "things" together for her move to her new home.
(*sniff, sniff. Yes, we're saying goodbye to our little Ceiba. She's a sweet little dog, but like I said, this house seems to be shrinking around us- and two dogs plus a baby, I do believe, would be just too much.)
Thankfully she's going to my sister and her hubby, so she's not really leaving us, just becoming a farther-away part of our family.

* READ, READ, READ! Pete and I have two main books that we're trying to get through before the baby's born- "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" and "Birth Outside the Box" in order to prepare ourselves for the labor, birth, and those first few weeks with a brand new baby.

Mixed in with all of this are several more days of Preschool Playgroup that I'll be teaching here at home, as well as daycare Monday through Friday, working on designs and products for Mama and Nonni, and the (sometimes never ending) task of getting the produce out of the garden as it ripens and doing... something... with it.

So, like I said, I'm doing my best NOT to panic! ;) Somehow, it will all come together, and in the end the things that may end up falling to the wayside will end up being the things that really, truly, didn't matter that much in the first place.

Here's to being productive these next 8 or 10 weeks! :)