Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Last pre-baby vacation!

Jimmy and I had to take one last trip before this little guy arrives.  We flew to Atlanta to visit our friends Danny and Julie.  Julie and I worked together 7 years ago and I was bummed when she moved south.  But, it gives me an excuse to go visit!  She is also pregnant and is due just 1 week before me!  We were both ecstatic when we found out!

Our first stop in Atlanta was our favorite BBQ joint, Fat Matt's Rib Shack!  I googled gestational diabetes before leaving so I would have a better idea of what I could eat before having my doctor's appointment this week.  I stuck to the roasted chicken and brunswick stew since they are lower in carbs.  Every meal here gets AT LEAST two slices of white bread, I limited myself to one. Jimmy was lucky and got to partake in the pie (he chose sweet potato, but their pecan is TO DIE FOR!)
After our brief lunch stop we headed north about 30 miles to Cumming, GA.  Danny and Julie are two of the most wonderful people I know.  They graciously offered to let us stay with them!  And they have a pool so it was an easy "yes."  We had our squealy girl reunion, complete with hugs and baby bump touching and wasted no time getting into the pool.
 They also have a ceramic grill called the Big Green Egg which is incredible.  We had Cuban sandwiches on Friday with Pork cooked in it and homemade pizza on Saturday.  Somehow we missed the picture of the egg, but the food pictures are just as good!
Saturday was Jimmy's kind of day.  We slept in, went mini-golfing and hung out by the pool some more.  I even got two holes-in-one!  We ended the night with a rousing game of Monopoly, complete with custom soundboard!
We were sad to say goodbye on Sunday morning, but knew we would see each other again soon (both of us with babies by then!)  We ate at Waffle House (they need to build one in MN) and took our last photos.
Our last stops for the trip were in downtown.  We visited Coca-Cola World and learned all about the history of Coke products.  Our favorite part was at the end when we got the opportunity to taste beverages from around the world.  You could drink all you wanted!  Some of them were very questionable and I wished we had several of them in the states!
We ended the trip with lunch at The Varsity, Atlanta's famous burger cafeteria!  "What'll ya have, what'll ya have? Have your order on your mind and your money in your hand!"  So tasty!  The picture says it all!
And that says it all!  What a great last trip before our lives get turned upside down!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rollercoaster Week

This week started out GREAT! I had a day of pampering and shopping with my mom on Saturday. Sunday was the round 1 of birthday festivities with Jimmy's family (Jimmy and I share August 19th as our birthday.) We had a pool party followed by some tasty BBQ ribs, fried chicken and all the extras.

Work finally started to get manageable by Tuesday and last night was round 2 of birthday festivities with my family. We gathered for more BBQ (can't ever get enough!) and good family time. I also had a very special surprise for Jimmy. I ordered the most wonderful cake in the world. It is from the same bakery we got our wedding cake from and was one of the flavors we had too. Jimmy has said this is the only thing he wants for his birthday for the rest of his life! It is a white chocolate raspberry cake from Penny Steele Custom Cakes. He was so excited!
Everything was great until we got home. I heard water running in the basement and sent Jimmy to check it out. Something was not right. There was water on the bathroom floor and our water heater was making some strange noises. I called my dad (he always knows what to do) and he walked me through turning everything off. I got to wake up early this morning to price out a replacement. Luckily we got our gas company to come out right away and at the best price (on short notice.) Needless to say, we have a new family member!
If that big wet mess wasn't already enough to make me cry (it was), I miserably failed my glucose test today. Everything was going great for my 24 week appointment until they took my blood. I didn't realize there was an "automatic fail." I thought if you failed the 1 hour, you took a 3 hour test. Nope! If you fail bad enough they just say you have gestational diabetes... More crying ensued... I feel like an absolutely horrible mom for being in this situation. I am going to try to do everything to get it under control with diet so I don't have to start taking insulin. Still, the selfish side of me is trying to figure out how I am going to live without ICE CREAM? And the piece of cake I had last night is probably my last for a while. I guess I will be adding some gestational diabetes meal ideas to this blog.

The only consolation to today is that I know tomorrow will be better. I am going to see one of my best friends, who just happens to be preggers too! Our children are already betrothed! I hope your weeks have been just ups and no downs like mine. Real crafting will resume again next week. I can't wait to get back to my sewing machine!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fleece Tie Blanket

I know these things have been around forever and everyone knows how to make them.  But it is a nursery project so I am going to share it!

Materials Needed:
     -2 pieces of fleece cut to the same size (2 yards is the most common, but using 2 1/2 or 3 yards will make a blanket long enough to cover a full adult body)
     -Scissors (a good pair)

Step 1: Lay the 2 pieces of fabric on top on each other and line up the edges as closely as possible.  You may need to trim some edges if they don't match.  It is not crucial for them to match perfectly as this will not be noticeable when tied.

Step 2: Cut slits perpendicular to the fabric edge.  The size is up to you.  I usually make them about 4" deep and 1" apart.  It is also a good idea to start at the corners to make sure you don't cut the slits too far along the edge.  Some people cut a square out of each corner, but I prefer to have one angled tab for a clean look (see picture below.)

 Step 3: Double knot the two layers of fleece together.  Once all tabs are tied you may want to tug on each side length wise to stretch the knots out a bit.

Step 4: Bundle up and relax!  My wonderful baby daddy (and hubby) is a master relaxer!
Super easy craft that ANYONE can do!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My New Favorite Book!

I checked out this book from the library and it is a MUST-HAVE for any mommy or mommy-to-be!  I am only through the first 200 things and I know that I will have to buy it!  So...what is it?   

The Complete Book of Baby Bargains by Kimberly Danger

Even if you aren't trying to do things on a budget or trying to save money (if this is you, you are crazy) this book has some fabulous ideas that will benefit you.  Here are a few of my favorites so far (edited in my words)!

4) Instead of buying one of those expensive maternity pillows you can buy a much cheaper body pillow from Walmart or Target.  You can easily remove or add stuffing to suit your needs.

28) Bring your baby book to the hospital.  Nurses may be willing to do another set of hand and foot prints when they are doing the birth certificate.  Save the money and mess from doing it yourself later!

124/125) Instead of buying costly disposable breast pads (for when things get leaky) buy reusable cloth ones.  Or, even better, make your own!  This is a super simple sewing project that I will be be doing and sharing with you in the future.

List price on the book is $12.99.  Even at full price this book will more than pay for itself!  I hope you are as happy with it as I am.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nursery Project #2: Window Valances

Let the sewing begin!  I was so excited to get going on my sewing projects!  Today I made window valances for the nursery.  This is a fairly simple project and great for a novice like me!  It will help warn me up for the harder things to come!

Materials Needed (for two 57" x 17" valances):

Fabric - I used just over 2 yards of a 43" print
Matching thread
Measuring tape
Sewing Machine
Rods for hanging

Sewing Tip:  It is always a good idea to wash the fabric before starting your project.  Just like new clothes, new fabric will shrink during the first wash.  This isn't as important when making curtains, but will be important when I make my crib sheets and changing pad covers.

Step 1: Decide how large you want your valance or curtain to be.  I am using a 40" rod and want my valance to be a bit bunched.  I decided on a 57" width and 17" height.  Add 3" to each dimension for hemming.  I cut two 60" x 20" pieces.  You also need to cut the strips for the loops that will hang from the rod.  I cut 26 strips that were 2 3/8" x 6 1/2".  This will give be loops that are approximately 1".

Step 2: Prepare the loops.  Take the 26 pre-cut strips and fold them in half on the short side with the back of the fabric out.  It is a great idea to iron these down to keep the fold in place.  Sew down the non-folded edge.  Once all the strips are sewn you can turn them right side out (this can be a little tricky if you are using smaller loops.)  I ironed the sewn strips again so they will lay flat on the rod.

Step 3: Hem the large pieces.  I prefer to fold the edges over twice to make a cleaner look.  Fold the long sides first, iron and pin them, then stitch them down.  Do the same on the short sides.  I ended up with 3/4" hems.  Remember to add more than 3" to your dimensions if you want larger hems.

Step 4: Attach the loops to the top of the valance.  Fold each sewn strip in half and pin to the back of the valance.  I found it easiest to start with one on each end.  I then matched up the loops to find the center and attached one there.  I continued this until I had all of the loops evenly spaced.  Then you can stitch them in place.  I stitched a simple square.

Step 5: Make sure to trim any of the extra thread and they are ready to hang up!  I bought an adjustable metal rod at Menards that matches our door hardware.  The brackets were easy to attach to the wall and I was done! 
 I am very happy with the result!  A simple project that adds style and softness to you windows.  Once again this was a fairly inexpensive project.  I got all of my fabric for 50% off and thread is super cheap!  Total for valances was about $4.50 each.  The rods cost me $9 each for a project total of $27.  Not too bad!  I hope this inspires you to take on you own sewing project.  My journey has just begun and I can't wait to share my next adventure!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

National Night Out!

Last night was the 28th Annual National Night Out.  I have heard about this many times, but never lived in a neighborhood that participated.  NNO isn't just about getting together and grilling with your neighbors, it's about crime and drug prevention.  It sends a statement to your neighborhood that you care about what happens in your area and are willing to stand up for it.  It is also a great opportunity to grow police-community relationships.  This was much more than I expected!

The party started at 6:30 just down the street.  Everyone brought a dish to share and meat to grill, it was quite the spread!
Soon enough both the Police and Fire Departments made an appearance (which might cause a scare if you didn't know they were coming!)  They handed out stickers and crime prevention information.  They also opened up the firetruck and the kids got to climb in!
An extra surprise half way through was a "baby shower" of sorts!  My neighbor Carrie is expecting her little boy in 8 weeks and I am due in December.  The host had mentioned that on some of the invites so several people came bearing gifts.  It was a very fun surprise! 
Peter Rabbit outfits!
I am so glad we went.  We have lived in our house for 2 1/2 years and I didn't know most of my neighbors.  It was fun to meet new people and eat some delicious food.  I can't wait until next year!