Friday, February 11, 2011

Feb: Gettin' Crafty Update

While I probably haven't succeeded with getting crafty every single day this month, I've actually done pretty darn well so far! It helps that I had two Valentine card clubs this week, so I had a ton of design and prep to keep me busy! Here's some evidence that I've been enjoying some creative time...

Valentine's Day Card Club Designs 
(I also recreated all 4 of last year's designs for one of my groups who wanted to make 8 cards!)
And a bonus mini 3x3:

Belly Blankies
One sent to a friend, one sold to a friend of a friend of a friend. (Yay for sales to people I don't know!)

Miscellaneous Cards
For birthdays and hellos.

Digital Crafting!
I created my very first digital design for Chinese New Year, then printed these cards on photo paper at home and sent them out to the fam.

I was SUPER excited to put something together on my own, rather than having to purchase a design from Etsy or buying photo cards from a retailer. I used Picnik, following these super easy instructions from the Tatum Tales blog.

A few quick lessons learned:

  • You must register for Picnik (free) before you're able to see the functionality to build a collage. 
  • Finalize your background colors, photo positioning, and layout before moving on to the text edits. Once you save that first part, there's no going back (that I can tell) without starting all over (which I had to do because I accidentally created an odd sized image, which then wouldn't print properly on 4x6 paper). 
  • Speaking of printing on 4x6 paper, even with (what I think was) proper proportions, it still bled off a little (or showed some white space) when I printed at home, so I had to print with white borders to make it look good. Not a problem, but good to know that I'll need to expect an extra white border in the future. 
  • Using Picnik is great because it's free and easy, but it sure makes me wish I knew how to use all the wonderful CS software I have. It would be nice to be able to make further, and much more detailed edits (I'm anal that way). But, for now, I'll enjoy the ability to do some simple digital design work during naptime!
And finally, a glance at the Bitty entertaining herself while mom was getting her craft on!

Well Rested

It appears as though the Little Bit is wrapping up her 19th week Leap because she's been sleeping like a champ the past few days. See Exhibit A, above. She's slept 7.5-8.5 hours straight for 3 of the last 4 nights (and keep in mind that we wake her for a "dream feed" bottle before we go to bed at 11pm). WOO HOO!

We really only get this "through the night" style sleeping for a few days after she's completed a leap, but sleep is sleep, so we'll take it! She's also been napping a bit better. In fact, yesterday she put together two 1.5 hour naps all by herself! (As in, she woke up from the first at 45 mins then put herself back to sleep(!!!), and didn't wake at all during the second one!!) Life at home sure is a whole lot more pleasant when this household is getting some rest! I don't have any expectations of it lasting, but you can cross your fingers with me anyway, just in case. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First Meal

Lana enjoyed her first meal tonight. First "solid" meal, that is. It was a spoonful of rice cereal mixed with some pumped milk. She did a great and it was highly entertaining. I'll share more photos soon!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February: Get Crafty

The second challenge from the 2011 List that I'll be taking on for the month of February is to do something creative every day. I'll be at my mom's for a couple weeks this month, and the massive card room always helps get the creative juices flowing. Plus, now that I have a huge monstrosity of an SUV to drive there, I can pack my sewing machine!

Anyway, it doesn't have to be anything huge--putting the finishing touches on a card or sewing the ties on a baby blanket will suffice. Who knows, maybe it'll actually lead to some finished projects! Or at least a nice stash of ready-to-mail cards.

The Year of the Rabbit

Clearly this tiger is not terribly interested in being dressed as a rabbit!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

February: Take Your Vitamins

One of my focus areas for February from the 2011 List will be taking my vitamins. I know this really shouldn't be that difficult, but for some reason it's a serious struggle for me to remember to take pills. I did pretty well with my prenatal, but it was only one pill so I just kept the jar by my bed. Now, in addition to my prenatal (multi), I also take a probiotic (that's refrigerated), 3 calcium supplements (due to my dairy free diet), and 3 fish oil capsules (that are supposed to be taken throughout the day). So, keeping them by my bedside is no longer an option.

If I can remember to take the majority in the morning, it's a good day. Remembering to take the remainder throughout the day is practically unheard of!

Ideas? How do you remember to take your vitamins?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flowers on the Go

Despite my efforts to remember (and acknowledge) people's birthdays this year, I nearly missed yet another one last week. Thankfully Jamie mentioned in a text that she was making dinner for her mom's birthday. Eek! I had no notes on that one and hadn't sent a card to Edy. (I've realized since that if you're not on Facebook, I'm still likely to miss your birthday!)

Luckily, I have this quick little flower bouquet thing that I do occasionally for birthday gals in the area. And with just a few supplies, you can too!

Basically, I'm not such a fan of gifting flowers that just came from the store, still wrapped in their cellophane glory. So instead, I spend 5 extra minutes to deliver something that's just a wee bit sweeter looking. And, as an extra bonus, the recipient doesn't have to take time out of their busy day to trim and arrange the flowers in their own vase (which, on tough days, I don't even get around to doing when I buy flowers for myself...sad!)

Here's what you'll need:
  • Flowers. I prefer one type of flower in one color. I find it to be simple, classy, hard to mess up, and often less expensive. But the choice is yours!
  • Glass jar. I use from my endless supply of canning jars, but really any glass jar can work. (Take my word for it, we used ALL kinds at our wedding.)
  • Scissors. To trim the ends.
  • Water. You can use the fountain in the grocery store, or leftovers from the water bottle that rolled under the seat in your car. 
  • Pretty coordinating ribbon. Throw in a few options before you leave the house if you're arranging on the go.
I think the instructions are pretty self explanatory, but a couple tips:
  • Err on the short side when cutting your stems. Most flowers look best in a big bulby bunch in jars.
  • Trim your stems at an angle and get into water quickly.
  • Tear the leaves off the stems. 
  • Tie your piece of ribbon around the jar. Wider ribbon is typically nicer. Or you can go for longer stems, and tie your ribbon tight around the flowers, placing it in the jar like a bouquet. Looks pretty, but be careful the combo isn't too top heavy. 
This is simple enough to be done in your car, with a screaming baby sitting next to you. Take my word for it!

And, if you're lucky, you might even have a couple stems left over from the bunch to brighten up your own space at home!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Big Changes

Seemingly overnight, there has been a subtle, but monumental change with Lana. You know how babies always have their little fists clenched, whether it's wrapped around your finger, batting at a toy, or shoved in their mouth? Well, just this past week, Lana has morphed into open-hand girl. It's sounds simple, but the difference in her demeanor and activity is CRAZY! She now grabs for and holds onto toys, and she places her adorable little open hand gently on mine, or on my chest, or on her little knee. It's freaking adorable.

She'll be 19 weeks old this week, so I knew to expect this leap from The Wonder Weeks book (which I love), but it's so awesome to see it in action!
Now if we could just get her back to sleeping and eating like a normal kid again (instead of a rabid beast), that would be fantastic!

January: Floss.

I've had horrible teeth for as long as I can remember. No, not as in, "oh I had this cavity once, it was terrible!" As in, I was the little girl in elementary school with silver caps on all her teeth. Yes, all of them. And as long as we're talking about terribly embarrassing childhood awkwardness, I might as well lay it all out on the table. I also had to wear Forest Gump style braces on my legs when I was a baby so that my feet would face forward, and I wore a full-wrap-around-upper-body (hip to armpit) plastic brace for 2 years in high school to slow down the progression of my scoliosis.

As I'm sure you can guess, I was the most popular girl in school! In all seriousness, though, it makes me wonder how I came out as a (slightly) functioning adult. Maybe that explains why I'm so darn mean?!

Anyway, back to the teeth. I don't have poor dental hygiene. I brush twice a day, everyday. But, like most Americans, I don't floss daily. However, considering how weak my teeth are, and how expensive root canals are, and how I really don't want to have to get dentures when I'm 50, I figure now is the time to buckle down and make flossing a daily habit.

So, flossing daily became my Monthly Do for January. It's not like it's difficult. Or even terribly time consuming. I'm just lazy and would like to get into bed 2 minutes faster, without actually heading for bed 2 minutes earlier!

The good news: I only missed one day this month. I don't recall when it was, I just remember we had gotten home super late one night and by the time we got the baby fed and down, it was all I could do to make it to my toothbrush. But all in all, I think that's a pretty darn good start to my 2011 Do list. Hopefully one month of full commitment is enough to make it stick!

For all you flossers out there: any tips on your favorite brand? I've been working my way through a lifetime's stash of various brands and have been shocked by how different they all are. Does anyone know if there's a biodegradable/compostable brand available? I might just have to look into that, in preparation for my upcoming "waste less" plans...