Monday, January 30, 2012

Bitty Outfit, Big Step

After losing our first baby at 10 weeks, I entered into this pregnancy leery, to say the least. In an effort to protect my heart from experiencing the unimaginable pain that comes from such a loss again, I didn’t allow myself to get caught up in the baby excitement. I told the friends and family who knew I was expecting that I didn’t want to discuss being pregnant, and I basically went about my business as if I weren’t... mentally, that is. 
This was an easy approach, as Cory felt the exact same way. We didn’t decide on this “plan” together. It was just how we both reacted, in an effort to protect our hearts from the possible ache that we didn’t know if we could face again.
I know it sounds... well, harsh, I guess, but we felt a second pregnancy was a great gamble that would either pay off or break us. 
Things started to change around week 16. We were still scared and worried that things weren’t going to work out, but a small glimmer of hope that they would work out started to grow. We heard a healthy heartbeat and had seen our sweet babe on an ultrasound several times. Plus, we had the confidence of our doctor, who felt things were proceeding as they should. 
Could this pregnancy really turn into a child? Our child? 
Then I saw this outfit -- a sweet sweater suit -- and I was in love. I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl at the time, but I thought this little number would work for either. And it was on sale! 

So I... 


...made the purchase.
This may sound silly, but this was a HUGE step for me. It meant acknowledging the fact that I was expecting a baby. A little person who would actually wear this adorable attire someday. It made everything feel... real. 
This was a turning point. 
The act of buying this one little outfit changed everything. It took me from just experience sickness and a changing body to being an expectant mother. It made things feel real. And wonderful!
Today, at 22 weeks, I’m still terrified everyday. Terrified something will go wrong. Terrified I’ll make a mistake. Eat the wrong food. Lift the wrong box. Take the wrong trip. Stress too much. Do something to jeopardize our child. But I’m also exhilarated. We’re going to be parents, which brings a feeling of excitement I can’t begin to explain or replace with anything I've experienced before. The hope I feel doesn’t eliminate the fear, but it certainly counters it and has me in a place where I feel I can actually enjoy this time in my life instead of fear it. Finally. 
And it all started with this one little outfit. An outfit I just happened upon in a local gift shop. It just goes to show ya that small blessings really can be found around any corner.  And I’m so thankful I happened around the right corner at the right time. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

20 wks & Feeling Clueless

I’m half way there! Half way to a bouncing baby girl. Well, she’s already bouncing--she moves a lot--but I’m half way to meeting her, and I’m starting to feel those nerves. I don’t know much of anything about raising a baby. I’m the youngest child, growing up I only babysat older kids... in other words, I don’t know much about this baby bidnaz. 
This is where I’m coming to you for help. I have a few questions on my mind that I’d love your insights on:
  • Diapers: What brand is a good brand? I’d like to start buying those now (a great suggestion made by a Facebook friend), but I don’t know where to start. 
  • Cradles/Bassinets: Worth the investment? I imagine it’s nice to have that bitty babe close by while they’re newborns, which would require such a bed, right? 
  • Clothes: Is the month thing on clothing accurate? In other words, I’m due in June. Does this mean I should be buying winter clothes in the 6-9 month size?
  • Birthing Classes (eeep!): Is that something I should start looking into now? I have to admit that ignorance is currently bliss, but I’m going to have to face the childbirth music sooner or later. Is it sooner? Or is it later?

  • Best Baby Sites and Stores: When it comes to baby furniture/bedding/etc., do you know of any good websites or stores? Babies R Us and Pottery Barn Kids are about the only big baby stores around here that I know of, though Buy Buy Baby is coming soon (yay!). 

Any ideas you have to share about these or other topics would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, my baby-wise friends. This clueless mama-to-be greatly appreciates your wisdom.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Studio 5 Storage Segment and a Free Download

On set at Studio 5. 

Recently I had the pleasure of sharing a few crafty storage solutions on Studio 5, a local lifestyle program. As promised, I’m back with a link to that segment. A big thanks to those outside of Utah who’ve expressed interest in viewing it. Your support makes me happy. You can watch more of my segments on the Creating Keepsakes website

Also, I’d like to mention that Creating Keepsakes, the awesome scrapbook mag I work for, designed a free label download just for YOU. It’s the cutest -- a sheet of “Sweet Shoppe” stickers that you can print on a basic sheet of 1" x 2.63" Avery labels. Simply open the file in Microsoft Word to print. It doesn’t get much easier than that. 

Free label download! 
Download your labels here and use them on anything and everything you can think of. In the October 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes, we shared this idea from Whisker Graphics. LOVE! If you like it too, run to your dollar store, buy some sugar jars (Yes, they’re only a buck), print your free labels, and store your twine in style!

Idea published in the Oct. 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes.  Copyright Creative Crafts Group, posted with permission from publisher. 
And, this post wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to my BasicGrey Sampler winner. Congrats, Cynthia! The Sampler is on its way to you (dog not included). I hope you love it as much as I do. Thanks to all who entered!

Don't let that sad pup face fool you; Kisses is thrilled to send this canvas to a lucky blog winner.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The baby is a...

Here's the surprise box I prepared for Mom and Pop to share the gender news .

What could be inside?

Looks like a pink balloon and chocolates wrapped in shiny pink foil.

But what does the tag say?

Yes, indeed! It's a girl!            

We couldn't be more excited. Bring on the pink! :)


Monday, January 16, 2012

A New Year's Greeting

Despite the best of intentions, I only got a portion of my Christmas cards out on time. No worries. That’s what New Year's greetings are for, right? I hope so, because that’s the route I took. I made these cards for some of those on my card list. 
Unlike traditional cards, I used a small kraft sack as my card base (instead of paper). 

I stamped the word “wishes” and the actual wishes tags using an alphabet set from Clear & Simple Stamps

I then cut the sack down a little using pinking sheers.

Using a small circle punch, I punched a tab in the bag.

I stamped a few of the things I wish for my friends this year. 

I stamped the date on an office tag, using a doily set from Studio Calico and a vintage numbers set from Cavallini & Co. *swoon*

I ADORE these bitty clips from Stampin’ Up! It added just the little detail I was looking for. 

For a little texture, I sewed on the wish tags and stitched the tag to the paper sack. 

To finish things off, I made envelopes using an envelope template and cardstock. Don’t you LOVE the decorative shipping label? They’re a favorite new item of mine. They’re from TapeSwell.

These 2012 greetings actually came together rather quickly. I had fun looking at cards in a different, less traditional way. I hope you like the idea and will do the same.
Happy 2012! I wish you: 

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year, BIG News!

See that? It's our baby (taken at 14 weeks)! Isn't he/she cute? :)

Cory and I are beyond thrilled to announce that we’re expecting a baby! If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that we lost a baby in 2010, so we remain cautiously optimistic at this point, but we are getting more excited and less afraid as things progress. In fact, I bought my first little baby thing this week - a cute sweater outfit. Up until now, I've been too afraid to take that step, but I finally did, and it felt good. We deeply appreciate any warm thoughts you have to send our way during this scary/exciting time.
Whenever I share this happiness with someone, I get similar questions, so I thought I’d answer a few of those for you now. 
* How far along are you? I’m currently 18 weeks. For those of you who don’t speak ‘pregnancy’ (I’m still learning the language myself), this is 4.5 months, or about half way. Everything is measured in weeks because that’s how quickly things change and progress. It’s pretty amazing! And scary! 

Not the best pic (a phone photo), but this is me @ 18 weeks. There's a bit of a bump taking shape. 
* What are you having? We find out the gender on Wednesday, and yes, I’m definitely finding out. I admire those who can sit on such a surprise for a full nine months, but I’m absolutely not in that “team green” club. 
* How are you feeling? Much better these days. The first trimester was rough, to say the least. I lost 18 pounds. Of course, I had weight to lose, so that was okay, but I felt pretty ick most of the time. I’m now able to eat and actually enjoy it again, and I have a bit more energy, which is great! I’m currently off of my narcolepsy medicine, which, combined with pregnancy fatigue, has taken its toll on my energy, but it hasn’t been as hard as I feared. 
Due to some autoimmune fun on my part, I’m considered “high risk.” Because of this, I’m blessed with not one, but two fabulous doctors, and they take very good care of me. More than that, Cory has been PHENOMENAL. He’s always taken great care of me, but he’s gone above and beyond with nothing but a sweet and loving attitude (even when my own attitude isn’t always described in such a favorable way). I’m very loved and very grateful for that love!

Yeah... this is pretty much how I look in all of my fall/winter photos this year--sick but happy. This kind of sick is okay because of what it means, and I did my very best to keep a positive attitude for that reason, even on the worst days. 

* Do you have names picked out? We’re still working on this one. We don’t really see eye to eye on most names, especially where a little boy is concerned. I like Eli. Cor’s ho-hum on that one. He likes Archie (he says he’s kidding, but I know part of him really does like it). And while that name is admittedly growing on me, I don’t see it making the final cut. So, the jury is currently out on this one. 

* Is my family excited? Absolutely! My mom keeps referring to the babe as “Little Peggy” (her name), and my pop has started in with the “Little Gerald” (his name). LOL My sister-in-law asks me almost daily if I know the gender, because she can’t wait to start shopping for bitty shoes. Yes, the fam is definitely on board with this baby bidnaz. 
* What about your car? As much as I ADORE my cute Ford Mustang, it’s not exactly a mom car. It looks like I’m going to have to find Sally a new home. If you know of anyone looking for a much loved 05 Mustang with low milage and an AWESOME stereo, please let me know. I want her going to a good home. 

I love this car! This pic was taken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in April. Sally is now looking for a good home. Let me know if you have any leads. Thanks! 

For those of you interested, I’ll do my best to keep my blog updated as thing progress. I’ll definitely share the gender news when we have it to share. 

I’ll close with a sincere thank-you to you for your support throughout our baby journey, in 2010 and now. It warms our hearts. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DIY Craft Storage and a Giveaway!

Every year at this time I say to myself, “Let’s get this mess cleaned up. It’s time to get organized!” In an effort to make that happen, I’ve created a few projects to help store my always-growing crafting stash. 
I’m going to share these ideas on Studio 5 this morning at 11:00. If you’re in the neighborhood (TV-reaching ‘hood, that is), I hope you’ll tune in. If not, I’ll post the segment tomorrow. Here’s what I’m going to share:
Washi Tape Tube
This idea, inspired by one I saw on Pinterest, is so clever. Simply fill a straw container with rolls of decorative tape. It looks pretty and keeps the tape all together. You may have to unscrew the nut at the end of the metal dish so you can thread your tape, but that’s an easy task and completely worth it!

Button Button
I found these M-A-Zing oversized buttons at Mood, a fabric store in NYC. And, guess what!?! You don’t have to fly to the Big Apple to score these. You can get them on their website!
Use them to hold your favorite decorative buttons. Buttons to hold more buttons? Love it!

Washi Tissue Hangers
I first saw washi tissue paper (or very thin, decorative tissue paper) at the Nat’l Stationery Show in May. And I fell in love. But how do I store it without it getting damaged and wrinkled? Trouser hangers!

Simply Mod Podge (glue) the tissue paper (mine is from 7gypsies) to the hanger for a quick hanging option that automatically identifies the tissue it’s to hold. These hangers are fun whether you use them in your craft room or your closet. Wouldn’t they be cute holding little baby clothes?

Lined with Liners
Another piece inspired by Pinterest, I filled an IKEA jar with my collection of cupcake liners. I then created a box flower from a few liners and placed it on top of the jar to give it a little pizzazz. 

Paperclip Keepers
Decorative paperclips are a BIG deal right now. As you begin to add them to your stash, consider storing them on an old cheese grater like this one. I simply spray painted it a retro pink and clipped my clips on.

For this pin board (purchased at Hobby Lobby), I attached strips of canvas with pins and then clipped the paperclips on. Either storage option will work and look cute in your space!

Not Your Grandma’s Pin Cushion
Canvas Corp, one of my favorite crafting companies, just released these terrific burlap books, just right for keeping your collection of pins. No mess. No fuss. Just storage!

WIN ME! (The BasicGrey canvas, that is)
I'll have more ideas on the show, including an idea using the new and oh-so-cool new Sampler canvases from BasicGrey. Do you want to win one? Simply leave a comment on this post and I'll select a lucky lady or gent to receive one.  

Plus, I'll share info on a free (and super cute) download on today's Studio 5, so please tune in and/or check my blog again soon for more on that. Thanks, and good luck with your own organization goals. If you have a trick up your sleeve, I hope you'll share it with me. I'm always looking for new tips to publish in Creating Keepsakes magazine