Sunday, December 26, 2010


Lately, Claire has been spending some time in her play gym.

The cow is a particular favorite.

Probably because of the black and white contrast, but we'll let her daddy think she's already contemplating farming as a career.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

monkey arms

One comment we're constantly hearing about Claire is how long her arms and fingers are. And truly they are a little out of proportion because her clothing fits everywhere but the sleeves are a tad short. Just a tad but it's enough to warrant a comment or two. And usually I'll retort, "yeah, we hope she grows into them one day."

I'm sure they'd make a comment about her feet too if they weren't all bundled up. But we don't mind. She is so perfect to us and her lengthened extremities just make her who she is. Plus it's fun to watch how she moves them and folds them. No trouble reaching things; that's for sure!

Monday, December 13, 2010

one month

Sunday, I was officially one month old. I celebrated by:

Making funny faces while mommy was taking my pictures.

Wrinkling my forehead and exercising my facial muscles.

There was lots of arm-waving too. I have long arms, you know.

I laid around and looked at my cousins, Joseph and Joshua who came to visit me.

I looked out the window at my first snow. It was slick outside and cold, but I didn't know because I was snug as a bug inside my carseat cocoon as Daddy calls it.
I made more funny faces.

And, I melted Mommy's heart. She can't believe I'm such a big girl already.


On a positive note, the dogs don't hate Claire. They just want to be wherever she is 100% of the time.

If I'm in claire's room, they are too. Jett even followed me in the middle of the night last week.

If Claire is under a blanket, there must be room for two dogs there too.

And most definitely when she's nursing. Claire and two dogs are easy to balance on a boppy (side note: the best invention ever).

But, I'm being patient because thus far they've done nothing mean or spiteful. They've been quite cute actually. I'm pleased to say I love them more now that Claire is here than I did before. She loves looking at them and studying them if they'd stay still long enough... I just know they'll grow to be great friends one day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

tummy time

Basically looks like a chicken pecking the ground. Seems so cruel yet Claire doesn't seem to mind.

Just look at those wrinkles and at only 4 weeks old.

claire's room

Normally, I'm a very very organized and timely person, but with Claire's room, I just couldn't pull myself together. I had a vision for what I wanted it to be like, but it wasn't coming together.

First, her room was painted the light tan color that was the same through0ut color in our house. I actually liked the way that looked, but was wanting something a bit different. So, we changed it to yellow, which in theory sounded nice, but really it just looked very yellow once it was painted. Didn't like that at all. So, there her room sat for weeks. Complete, but yellow. I tried to talk myself into liking it, but I just wasn't.

Finally, I worked up the courage to tell Greg that I wanted it repainted. And, that I wanted it to be blue. I think he really thought I had lost my mind since it was supposed to be a room for a girl. But, he obliged and painted 3 samples of paint on the wall for me, and we finally settled on this color.

(I'll have a complete listing of my paint colors in a separate post.)

I call it "aqua" because that sounds less masculine.

The quilt was made by yours truly after following an online tutorial recommended to me by Susan Weinroth. Unfortunately, the tutorial isn't available online anymore, but I'm sure you could find one similar. I've only made 2 quilts in my lifetime and both were self-taught by following youtube videos or tutorials. The binding tutorial that I used was by Heather Bailey, but if you're like me and have never seen the concept, watch a youtube video on it first and then her instructions will make more sense.

The picture frames in the above photo are by Pottery Barn Kids and they're on sale now. I purchased all 3 sizes, and plenty of them. Then, I filled them with old dictionary pages and diecuts from the Nursery Rhyme Slice Cartridge by Making Memories.

This armoire is actually an old TV cabinet that Greg and I bought for our first apartment. We had it repainted gray and the VCR (yes, that's right) box taken out and replaced with a rod for hanging clothes. I keep her current clothes in here and the ones she'll wear later in the closet.

The dress is one of mine that my grandmother made for me when I was 3. I can't wait for Claire to be able to wear it.

This rocker is a hand-me-down from my dad's side of the family. If you could only have seen the nasty torn vinyl on it. We had it reupholstered and new cushioning added too. The fabric is a nice thick waffle-type weave and the pillow is a clearance from Pier1.

You might notice the Sassafras poster. I don't think anyone believed me 2 years ago (or was it 3?) when I saw the Life is Beautiful line at CHA and stated that I would hang this poster in my baby's room. I don't even know if I believed it myself, but the colors really did work, so we went with it!

This window overlooks the east, so there is bright sun in the morning.

The bunting was made with my leftover quilt fabric, plus a few additions. I can't say enough about the etsy seller who made it. She was wonderful to work with and did a fantastic job. She even made me a cute bib with some of the fabric. She was wonderful.

The sheers are from Restoration Hardware Kids and the rod is just a dowel painted white and Greg added an old doorknob to the end. I don't know how he did it, but he made the comment, "I could do projects like these all day long" after he was finished. So, if anyone wants a door-knob curtain rod, he's your man!

And, the most used (and abused) piece in her room...It's been peed on more than once. And just today, Greg announced that this wall was a casualty as well.

I'm officially tired so that's all I can think of posting about her room, but if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giddy up, Claire!

We're figuring out Claire's likes and dislikes while thoroughly enjoying getting to know her. We think we may have a future equestrian in the family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Last week was basically a blur.

Albeit one of the best blurs of my life, it was still a blur.

Just a warning that this post contains Claire's birth story, so if you're not into that sort of thing, don't read on.

All day Thursday, November 11, I was convinced my water was breaking....a slow leak kind of thing. Finally, at 4:30 I went to the OB because I certainly didn't want to show up at the hospital and not know if it was the real deal or not. The doctor's office was a much better place to make a fool of myself. So, in I went and they did a little swab and told me I had progressed a little from my last appointment, but that my water had not broken.

From there, Greg met me in town and we went to TJMaxx to burn some time before my pedicure appointment at 6:30. After my pedi (in which I told her to definitely rub my ankles...anything to help speed labor), I picked up dinner and headed back to the farm.

Greg and I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory, then got halfway through The Mentalist when we decided it was time to get some ice cream. Greg headed downstairs with the dogs to dip it. That's when the gush happened..........

Thankfully, I was neat about the whole thing and not a drop got on anything but the pajamas I was wearing. G had to put the dipped ice cream back in the fridge to bring me some towels, but other than that, I was neat and tidy during the whole thing. So, at 10:30, we headed to the hospital, calling only my parents to make sure the dogs were taken care of that night and next morning.

So, there I was at the hospital, having contractions every 2 minutes, but nothing was too terrible and I wasn't progressing at all. I worked on the computer, read my Bible lesson, Greg snoozed....anything to pass the time.

Because my water had broken, I had to deliver Claire within 18-24 hours (hospital policy) to avoid infection. After talking to the nurse, she was convinced my water had broken much earlier with a high leak, but there wasn't enough of a sample to turn the swab at the doctor's office.

So, at 6:00 that morning, my OB wanted to start me on the dreaded pitocin. I didn't want to do it, but more than that, I didn't want a C-section, so I had to do something to make progress.

They began at 8mg and worked their way up to 22mg before the pain was so excruciating that G and I started discussing an epidural. Originally, I hadn't wanted to do it, but at 22mg, I still wasn't progressing so we went for it. Our rationale was this:
  • I needed to relax in order to progress, and the pitocin contractions didn't allow me a break in between to recover from the previous one. And, I really needed to make progress anyway otherwise the C-section talk would commence.
  • If I ended up needing a C-section, I would rather already have the epidural to avoid general anesthesia.
Almost as soon as I got the epidural, I passed out. That's one thing they didn't say in the birthing class. That thing will KNOCK. YOU. OUT. It did me anyway, so I slept for 2 hours. When I woke up, I was at 7cm and 100% effaced, which was a far cry from the "maybe 2cm" the nurse was generously giving me just before the epidural. My contractions had taken a regular pattern and I was well on my way.

Greg woke up, too and went to the cafeteria and brought his lunch back up to L&D. About that time, my mom came and we chatted for a few minutes then I asked for the nurse to check me again because I thought I needed to push. At that point, I had gone from 7cm to 10cm in 30 minutes. Greg was still calmly fixing his plate and commenting on how good his salad was.

Mom left the room and the nurse got everything ready, Greg was still munching the whole time and I was increasingly saying, "I think I need to push....Greg, tell the nurse I need to push."

When the nurse finally told me I could push, I asked where my doctor was. She told me not to worry, they don't call him until the baby crowns and there is plenty of time for him to get there. I tried to protest, but she said, "Don't worry, I've done this before."

I felt a little silly, but after one push, she was the one scrambling: "Okay, stop pushing!" She hurried to the nurses station to ask if my doctor had been called. The next 10 minutes or so was spent trying to see where he was and if he would make it to catch the baby. He arrived in a hurry and I just had to give one more push. At that point, he calmly said the cord was wrapped around her neck a couple of times, so instead of Greg cutting the cord, he did. That was fine by us as we were more than thrilled with her safe arrival.

Just to prove I'm human, I did have a couple of tears (one from each eye) when they plopped her up on my belly. There's not a word that can adequately describe that moment. We had waited so long to experience it and by far, it was worth all the pain, time, and expense to get to that moment.

This is one of my favorite photos Greg took right after birth. Claire has such long fingers and this photo looks like she's saying "Why is this happening to me?"

She was born on Friday, 11/12 and we were sent home on Sunday.

No one tell Claire her mommy put her outfit on backwards.

Meeting her siblings for the first time. (More on that later).

Then, on Tuesday, we went back for a checkup at the pediatrician. At that point, she was readmitted to the hospital because of jaundice and weight loss. I only took a few photos of this hospital stay because it was heart-wrenching...and I was busy the whole time. We had to weigh her before and after every feeding and I was pumping and adding about an ounce to her regular feedings. Luckily, I had good friends (and my husband of course) to watch Claire around the clock, though. She kept knocking those goggles off her face, so their job was to wash bottles and keep her eyes protected. She's going to write them a massive thank you note after her first eye doctor appointment, I'm sure of it.

We were dismissed the next day, but (whew!) that was a tiring event.

We're now home and happy and doing well. More updates to come.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

living room

This is the one room in the house that I'm still not satisfied with. There are elements that I like and elements that I don't like, but mostly I think it's just because it's a TOUGH room to decorate. The problem is that it's a long/skinny room and 3 of the 4 walls have doorways, which means basically all the furniture has to float. You'll see what I'm talking about, but first the before photos:

Trust me that the white chair here wasn't actually white. And, the leather sofas were horrendously stained. You can't see it here, so you'll just have to believe me.

Yes, they actually left that TV and VCR! Craziness. Where the TV was, we knocked out that wall to add another entrance into the kitchen.

We kept the barnwood ceiling through both the kitchen and living room. You'll notice the room is much more open and conducive for entertaining with the wall knocked out.

This is the view taken from the foyer entry into the living room. Those doors lead to the back porch.

Not sure if you can tell or not, but there's actually a double set of doors that span the back wall.

My favorite aspect of the room is the fireplace. I love that we removed the drywall (and mold that we found underneath!)

These chairs were some that Greg's parents were storing in our garage and we asked if we could have them recovered.

Books wrapped in linen along the back wall that sit on the console.

The chalkboard on the back wall was made with a leftover piece of plywood (it's smooth, so it's different than the kind you're probably thinking of) and some barnwood pieces from the barn originally on our property.

  • Chairs - Found and recovered
  • Stool - Pottery Barn
  • Potted Plant - Lowes
  • Milk Crate - Found
  • Basket for logs - Can't remember, but it was a recent purchase.
  • Mirror - Kirkland's a long time ago. It used to be in our master bedroom.
  • Art on mantel - Oliver Jeffers original
  • Vases - Storehouse (no longer in business). These used to be in my bedroom.
  • Fireplace Screen - unknown, but it was a recent purchase.
  • Coffee Table - Found
  • Sofa - Pottery Barn
  • Pillows - Target (leather), Pottery Barn (green and yellow from a while ago), Anthropologie (varmint from a longer while ago)
  • Console - Restoration Hardware
  • Lighting - Restoration Hardware
  • Curtains - Anthropologie
  • Rug - unknown, but cheap
  • Wall Art Frames - Pottery Barn
  • Side Table - Pottery Barn from a while ago (wanting to replace it)
  • Hourglasses - unknown
  • Phone - found
  • Dog - not for sale
I've gotten more and more vague in my house posts as time has gone on. Sorry about that, but I figure if you have any questions, you can email or post here in the comments and I promise I'll do my best to answer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

sneak time!

I'm still plugging away with this kit, so I'm hoping to have more than 3 sneaks, but Claire's arrival (or lack thereof) may influence that one way or the other.

Let's suffice it to say that my joy of creating with this kit is unlike any December kit ever. Until this year, December's kit has been so difficult to assemble and for me, difficult to create with. I felt like I was always walking a tightrope between getting the right mixture of holiday/seasonal items and non-holiday items. But, this year, it just all fell into place and came together so beautifully. There are 2 contributing factors, I believe:
  • Lisa and Nik helped immensely with finding fun products, especially for the add-ons, but they definitely helped steer the direction of the main kit.
  • Sassafras being willing to take a gamble with us for this collaboration. We love the folks there, and the designs for this kit are simply amazing. When we picked them up from the printer, they took my breath away.
So, here goes.

This layout was made entirely with the main kit, Metropolitan.
It's my favorite of the bunch.

Another layout made entirely from the main kit, Metropolitan. I was able to fit a lot of journaling on this one, which is unusual for me.

And, last but not least, a layout created with Metropolitan + Holiday Lights. This was a surprise add-on for me. I wasn't as fond of it, but then I started creating with it, and the magic happened. It coordinates so well with the main and I don't think you'll regret getting it considering the stamp in it is phenomenal.

A couple items to remember:
  • More Color has my favorite cardstock in it: Cinder by Bazzill. You won't want to miss out on this one, the colors in it are sooooooooo pretty.
  • The only way to get the special Sassafras paper is to purchase the main kit, More Patterned Paper, or SC Patterned Paper. We did run a tad extra, but I expect them to go quick.