Monday, March 28, 2011

Skirt for Spring

As is usual in the Mountain West states, spring is being very evasive, which is rather frustrating, but to be expected. So in order to help brighten up my life while the snow is still falling I decided to make myself a skirt. I blogged about the frustrations of not buying enough fabric a couple of days ago. I ended up just buying more fabric; expensive, but worth it. Here's the final product! (Sorry it needs ironing after yesterday's wear, and the lighting in my apartment is horrible and it looks better on, but oh well!)
Invisible zipper

Pleats (not as nice as they should be :P)

All in all I'm pretty proud of it. I did a pretty good job. There's some things I'll do differently next time I make it, but overall it was a success!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Frustrations

Gahh! So I have this adorable skirt pattern that I've been wanting to use for awhile now. Today I went and bought fabric, came home and realized that I didn't buy enough; I'm one yard short. It's good quality fabric too, aka it's expensive. The biggest problem is that I can't just go buy another yard, because the skirt has pleats around the waist and so if I go buy more, I'll have to buy at least a yard and a half. Sigh . . . .  I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do. Not that it's too hard because I only have two options that I see: buy a new pattern or gather it instead of pleating it.

But for now I'm off to bed. I'm going to sleep on this and see what I can come up with in the morning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cloth Diapering

As I mentioned before we use cloth diapers. While cloth diapering is rather trendy right now, it's still not common and I get a lot of questions about them. So in this post I'm going to discuss the numerous options of cloth diapering, go over the pros and cons as I see them, and to give answers to questions that I had and that I've been asked.

Okay, so why we chose to use cloth diapers: cost. Disposable diapers are EXPENSIVE, and since Alan and I are poor college students living on one salary the comparable cheapness of cloth diapers was the real kicker. I personally haven't done any calculations myself, but I found this handy site that is actually pretty accurate from my observations. I was lucky because I have a wonderful mother and aunt who supplied me with everything that I would need to start cloth diapering.

There are four main ways to cloth diaper: prefolds, fitted diapers, pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers. Prefolds are what I use and I'll get to those in a second. There are two ways to size diapers, you have the one size that adjusts for baby growth and then you have gradated sizes. Okay, now on to some specifics.

1. Pocket Diapers. These are a relatively new "invention" and are really popular. What it is is a diaper with a small opening in the back. You insert a absorbing insert (rather clever naming they have going on). Fuzzi Buns is a popular brand, as is Bum Genius.

2. All-in-one Diaper. Just like a disposable, but cloth. Bum Genius also makes these diapers.

3. Fitted Diaper. This is just the inside, the absorbing part, of the diaper. It's fitted to the child's size (small, medium, large) and requires a waterproof diaper cover.

4. Prefold Diaper. This is the old school diaper. It's a rectangular piece of absorbing cloth that you fold around the baby and pin into place. It also requires a waterproof cover. I personally use prefolds and love them! Even though they are "old school" they have come a long way. Instead of having to use those adorable diaper pins (sorry but I do think they are cute) there's something called a Snappi that does the same thing, but it's faster to get on and off. Here's a link to one. Watch out, those things can really gouge you; I've had a couple of nasty cuts from mine. A diaper cover is usually made of a fabric called PUL, which is a breathable water-proof material. Not all diaper covers are made equally, but that's a topic for another post. When I give you the tutorial for my diaper cover I'll talk about that.

Okay, so why do I like cloth diapers so much?
Pros
1. Cost; it's saving us a ton of money, especially since I make my own diaper covers (tutorial coming) and because we can use all this stuff for our other children when they come.
2. The house doesn't smell. I use two 3-gallon ice cream buckets (any plastic tight, fitted lid container will work) to store my dirty diapers in and the smell doesn't leak out. I use disposables at night (in the cons section I'll explain) and that trash cans reaks!
3. Gentler on Killer's bottom. Diaper rash isn't a problem because you change the diaper as soon as it's dirty. (Yes, you will, I guarantee it . . . unless you want a nice little puddle of pee somewhere :) ).

Cons
1. You have to change the diaper as soon as it's dirty, which means you change a lot more diapers during the day. As my wise mother once said, you either give up money or time; and since I have a lot more time than I have money, this is only a very small con. And since cloth diapers don't "last" as long I use disposables at night and when we go out.
2. Overall, not as convenient: they take up more time, and if you use them when you're out of the house you have a lot of laundry to pack around.

Many people are just grossed out by the thought, and I can understand that, I'm just not. I'm very much okay with dealing with bathroom stuff, but as we all know I am not a spit-up, vomit kind of gal. (Killer vomited the other day . . . ALL OVER ME! My worst nightmare came true!)

If anyone has any more questions about anything, feel free to contact me. I researched this a ton before Killer was born, so I might not be an expert quite yet, but I know a lot about cloth diapers.

Whew! Now it's bed time; night all!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not exactly what I promised, but still cute!

Okay, so sorry no pictures of my quiet book as I promised, because as I said, Alan has the camera, and I didn't get my brother's camera in time. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to give you those pictures and some tips I have on how to make cloth books.

Since I disappointed all of you, I have some pictures of my peas in a pod. Sadly, they're from my phone so they're not the best quality, but I thought that I couldn't just leave you all so sad. So here we go--three cute peas in a pod!




One of them is crinkly (popcorn bags are awesome for that), one has a bell, and one is just nice and squishy. Killer isn't quite old enough for them yet, he still tries to eat everything, but I'm excited for the time when he can play with it.

Sorry once again for the horrible pictures. I'm going to borrow my brother's camera tomorrow and I'll have better pictures to show you all, plus my finished color quiet book.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Blue Bow Ties

Yesterday was entirely devoted to crafts (with a little organ practice and laundry shoved in there), and I got a lot done. I almost finished my color quiet book, and by almost I mean I'll be showing it off tomorrow, if I can borrow my brother's camera. I also helped a friend make Three Cute Peas-in-a-Pod (oh yeah, I still need to show mine off); and I started experimenting with bow ties for the little Killer. My first attempt looked good but it wasn't perfect, but I figured out where I had gone wrong and, ta-da! here's the second attempt:


Sorry about the pictures. Alan is gone for the week for an ROTC competition and he took the camera so these are pictures from my phone. And yes, that's a giraffe wearing it. It's a better picture of the bow tie. So I wanted to show that one first. Now here's a picture of Killer wearing his.



Not too bad, huh? He's quite the lady Killer, haha! Okay, sorry, that was a little lame; but he did make quite the impression at church! Everyone was telling me how adorable he looked in his bow tie. Since bow ties are so dang easy I'm going to try making at least two a day (Alan needs to match his little boy) for the next week. I bought Alan and Killer almost matching argyle sweaters and so I want to make matching yellow bow ties. I know, I'm now one of those crazy people who matches them (or their spouse) and their baby. Oh well, I'm having a blast!

I hope you are all having an awesome Sunday. Tomorrow I'll post pictures of my quiet book for you all to enjoy. And Stephanie, I'm working on that cloth diaper post; it might take awhile to get posted because it's going to be a doozy, so just be patient with me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blog Inspiration

Unlike Katie over on Notes from a very red kitchen, I don't have any cool projects in the works that are keeping me from blogging, I've just had nothing to say. I still don't have anything exciting to talk about, but here are some random thoughts from the past couple of days.

Some awesome blog posts that I read in the past couple of days: this one where Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional (a blog I read religiously) guest posted with her stuffed whales. I think that the whales are SO DANG CUTE! I wanted to start making a million of them, but I held myself back. The next post that had me all excited was this one from MADE who had Delia Creates guest post about bow ties.  Alan absolutely loves bow ties and he passed that love on to me. As soon as my dang book is done (I still need to get some black fabric to finish it off, gaah! so close) I'm devoting my life to making bow ties for the men in my life. They are so dang easy, I can't not make any!

So inspired by these blog posts I went to the DI today to look for sheets/fabric/old shirts from which to make whales and bow ties. I found the most adorable flowered sheet that I had to buy, even though I don't have a little girl and I don't know what I'm going to do with it. Also, I found an awesome bright blue sheet that I'm going to make a wee bow tie for the Killer and maybe a matching one for his dad. My camera is currently at Alan's work and so no pictures of the cuteness.

I'm really hoping to get my quiet book done by Saturday and then I'll be posting pictures, things I learned and some ideas for a Churchy quiet book that I want to put together. Also coming up in the near future I'll be blogging about cloth diapers, the pros, cons, and why I chose to use them. Plus, as a special bonus, I'm going to give you a tutorial on how to make cloth diaper covers with gussets! Stay tuned for some awesomeness!

P.S. Check out my adorable Killer!
Lookin' cool in dad's glasses!

Hangin' out with my pops!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Putting My Faith in God

Wow, it's been over a week since I blogged, sorry about that everyone. It's been quite a crazy week here. The biggest thing was that Killer got croup. Talk about scary! He's been wheezing, and coughing all week. I took him to the doctor yesterday, finally, and they gave him a steroid shot and he's fine.

Being a mother is the hardest thing in the world! I feel so lost most of the time. I've read some parenting books, and I read everything that I can find on the internet about being a mother, and about babies, but I'm still so lost. The books and websites only go over what's semi-"normal" about babies, and of course no baby is "normal." I love being a mother, but it's a high stress job and sometimes I feel burned out. This week as the ordeal with Killer was taking place, I came to a realization: motherhood is all about faith. As a mother the best thing I can do for my child is to put my faith in God and then continue forward doing what I think is best and praying for guidance. I have no need to be frightened, or stressed, God will take care of my little boy. I know that I need to keep doing everything that I possibly can for my son, but that the Lord will help me. It's not always easy to put my faith in God, but I know that to have peace in my heart and less stress in my life it's the best thing.

Despite all the hardships, I love being a mother and I'm so glad that God blessed my family with little Killer!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rainy Day

It's rainy outside today. Rain always makes me nostalgic for some reason. I'm from Idaho, where it hardly ever rains, but still rain gives me that wishing-for-another-time feeling. I love rain; I love the scent, the grayness, the feeling of just staying home and snuggling up with a good book, or a cute baby, or a loved one. I wish it would rain more often here, but it's nice that it's very infrequent and I can savor it when it does come.

It's been so long since I've written because not much has been happening. I've been busy, but mostly with stay-at-home mom kinds of things, so nothing overly exciting. I haven't even been working on my color quiet book very much this week.

I do have to tell you about my peas. I can't find my camera (crazy yes, but it's not in the usual spot) and so I can't post pictures, but here's my inspiration.
We all know the cute little peas from Toy Story 3, well I thought they were so adorable that I had to make some for my little boy. They aren't as professional looking as some peas in a pod I've seen on Etsy, but I didn't do such a bad job. I'm just going to make the pod a little smaller and then I think I'll be more satisfied with it. As soon as I can locate my camera (it can't be very far, my apartment is only 600 sq. ft.) I'll take some pictures and post them.

Other exciting news, Alan and I have a military dining out to go to tomorrow night. Basically it's a super fancy dinner where the servicemen and women wear their class A's or the blues (the uber nice dress uniform that's not camo) and their dates wear really nice dresses or a tuxedo. I've been eying a gorgeous dress for the past year and a half and it went on sale from $84 to $16. Whoo hoo! What a steal! We'll get some pictures of us and I'll post those also.

Now for a day of relaxation. I'm off to sew and stare out at the rain.
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