Can You Believe This?

Because I sure can't!

The other day Breanne asked me what country we live in (which sort of astounded me in the first place...), and I told her we live in the United States of America. She replied with "Oh, like in the pledge!" I said that was right, and asked her if she knew the pledge. I knew that they worked on it every day in preschool, and as of a month and a half ago, she could fill in my blanks, but couldn't recite it herself. Well, apparently now she can. It almost makes me tear up every time I watch it--she is growing up SO fast, and learning so much that I'm not teaching her anymore. I can't believe it.

Oh, and that's Cory's whole family cheering her on in the background. We're seriously going to miss the family gatherings when they move to Ohio in the next couple months. :(

Christmas Jammies

So this is what happens when we try to take a good picture of the girls in their new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve:

And a funny little video of Janey (you can hear her talking here, though it was too loud in the room for me to understand much of what she was saying).

New Beds!

So here are the girls' new beds--they LOVE them, and I really like how they turned out, too. I wish there was more room in their bedroom, but for now, this will have to do.

Breanne's bed:

and Janey's bed (as modeled by Janey):

And to show how much Janey is like her dad:

When I started dating Cory I was somewhat appalled to learn that he slept with a million blankets on his bed, all just kind of curled up around him and over him, not with any real sense of order... I can't sleep unless my bedding is on straight, with the sheets tucked in at the bottom so they don't move so much. While it's never become a source of contention in our relationship, it is something we've had to adjust to. Looks like Janey takes after her dad, at least this far. She just looks so sweet all curled up in her blankets, though. :)



The felt playhouse is complete! Well, actually, I still need to sew one piece of velcro onto a piece of spinach, and make some birds for the birdhouse, but other than that, it is done. Yes, I know it is 2:00 am, but I had to post the pics for you, because I'm just so excited it's done!

The front:

The door and mailbox both open:

Side one (the birdhouse is a pocket thing, so birds can sit inside, and you can use the watering can to water the flowers, then pick them--and they have pipe cleaner in the stems to give them a little more stability (though I should've used more, probably). Also, you can open and close the curtains from inside):

The back/garden (you can pick all the veggies, or just water them with the watering can from the other side):

Side 2 (the bone comes off, and the door is a flap you can crawl through to get into the house, also you can pick the apples):

I think in all it took me just over 20 hours from first cut to complete, but I think it will have been worth it--I'm hoping the girls love it.


My New Niece

This is mostly so my sister-in-law can steal these pictures, but isn't my new niece pretty? And smiling at just 5 days old... so cute!

Meet baby Grace:



The first parts of my Christmas projects are complete! For Christmas this year, the girls are getting new beds--the baby will need the crib in a few months, so to prep, Janey will be moving up to Breanne's toddler bed (can't believe she's old enough for that yet! Makes me a little bit sad, to be honest), and Breanne is getting a pretty new white twin sized bed that we bought off of a Kilger family friend. To celebrate the new beds, I have been making new quilts.


And Breanne's (she picked out the fabrics herself):

Breanne's was my first attempt at ever piecing a quilt, so I'm not going to give you too many detail pictures, because nothing lines up exactly right... but I am pleased with how it turned out. I had intended on just tying it with yarn, too, but found that I couldn't get the needle and yarn through all the fabric at the seams, so I decided to sew it together, instead... good thing no one really looks at the back, or I'd be embarrassed at how not straight the lines are.

Anyway--now I'm excited to put up the beds and see how they look (and how the girls do in them...). And don't worry, when Janey moves up to a twin bed, I'll piece her a quilt too. Don't think I'm favoring one over the other--I made Breanne simpler bedding when she moved to a toddler bed, too, just like Janey's. I just wanted to try something new for Breanne's. And honestly, I love how both of them turned out.


Test Results and 30 Weeks

So today I heard back from my dr's office on my glucose test last week--turns out my glucose level is great! which is always comforting to hear (especially since they said they wouldn't call me unless my levels were bad, otherwise they'd wait until my next appointment to discuss them). So why the call, then? Because apparently my iron levels were really low--they want it to be a 37+ and mine were at 32 1/2... so I'm supposed to start not only taking my prenatals again (you can read why I wasn't here), but also an iron supplement. Wish me well, as those are the very things that were making me so sick at the beginning of this pregnancy.

And for good measure, a picture of me taken today, again in that same yellow shirt I've been wearing all pregnancy... I'm going to have to stop wearing it soon, I think.

I had at least 5 people ask me at our ward Christmas party if I was ready to pop yet... 7+ more weeks, people. Then she can come any time she wants. :) Assuming we can ever figure out a name... any suggestions (that you won't be offended if we don't use)?

On Sewing a Felt Playhouse

I originally started this as a comment on the last post, but when it started to get too lengthy, I just decided to put it on the blog as an actual post--hopefully it will encourage some of you. :) So no new pictures yet, but soon, I promise. This one is just more about the logistics of sewing a felt playhouse.

Sewing with felt is SO easy. I really haven't sewn hardly at all since my 7th grade home ec class. A couple little blanket things, but really, that was it. This year I just felt like jumping in, so I have. Felt is nice because it is so forgiving, and you don't have to worry about hemming it at all, because it doesn't really fray. I haven't even worried about turning anything inside out to hide seams--the seams are part of the charm with felt, I think. I love it. To save on $$, I bought it when it was only $2.00/yd at JoAnn Fabrics. This goes a LONG way, since their felt bolts are 72". (I'm positive some of the people at JoAnn's thought I was crazy or rude or whatever on Black Friday when I had my seriously loaded up cart of felts to be cut, but the savings were absolutely worth it. $2/yd vs $5-6/yd? Not missing that deal, that's for sure.) I used some of the templates Jill provided on her blog (found at Jill's site) as guides, and cut others of my own out of posterboard I had hanging around the house. I still have all the templates, too, if anyone wants to borrow them. As far as cutting goes, I do have a cutting board and rotary cutter, but I haven't used them hardly at all--you definitely don't need those for this project. I think the hardest part, really, of sewing this whole project has been working with the large pieces of felt on the sewing machine--trying to sew in the middle of a wall is a bit of a trick. Not really hard, just takes more effort than the rest of the project. If you're doing a house to fit over a round or oval table, I'd recommend still doing it in a couple pieces, just to cut down on the size of the fabric you're sewing on. Also, remembering to sew velcro on the backs of pieces *before* sewing the front to them and stuffing them...but I think that just might be my inability to plan ahead.

As for the time factor--I won't lie, this has taken me a lot of hours, but I just sew while we watch our shows at night, which makes me feel like I'm actually doing something productive, instead of just mindlessly watching tv. I sewed a few of the smaller parts during Janey's naptime, but I do want this to be a surprise for the girls, so I try not to do much while Breanne is around.

Upon taking on this project, there were some expenses I expected--the felt, velcro and the stuffing, mainly. I didn't really expect (though I should've, if I'd thought through it) the expense of the thread (I wanted different colors to match the felt), which was like $1.50-2.00 a spool, and then bobbins to go with each color (I bought a 12 pack of empty ones for like $2.00 at Walmart). Also needed are pins to hold things together while sewing. That's about all I can think of right now--so all told, the house has probably cost me close to $70.00, but I will have a ton of leftover felt, velcro, stuffing and thread, which I think I'll probably use for the dolls and crayon rolls I mentioned before, and a quiet book when I get up the energy to whip up one of those. I could actually probably do the whole interior of the house with what I have left (when I was calculating how much I'd need for the exterior, I didn't realize the bolts were 72", which means I have a lot left over). I just need to decide if I want to do that or not. I mean, a fireplace, a fridge (where you could put the fresh veggies from the back of the house), curtains... what could be cuter, seriously? I'm just not sure if I should limit the girl's imaginations like that. If I leave it blank, it could be whatever they want it to be inside... decisions, decisions.

Anyway, not sure if this post is helpful or not, but I think you should all know--this really hasn't been *hard* necessarily, just time consuming, and an investment. I hope the girls will play in it enough to make up for all that's gone into it, and I really think they will. Felt is pretty durable, too, so it should last a good long time, hopefully through all our kids. I love that I will just be able to put it all away, so it doesn't take up a ton of space in our little house. If you want to make one, and you have the means, I'd really encourage you to--it's not a scary project. I've also seen several people make them out of sheets or other fabrics they have hanging around their houses already--that seems like a great idea to me, too. Felt is nice because velcro sticks to it anywhere you put it, but using what you have obviously has its own benefits. And that is all I think I have to say about it... today. :)


Coming Soon...

How all of these (plus some more embellishments)...

add up to create one of these...

I've been working on this, along with several other sewing projects, a whole lot lately, especially at night, which is why I haven't been blogging lately. I hope to start posting finished projects soon... Janey's blanket is done, Breanne's just needs a border and back and to be tied, and for the playhouse I just need to sew the pieces on the last side, and sew it all together. Or decide if I want to do the interior, too... it's been such a fun project, and I think (and hope!) that the girls will love it! If I still have time after all this, I plan on doing a few of these, and these for stockings. I'm excited for this to be such a home-sewn Christmas--I've learned a ton, and really really enjoyed the sewing!

Great Morning

Generally speaking, Breanne gets up before me. And when she does, she usually just plays on the computer until I get up (maybe half an hour later or so). Occasionally, Janey wakes up before me, too, and Cory will get her out of her crib. Usually at this point I have to get up to run interference, but the other day, they let me sleep a little longer, and got along so well! This, for me, constitutes the beginning of a great morning.



So while my girls are fighting more than ever before (Janey has figured out that she doesn't always have to do whatever Breanne wants, which leads to occasional... or regular... tension), they also are learning to play nicely together on purpose, which I love. Here are just a few pics I took a week or so ago that showcase that somewhat--

Posing for "nice sister" pictures:

Breanne discovered that the outside edge of her puzzle makes a nice picture frame... and forced Janey to be a part of her photos:

And a cute one of each girl--
Breanne wanted her frame:

And Janey just wanted to pose with her "ruff"--what she calls dogs:


New Family

We've known for a while now that we'd eventually need a bigger vehicle to fit our growing family. I mean, we can squeeze 3 carseats in the Sonata, but it would be WAY tight until Breanne could sit in a backless booster. We felt a change was probably needed. So, when the opportunity came up in the last few days for us to sell our Elantra, we felt like this would be a good time to go through that change. After a day and a half of being reminded why we want and sort of need more than one vehicle, we are very pleased to present to you the newest member of our automobile family:

Odyssey. I love her. She's a 2006, and has just over 43,000 miles on her (she was leased out in a previous life, I believe), and is a beauty. She has 8 seats, though we'll most often just have 7 installed (to make access to the back row easier), so plenty of room to grow, and was just very well taken care of. I plan to continue that. Now I just need to figure out the fancy-schmancy heating system and cd changer. And decide whose carseat is going where... I'm excited to be a little more prepared for our new baby girl.

Yummy Breakfast

So I love muffins. Making them and eating them. Just not cleaning the pan. But that's a different story. Today I made these muffins, only instead of raisins, I added chocolate chips. They were excellent. I served them with this apple butter that I made a few months ago. This was also good, though next time I think I'll skip the chocolate chips, and just use the apple butter so there is no competition for flavors. So delicious.



So yesterday, Cory was talking with Breanne about continents. The conversation went something like this:

Cory: Do you remember the name of the continent next to Asia? We talked about it the other day.
Breanne: Umm, I don't remember.
Cory: It's Europe, remember?
Breanne: I-rup?
Cory: No, Europe.
Breanne: I-rup?
Cory (frustrated): No! Europe!

Me: Breanne, say "Your-up"
Breanne: Oooh, Europe! That's right. I remember now.

At least she's starting to figure out the your/I correlation, right?


A thought

"When you choose mothering, you've chosen a form for your life. You have instantly imposed upon yourself a certain level of responsibility. You will have to choose more carefully where to put your resources, particularly your time and energy and probably your money as well. But as those elements settle into spots that seem right, your family comes to life and there is joy in it."
--Emily Watts

This is a quote from the book "Being the Mom: 10 Coping Strategies I learned by Accident Because I Had Children on Purpose" (what a title, eh? :)), which I picked up at Time Out for Women. It talks before this about how you can write a poem, but if you choose to write a sonnet, you have to follow the form. Motherhood really is the same way, I think.

I've been struggling lately, trying to figure out how to divide my (seemingly very very) limited energy lately. I know that I want to be a great mother, one that helps her children grow and learn every day, one whose children know she loves them, and one who can stay on top of things around the house as well. Some days go better than others-I find the energy to have art time with Breanne, and reading time with Janey, dinner makes it to the table, and the house stays in reasonable order. Other days we watch a lot more tv and play computer, while I nap a little, and for dinner we eat cereal, usually at the table. Sometimes I even yell, which I hate. It's hard to find a good balance sometimes, and the thought of bringing another daughter into the mix makes me more than a little nervous. I just hope that as my energy returns after having the baby (it does do that, right? Somebody remind me, reassure me, please?), I'll be able to find productive ways to use it to enrich all my girls. I want to focus on the form I've chosen for my life, and find a way to fill it well. I am so lucky to get to stay home with my children every day, to have a husband who willingly goes to work every day to provide well for us--I want to remember not to take advantage of that, and to enjoy these days that I have with my girls.

Just my ramblings too late at night. :)



So I LOVED Time Out for Women, which I was fortunate enough to attend this weekend. I'll try to post about that tomorrow, as my notes are not within my reach tonight. Instead, I will tell you a ridiculous story.

A few weeks ago, we visited NH and Boston so Cory could attend a conference for work. When I packed our bags, I put my house keys in our bathroom bag, because I knew I wouldn't be needing them, and they had a pair of nail clippers on the ring, and I didn't want to have to deal with security in the airport. After our visit, I came home with the girls by myself, and left Cory in Boston so he could attend the conference thing. Because I was leaving Cory on a trip, I left our bathroom bag with him so he'd have a place to put all his stuff. I realized about 5 minutes after we left the ground that I didn't have a key to my house, and promptly started freaking out. I knew I hadn't given anyone else a key, and there wasn't one in some hidden spot outside our house. I would usually just call our basement tenants and have them leave their door open for me so I could walk through the house and get in, but they had left on their own vacation the day before. Fortunately, as it turned out, my dad had a key to the basement apartment (they are the landlords of the basement), and I was able to get into our house.

At that point, I should've moved my house keys over to my car key ring, but I hate how bulky it gets with the lock remote thing. So I put it off.

This last Friday, I went up to SLC for Time Out for Women, and spent the night in a friend's condo. Yesterday morning, I had a meeting down here that I needed to attend, so I drove myself home. When I got here (at like 9:20 am), the outside light was still on, and the door was locked. I knocked on the door, and Breanne ran up to it on the inside, and yelled "Mom? Mom? Is that you?" (my car honks when I lock it, and the girls know and recognize that). I said yes, and told her to go get dad to let me in. She replied, "Umm, dad in the shower. I can't open the door!" (She can't do the deadbolt yet, thank heavens). I told her to go knock on the bathroom door and tell dad to let me in, so she ran through the house, and I could hear both her and Janey pounding on the bathroom door and yelling at Cory to come let me in. I waited another 5 minutes or so, but still no one came. Keep in mind that it was snowing and VERY cold at this point. So finally, I gave up, walked around back, grabbed a stick thing, and started beating on the bathroom window. Cory opened it with a bewildered look on his face, and says something to the effect of "what are you doing out there?" At which point, I have to explain that I still don't have any keys, and I would like to be let in the house, please, it's cold...

I'm planning on moving the keys over to the other keychain tomorrow.


Cousin Day

Today we were surprised with not one but two visits from cousins--and it was fantastic.

First of all, Shilo, Audrey and baby Ellie came down. Breanne and Audrey spent a little time playing princesses, eating oranges, and making bracelets:

And is this not the cutest little girl? Love those dimples!

And so sweet asleep...

And then, Chris, Becca and Claire came down for a little visit this afternoon. The girls enjoyed playing princesses, babies, and generally running around chasing each other, jumping and throwing balls...



Today I found myself thinking "man I wish these pants were more flattering and didn't require me to pay attention to my legs."

I was asked at least 4 times tonight how much longer I have until the baby comes.

Breanne is actually really good at rolling cookie dough into balls.

Apparently our dining room window looks into a bathroom window in the house next door. A shower window, to be precise. And it allows one to view from thigh to above a person's head. Yeah, it's a big window. How have I lived here for 2 1/2 years without noticing this before? Not something I wish I'd noticed.

Janey was having a rough day, I hope she isn't getting sick. I always hate laundry day because I have to sneak her (white) blankie away to wash it, and the whole time it's gone she asks me "where blay-bah?" and I have to say "I don't know. Can you find it? How about you find your doll instead?" to try to distract her.

The guy building the carport on the house next door started pounding away on the roof at 7:00 this morning. Isn't there some sort of noise ordinance to prevent stuff like that?

Breanne asked to go to bed tonight before dinner. She got a new light in her room that she was desperate to use. We made her stay up a while to eat.

Did I mention that at the beginning of my pregnancy, ALL 4 of my sisters-in-law were pregnant? Shi had a baby pretty quickly after that, but the rest of us lasted until about a week and a half ago--check us out:

(that's Cory's oldest younger sister, his brother's wife, his second oldest younger sister, and me, due in Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb, respectively)

Can you believe we lined up for a photo like that? That's just silly. But I love it. Especially since Kimmy had her baby a week after it was taken.


A Few Lists

Things that made me laugh today:

--Jake trying to take out the bench at El Roncho
--Breanne trying to tell Cory about McDonald's, and his refusal to understand her until she said the word correctly
--Janey walking around with a zebra poking out of her mouth
--Janey's fake laugh every time she saw a dog
--the Baby's hiccups

Things that didn't make me laugh today:

--Breanne falling out of the car on her forehead

Other things that generally made me happy:

--getting UP on Blu-Ray for 11.36
--getting the girls ADORABLE matching sweater dresses for Christmas... the last two Target had, in their exact sizes. SO excited!
--Preach My Gospel class--oh how I miss going to adult classes on Sundays... this makes up for it a little bit
--A really great lunch with my family, and my girls who actually ate

Overall, a great day. Minus the fall, but don't worry, she's ok. :)


About Posting Every Day

Ok, so as much as I really wanted to get back into blogging, I am just not feeling it right now. I will continue to post every day, I think, because I'm hoping to get some sort of inspiration and desire to write, but I'm running out of things to say. I need to post real Halloween pictures, and about our trip to NH a couple weeks back, but both of those need to wait until I can get my pictures off my camera. Is there anything else you would like me to post about? Because I am rapidly running out of things to say, and don't have the energy to think up more creative posts. Life has just been super busy (maybe that's where Breanne gets that from...) lately, with primary, Halloween, and all my other projects going on, plus the pregnancy and chasing two girls around, and at the end of every day, I am tired. Give me something here. Let me know what you want me to tell you about, if anything. Otherwise, you'll just keep getting a picture or two with a few words scattered around it, and I will call it good. The choice is yours... unless I get a sudden spurt of energy, which isn't really very likely, sorry.


The Latest

Just a couple photos today--long days full of meetings and other such things make me tired.

First--Janey was enthralled by the snow that fell a couple weeks back:

And Breanne has learned to write more than just my name, though her penmanship and ability to write straight need a little work...

(Janey is written around the word "Dad," if you can't tell... still, not to bad for a 3 1/2 year old, right?)


25 1/2 weeks...

Definitely still growing...

I like this one because it makes me look smaller and cuter...

I'm pretty sure there are still toes down there...