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: