Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quick and Easy Cross Baby Quilt

I recently got bitten by the bug. The quilting bug. I actually made a quilt back in April for Emerson (I'll post that one later) that was so easy and fun to make that I wanted to make another one for a friend for her baby shower (more on that one later too). But today I'll share another baby quilt that I just made for Em. 

I have wanted to make a Cross/Plus Quilt for a while (a la this or this and this) and since I'm addicted to these super easy baby quilts, thought I'd give it a try. I found some cute patterned flannel of jungle animals in aqua, coral, orange and brown and decided to get some solid flannel to use for the crosses. 

I didn't really use a pattern (I'm not too into patterns - I like the quick and easy!) but just cut out 3.5 x 3.5 squares and laid them out in the pattern I wanted, alternating colors so no crosses of the same color were next to each other. Then I just sewed together each row of squares across using a 1/4 inch seam, then sewed together all the rows using the same. Easy peasy. Next I did the "quilting" myself. I put it in quotes because I use that term loosely. I basically just top stitched around each cross to keep all the layers in place. It definitely isn't perfect, but it gets the job done!

I used the patterned fabric for the back which is the binding as well (using this easy tutorial). I was intimidated about the binding at first, but using the tutorial was surprisingly easy.

I love how it turned out - perfect for tummy time and super warm and snugly. Em likes it too!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Emerson's Birth Announcement

We sent out birth announcements for Emerson a little while ago. I'm kind of old fashioned that way. I still send out the paper Christmas cards, birth announcements and of course, thank you cards (thanks to my lovely Mama who instilled in me very young to always send a thank you card).

After looking around on a bunch of different sites and pricing out birth announcements (Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Snapfish, Costco) I ended up just making my own design using Picasa and ordering through the custom option at Costco. Don't get me wrong, I love the designs at Shutterfly and Tiny Prints. They are beautiful, but also expensive. The cheapest I found were $50 for 50 through Shutterfly, but I just can't justify spending that much on announcements - especially on our tight med school budget. 

But, as usual, Costco for the win. While I didn't like their designs, I was able to just create my own and upload to a blank card. $16.99 for 50 which includes envelopes! That's more like it! The quality was great and I love how they turned out! They are large at 5 x 7 show there is plenty of picture. So far, the grandparents have been thrilled with them - my grandma (GG - for "great grandma" now) even wanted to hang it up outside the elevator in her retirement home for everyone to see. :) 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Two Months

Month Two Stats: 13.15 lbs, 24 inches

Without getting becoming too much of a cliche, let me just say that my heart keeps getting more and more full with love for this little girl. She's pretty awesome if I do say so. The first two months have flown by, but have also given us plenty of bonding time. We are settling into a good routine... eat, poop, play, nap... and having fun too! This month has been a little harder because Zach has been working long hours at his internship rotation - this should give us a good idea of what next year's schedule will be like though! It's definitely interesting being on the other side of a busy season schedule...

This past month has definitely brought on a lot of changes. It's amazing how fast she changes! She is smiling a ton and giggling some too. It's the cutest thing ever and it makes me melt! She's moving her arms and legs more and is doing an awesome job of holding her big ol' head up during tummy time (even though it's still not her most favorite thing to do). She is so alert when awake and is always looking around and taking everything in - so eager to see more. Em's been making more cooing and gurgling noises this past month too and is starting to respond to her name a little bit. She definitely responds to voices - turning her head to follow them. When her Dad comes home from work and talks to her, she definitely follows his voice around the room! It's so sweet. Emerson loves reading and listening to music. She is very attentive when we read books and gets her arms and legs going. She also likes to "dance" to the music, especially while in her bouncy chair while Mama is making dinner! And by dance, I mean flail her arms and legs around to the "beat." Haha. Our favorite music to listen to is the Disney Pandora Station. She's also a pretty good sleeper - we get a good 5-6 hours uninterrupted! She usually falls asleep between 8-9 then I feed her around 10:30-11 and then she sleeps until 4 or 5. Not too bad. 

With all the good, also comes the not-so-good... She definitely gets fussy more often these days. Still not a ton, but she is definitely more fussy during the evening "witching hour." Usually if we stand up and walk around with her she calms down - she loves being tall and up high. We've had a few nights of lots of crying, which is never fun... seriously, baby cries are the WORST! Something about that sound that kills me!

Towards the end of month two she started sucking on her hands and is even getting a little more coordinated with her toys. I can't wait to see what other changes will come with month three! Already she is getting more and more coordinated!

We did a lot this month... Emerson went to her first football game! We went down to Linfield to watch her Uncle Aaron coach his team to a victory! 

Em continued her usual sleeping poses...

 Her usual smiles...

And her usual cuteness...

We had fun just hanging out...

And I had fun going to the Hawks game with Schmevin!

Emerson got to meet her Great-Nana for the first time! It was so special to get another Four Generation picture with Zach, his Mom and his Nana. 

We celebrated Auntie Jenn's birthday...

And Em got to spend some quality time with her Aunties...

We went to the pumpkin patch, but didn't buy any pumpkins...

And got to spend lots of naps with Daddy...

Two months has flown by but we are so in love with our little monkey girl! 

Follow me on instagram if you want to keep up with all our happenings in real time! :) (and if you don't get annoyed by a million baby pics:)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 Baby Items I Can't Live Without (So Far)

Hi all! Now that I'm two months into motherhood, I thought I'd share some of my go-to items that have made raising this little girl much easier. Before we had Em, I was kind of intimidated about motherhood and the impending Ineedtokeepahumanalivenow mentality. I had no idea how to take care of an infant - the little bit of babysitting I did when I was younger was with older kids. I was very nervous and wondered if I would get the "mother's instinct." What the heck was this supposed instinct that everyone talks about. What if I didn't get it? What if I was so super awkward and didn't catch on? Well, turns out no matter who you are or what you do, it will be super awkward at first. BUT, it's amazing how things happen and you just pick things up. There truly is this feeling where you would do anything for your baby and you just figure it out as you go.

Anyways, motherhood is wonderful and here are just a few items that make my life much easier these days!

1. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - These are my go to for everything. We use these for swaddling, as a regular blanket, nursing cover, weather cover, for nursing and burping. The list goes on. They are so light weight and perfect to throw in the diaper bag too. These are definitely a must!

2. Nipple Shield - Seriously, this has been a life saver for me and probably was the sole way I could continue breastfeeding! After the first couple of days, Em wasn't latching on to one side. I had two different lactation consultants come to the hospital room to try to help and we ended up going home with a couple of the nipple shields. I didn't want to use them at first (mostly because I had no idea how helpful they could be and was determined to breastfeed the "regular" way), but after a few frustrating sessions once we got home, Zach suggested I try using them again. Such a relief! Not only did they save me from some major pain, but Em took to them very well and it made nursing so much more manageable. If you are having trouble, try these! So helpful!

3. Swing and/or Bouncer - We have both and waited until after Em came before buying since I wasn't really sure if we would need them. We got the Rock 'N Play too, to use as a bassinet in our room for her to sleep in, but the swing and bouncer have been life savers as well. If you ever want to put the baby down so you can oh, I don't know, go to the bathroom or take a shower (ha!) then these are a must. The swing is great for her naps, but also has the fun mobile and even plays music to keep her stimulated too. The bouncer is awesome because it is mobile. It's different from the Rock 'N Play because it has the mobile with fun animals and colors, so she can interact with it (or is starting to as she gets older and more active). 

4. Diaper Genie - Again, wasn't sure we would need or actually use this since I'd heard some mixed reviews, but I love it! It's so nice to have this little garbage can right next to the changing pad that locks in all the smell (and there is some smell). When you empty it out it also makes the diapers super compact so it takes up less space in the outside garbage can by compacting everything.

5. Baby Nursing App - This has been so awesome - I use it to keep track of everything, most importantly diaper changes and nursing schedule. I'm constantly referring to it to check when I last nursed and what side I left off on. You can also track immunizations, bottle feedings, pumping, baths, doctor's appointments, medications, measurements and solids. I've used every feature except the solids so far and for the $5 price tag it was SO worth it. It's probably my most used app now and has helped me tremendously to stay on top of the most important things for baby!

That's it! Just a few things that have definitely worked for me so far that I thought I would share. I wasn't paid or anything, just wanted to share my experience in case it could help make it easier for someone else!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

One Month

Well, technically it has been six weeks now (already?!) - I'm just a little behind. :) I'm planning on doing a monthly recap for baby Emerson each month so I can actually remember what is going on in our lives and with her during this time. I loved doing it during my pregnancy with the weekly bump photos so can't wait to do it monthly now that she is here.

This is Kirby. I got Kirby from my Aunt Sue for my 1st birthday back in the day. Kirby is life size to say the least. I've had many many fun memories playing with Kirby throughout the years and was so glad that I saved him so I can pass him on to Em! I thought it would be awesome to take monthly pictures with Em to see how much she grows compared to Kirby.

So far, motherhood has been awesome. I love it. It was a little weird the first few weeks getting used to being home all day instead of at work and getting used to the new schedule (hello sleep deprivation!) but we are getting the hang of things now.

At her one month appointment Em was already up to 11.1 pounds and 22 1/4 inches (up from 7 lbs 6 oz at birth and 20.5 inches)! She's a growing girl! She is such an alert baby and was from the very beginning. She doesn't really like doing tummy time on the flat ground, but loves it when she is lying on our chests. Her neck is so strong already and her little legs are quite active - I think we will have a crawler on our hands before too long!

We are already getting some smiles out of her, which is my new favorite thing in the whole wide world. I don't care if it's just because she is pooping, it still makes my heart melt. We are even getting a few giggles now and then, which is awesome. Love it so much!

She is recognizing our faces now and can follow objects back and forth when we move them in front of her face. Em is such a good sleeper, once she is asleep. She can sleep through the dogs barking and our loud families, which is awesome. The trick is getting her to go to sleep... she doesn't want to miss anything! She is a big time grunter, especially in her sleep. She really tries hard when working things out! She is also a good eater (hello, 11 pounds already!) and we are going strong with the breastfeeding. So thankful that has been going well, especially since I was so nervous for it at first. Now it seems so natural. And the best part (besides that it is the best nutrition for baby) is that it is FREE! Amiright?!

Zach is completely smitten with her and is a huge baby hog. We are constantly fighting over who can hold her. Her grandparents on both sides come over often to see her (just her, not us) ;) which has been awesome. There is definitely no shortage of love for this little girl. We are so lucky to have such a loving family!

I can't believe it has already been six weeks with Emerson - time really is flying by. But we are looking forward to watching her grow. It's so fun already seeing her discover things - making eye contact with us and other objects, moving her arms and legs (very randomly) to some music, making grunting noises. It's so much fun and still so surreal to think that we created this beautiful little being! We are so thankful!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekly Bump Photo (Week 40)

Just had to finish what I started. :) So crazy to think that my little monkey fit in there some how!

Also, thought it would be fun to look back on the progress over weeks 8 - 40. So crazy how your body can change and adapt!

Here's beginning and end:

And here's the whole 40 week progression!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Scrapbook Paper Letters for the Nursery

I'm back with yet another nursery project! I couldn't share this one with the rest of the nursery reveal since we didn't reveal Emerson's name until she was born. But, I definitely had this project done ahead of time! I'm pretty sure I accidentally left the letters out when my mom stopped by one day so she found out the name ahead of time... oh well. :) 

Paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby (around $2.50 each)
Acrylic craft paint (for the sides) and brush
Mod Podge
Foam brush
Scrapbook paper in coordinating colors

First, I painted the sides of each letter an off white.

Next, I placed the scrapbook paper face down on the table and turned each letter backwards and upside down and traced out the letters. Then, cut out each letter.

Then, I applied (in small sections) mod podge on the paper mache letters and then placed the paper on top. Once the bottom layer was on, I applied a thin and even layer of mod podge over the top of the scrapbook paper to seal it and protect the paper. The mod podge dries clear and gives it a glossy coat.

Such a fun and colorful way to personalize a room. Especially for people that love typography as art like me!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weekly Bump Photos (Weeks 8 - 40)

Yes yes, I know what you're thinking. Emerson is here so why am I posting another belly pic?! Well, it's the last one! Before we went to the hospital on the 24th, we took one last bump photo at 40 weeks. We had to finish what we started! It's so fun seeing how much my body changed over those 9 months. I'm still in awe (and kind of disbelief - am I really old enough to have a baby?!) that I have an almost one month old now... so crazy! And the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth and all that. It's weird. It's shocking. It's amazing. It's disgusting. Pretty much every emotion and descriptive word you could think of all wrapped into one perfect little bundle of joy that you never imagined you could love so much. :) Anyways, before I get totally sappy and start crying, let's just look back at my weekly bump photos, shall we?


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