Hit the Sack

I should rename this blog “Poor Life Choices”.  Not entirely, but I have been making some bad decisions regarding sleep.  Instead of sleeping, I have a list of a hundred things I want to get done.  Plus I’ve become quite the procrastinator.  I was always a procrastinator, but you’d think I would stop procrastinating when I have some downtime and get right into the fun stuff.  Instead it is the opposite. I dawdle around until I finally decide it is too late to do anything, but is much later than I wanted to stay up, and then I go to sleep.  For instance, just now instead of writing this blog entry, I accomplished two tasks I meant to do last week and brushed out Dany’s entire coat.  Way to go…

On the bright side, Dany really did need to be groomed.  Even the Roomba can’t keep up!  And now that Julius is army crawling around the house he’s basically become a giant dust mop.  I seriously have to roll him down with the lint roller before he goes to daycare every morning.  I should probably actually strap a mop to him – it would help him slide on the floor and would clean my hardwoods.  I’ll work on that next.  Oh, and yes, Julius is now mobile!

He’s also definitely getting bigger because he finally won’t fit in his sleep sack.  Because of more procrastination I was a bit overdue in making a new one.  This one though should late him a long time.  Plus the fabric was almost free.  I got 2 yards of fabric for a dollar at the thrift store.  The fabric has monkeys on it, which are a creature I generally find disturbing (uncanny valley) with the exception of kid’s stuff.  Hand drawn cartoon monkeys look nothing like the real thing and if you can abstract them away from their poop flinging models they are actually quite adorable.  This sleep sack took me 3 after Julius bedtime sessions (but that included creating the pattern).  Julius is 8 months old and it is a bit large on him, but he’s a little guy, so it may be even be able to fit someone a bit younger.

Post nap smiles.

Sleep Sack

What you’ll need:

  • Pattern Here
  • 1 yard cotton flannel
  • 1 package of bias tape (single fold is fine here)
  • 1 24″ or 26″ zipper
  • Scrap piece of interfacing
  • 1 medium weight snap
  1. Prewash fabric.
  2. Trace and cut out all pattern pieces in flannel for front, back, zipper cover and zipper liner.
  3. Pin one side of your zipper along one side of the center front panels, right sides together, starting the zipper tape slightly above the center front neck line.  Stitch.
  4. Fold the material back along the line you stitched so that the zipper teeth are exposed.  Flip so the wrong side of the zipper faces upwards.  Tuck the zipper panel between the zipper + material you just stitched and the wrong side of the center front panel.  Pin.
  5. With the back side of the zipper facing upwards, fold the zipper panel strip over the zipper, with the fold along the edge of the zipper tape. Repin.**
  6. Stitch on the back side of the zipper panel 3/8″ from the fold.**
  7. Pin the other side of your zipper along the other side of the center front panels, an inch in from the center front, right sides together, lining up the two center front pieces so they are even.  Stitch**
  8. **When you reach the bottom of the tape, if your zipper isn’t quite long enough, continue as if the zipper extended to the bottom. 
  9. Then stitch the fabric together along the two folds on either side of the zipper, only from the end of the zipper to the end of the fabric.
  10.  Place fabric front on fabric back, lining up shoulders.  Pin and stitch.
  11. Pin the bias tape, right sides together, unfinished edges matching, along armscyes.  Stitch along the fold.
  12. Turn the bias tape to the inside, fold under, on top of the unfinished edge.  Pin and stitch.
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 for the inside unfinished edges around the zipper.  Start at the bottom edge of the sleep sack, continue up the zipper panelon top of the zipper, along the neckline back down the other side of the zipper, again pinning on top of the zipper.
  14. Pin the back to front, right sides together, along the unfinished edge.  Serge.
  15. Pin zipper cover, right sides together.  Pin piece of interfacing to the outside.  Stitch along all sides but the flat end.
  16. Clip curves and turn zipper cover inside out.
  17. Pin the zipper cover directly below the neck interfacing on one side of the zipper, with the curved end pointing to the armpit. Stitch close to the unfinished edge. 
  18. Fold over the line you just stitched and stitch again on top of the cover, close to the fold.
  19. Add snaps as per manufacturers instructions.  Make sure you position the zipper cover so it will cover the zipper head when closed.
  20. Finally stitch the last side of the zipper along the right side of the material so the material lays flat.

    Big stretch after a good nap.

    Close up of top

    Finished sleep sack

 

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Working for peanuts

Well Julius has teeth.  So I guess the drool mystery is solved.  Not that it was really much of a mystery.  But he has been drooling far less now that his teeth have emerged.  I can’t quite tell how many have emerged but it is at least 2 bottom teeth (and possibly as many as three).  And the weird thing is they all seem to have emerged at once!  Or perhaps I am just not very observant and they’ve been there for weeks.

Actually, there is a good chance that I just may not be very observant because I remember thinking a couple weeks back that nursing had started to become slightly painful.  It didn’t really feel like what I expected teeth to feel like while nursing so I wrote it off as pain due to cranking the suction up too high on my pump.  (I have been impatient while pumping at work.)  Looking back though, it may have been teeth that were causing those issues all along.

Can I tell you about something really strange that Julius does that I think is adorable, but may in actuality be very weird?  When Julius gets very happy he likes to suck on my face – especially my chin.  The usual procedure is that he squeals a little bit then opens his mouth really wide and gloms onto my cheek (or some part of my face).  Like a little zombie or baby cannibal!  It usually happens while I am giving him lots of kisses.  I assume (but really have no way of knowing) that this is how babies kiss.  Today he even had added some suction when he glomed onto my cheek and it nearly felt like a normal human (non-zombie) kiss!    But then I asked Will if Julius did any face sucking to him and Will said that he definitely did not.  So maybe we’re back to the cannibal baby thing.

Cannibal babies aside, I’ve got a recipe today today that you can really sink your teeth (or tooth) into!  This quick two ingredient addition makes your brownies go from good to awesome!  Will, who generally dislikes brownies, actually requested these peanut butter brownies once.   You can add the concoction to your favorite brownies.  You can even use boxed brownie mix, but I find it just as easy to whip up brownies from scratch.  Just remember to increase your cooking time by a couple minutes and check them periodically for doneness.

Peanut Butter Brownies

Ingredients

  • Brownie mix of your choice – my favorite is this one
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  1. Grease a 9″x9″ baking pan and preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare brownie batter as directed.
  3. Mix together peanut butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.

    Stir together sugar and peanut butter

  4. Spread half the brownie batter in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Spread the peanut butter mixture by spoonful on top of the brownie batter.
  6. Top with the remaining brownie batter.

    Layer chocolate, pb, then chocolate

  7. Cook for 21 minutes (or a couple minutes longer than your recipe calls for), insert a toothpick into the brownie and if it comes out clean it is done.

    Bake brownies

  8. Cool completely in pan then cut and serve.

    Cool completely then cut and serve

Delicious PB brownies!

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Droolius Caesar

So I may have mentioned that Julius is quite a drooler.  He likes to buzz his lips frquently, sending spit everywhere and drools like crazy when he is gloming a toy.  He makes Dany starring at a steak look like a cat in a desert.  These are probably all reasons that hand, foot and mouth disease spreads so easily amongst babies.  Which explains why he is suffering from a fever now because of it.  The poor guy has been crankier than usual (which means just a tiny bit cranky since he’s such a cheery little man) and is having a bit of a rough week because of the virus.

This weekend Julius spent his first night away from us, and of course it was also the night he’s had his highest fever ever.  Luckily he was at my parent’s house and I (half) joked that he was in better hands with my mom (the experienced nurse) than with his own parents.  Let’s face it, it’s true from a medical perspective.

Anyway, sick baby aside, when he’s his normal drooly self I have lots of punny nick names for him. My favorite one of late is Droolius Caesar.  So I finally created my little Caesar a bib that can help with his serious drool problem.  On top of that it throughly covers his shoulders and chest and is waterproof so it makes for a great spoon feeding bib!  As an added bonus this bib only takes around 2 hours to make, including embroidery!  Make one of these for the little drooler in your life today, you won’t regret it!

Waterproof, Full Coverage Bib

  • 1/3 yard PUL material
  • 1/3 yard terry cloth
  • 2 yards wide bias tape
  • 5″ of 1.5″ wide velcro
  • bib pattern
  1. Trace and cut out bib pattern on terry cloth.  Make sure to mark along horizontal and vertical markings to form an ‘X’ in the center of the bib.

    Trace and cut out bib from terry cloth, marking center

  2. Flip pattern then trace and cut from the PUL material’s non shiny side.

    Flip pattern; trace and cut out bib on non-shiny side of PUL

  3. Hoop and stitch out design as desired on terry cloth.

    Hoop and stitch out desired design on terry cloth.

  4. Pin wrong side of PUL (shiny side) to wrong side of terry cloth. Baste.

    Pin wrong side of PUL to wrong side of terry cloth.

  5. Cut two pieces of velcro for ends of bib, cutting to match the curve.  Pin the loop side of the velcro to the bottom of the right side of the bib.  Pin the hook side of the velcro to the top of the left side of the bib.  Stitch all around each piece of velcro.
  6. Open out bias tape.  Pin along the fold of the bias tape on the 1/2″ seam allowance mark of the terry cloth, right sides together. When you reach the end of the tape, turn under 1/4″ of an inch and overlap with the beginning of the tape.  Stitch along fold line.

    Open out bias tape and pin along fold at the 1/2″ seam allowance mark on bib.

  7. Clip curves of bib.

    Clip curves on bib

  8. Fold bias tape over the unfinished edge of the bib.
  9. Tuck unfinished edge of bias tape back under.  At the overlap of the tape, make sure to fold the unfinished edge of both pieces of tape.  Pin bias tape through front side of bib.

    Fold bias tape around unfinished edge of bib. Pin

  10. On right side of bib, stitch 1mm from the original stitching of the bias tape to secure bias tape on back side of bib.

Droolius wearing his eponymous bib.

I loved this pattern so much (first applique pattern I created on my own) that I have made two so far for the children of my friends.

This is an inside joke of an already obscure joke. But I suspect he will be a McDrooler!

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Pride

So did I mention last week that Julius has a new little cousin?  Our nephew Finn(egan) was born nearly two weeks ago to my sister in law Erin and my brother Mark.  All I can say so far is he’s pretty darn cute!  He’s been mkeeping Erin and Mark awake in the wee hours right now, but hopefully he’ll get on real people time soon!

On the Julius front, he’s been getting pretty frustrated.  He sits up and flips around all the time and even rolls over onto his belly now to sleep.  Much to his chagrin though he hasn’t mastered any form of mobility.  The closest he gets to mobility is moving backwards in a circle.  On the bright side, he has found his feet which makes character footy pajamas way more fun.

But mobility aside, boy can this guy paint!  Just this weekend he made a masterpiece in honor of pride month.  Some year we’ll all actually get to Boston to see the pride parade.  Until then it’s rainbow finger painting for us!  As a side note, Julius is actually too young for finger painting because he puts everything into his mouth.  The method we used below came from the amazing teachers at our awesome daycare!

Don’t break my concentration, Mom!

Rainbow Abstract Art (for infants)

What you’ll need:

  • 6 colors of non-toxic paint in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet
  • 1 gallon sized zip lock bag (hopefully one being reused from previous usage)
  • 1 half sheet of cardstock
  1. Apply vertical stripes of paint to your cardstock from left to right along one long edge in the order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.
  2. Open the zip lock bag and gently insert the cardstock inside, using care to avoid touching any plastic.

    Insert rainbow paint stripes into bag.

  3. Zip the bag leaving one corner opened and very gently press out most of the air so the plastic begins to press on the paint.
  4. Place your child in tummy time position on top of a boppy or floor pillow.  Place bag with paints in front of child.

    Beginnings of art

  5. Encourage child to play with paint inside the bag.

    Julius making art

  6. When child is finished, unzip the bag, gently lift the plastic off the wet paint and remove artwork.  Let dry.
  7. Admire for years to come.

    Happy Pride Month!

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Up, up and away

Well I stayed up way too late last night with Amy and Overton (aka Sugar and Daddy-O) making a cake for the 50th anniversary celebration cake competition at Intel.  Amy and Overton did a really cracker jack job making the adorable bunnymen for the cake (the pièce de résistance) in addition to providing lots of moral support.  Our competition was steep (a single other cake) but I’m happy to report that the late night paid off – we won!

My 50th anniversary design with help from Amy and Overton!!

Amy and Overton are visiting their grandson (and son and daughter-in-law) this week and getting in their baby time!  Speaking of Julius, I am mostly content with Julius’ room and furniture (though I’ve got some more wall art to work on) so I’m going to cut to the chase. I’m tired, you want to see the room, here it is…

The trash can on the side of the changing table holds our dirty cloth diapers, wipes and covers. It is a simple human trashcan with a waterproof liner. I take everything out every other day to wash them.

This end table was $3 at a yard sale! I finally painted it white. The striped bins I found at target and fit perfectly. The lamps are from our old apartment. The tall lamp is wired to the light switch and has a 4 way switchable light bulb. The lowest it goes is .2W which is perfect for late night diaper changes or feedings.

Though you can’t see them I installed black out blinds on the windows. That painting I painted in high school… I have always loved hot air balloons!

My late night feeding rocker with my brest friend/shelf, a blanket form my sister and the pillow featured in an earlier post.

Up, up and away – Julius loves his hot air balloon mobile.

Julius’ bookshelf was a $5 find at a thrift store that I painted white. The awesome bench was purchased by my aunt and uncle by a local woodworker.

Our changing table holds cloth diapers, diaper covers and wipes as well as disposable wipes for daycare, and clean crib linens. You’ll notice the Julius caddy on the side holds diaper creams and lotions.

The inside view of the closet. We hang up complete outfits, the drawers are filled with individual onesies, pants and pjs. The tiny baskets on top hold socks and hats while the hamper holds clean blankets and clothes given as gifts that aren’t yet his size.

I updated Will’s old college laundry bag for Julius’ laundry and attached it to the changing table for easy access.

I stitched double sided velcro onto the bag so I could easily affix it to the changing table, and remove it when it was full.

 

 

 

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A Swift Arrangement

This weekend we went to Will’s childhood friend, MacRae’s wedding.  It was Julius’ first wedding and the first of nine weddings we have on the calendar this year!  We had so much fun celebrating with MacRae and Jewel and all their friends.  Jewel dip dyed napkins for the reception, what a great idea and a great segue into to some summer dyeing projects I’ll be doing in the future!

On the way back from the wedding we stopped by Erin and Mark’s house to check on our nephew’s status.  Well he’s still in utero!  He was due 3 days ago, but like Julius, I think he must be too cozy to greet the world yet.  Being at Mark and Erin’s house again reminded me that I have one last post to put up from the baby shower!

Many florists encourage you to use floral tape to create a grid on the mouth of your vases for ease of arranging.  I’ve found this method works fairly well, but half the time I destroy the tape grid trying to insert the flowers.  Luckily there is a sturdier solution using scrap wire mesh if you are using mason jars as vases.  Several years ago my co-worker gave me a bunch of wire mesh he had in his basement (he gives me lots of junk because he knows I like to reuse/recycle things but chicken wire may be the strangest thing he’s given me.)  I used some of it to prevent critters digging into my garden from underneath, and some to prevent critters from entering my beehive in cooler months.  Now I’ve also made several mason jar flower inserts and it still feels like I have yards of the stuff.

Mesh Flower Arrangement Helper

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sq foot of 1/2″ wire mesh
  • mason jar including lid and ring
  • wire snippers
  1. Remove lid from the mason jar and place it on the wire mesh.  Mark around the lid perimeter onto the wire mesh.

    Trace around lid onto mesh

  2. Snip at each mark on the wire mesh forming a rough circle of mesh.

    Clip mesh at markings

  3. Snip down to the nearest corner so no pokey bits remain

    Trim mesh down to corners to remove pointy bits

    .

  4. Insert mesh into ring of mason jar and screw onto jar.
  5. Insert flowers into the mesh grid to create your perfect floral display.

    Arrange flowers as desired!

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Don’t be Rash make a Bibdana!

I am really excited because I have been really productive lately!  All the extra hours of sunlight are allowing me to do all the things I put off since pregnancy.  And the best part is that I don’t have to sacrifice Julius time since his bedtime is so early!  This week I finally finished painting some furniture for his room white, and installed cellular black out shades.  I’ve been wanting to do both those things since I was pregnant.  This reminded me that I haven’t even shown you Julius’ room!  There will be a post on that soon, don’t you worry.

In the meantime let me tell you about Julius!  He’s getting so big.  And he’s nearly seven months old!  I really can’t believe it.  Everyone tells you how fast children grow, but it is amazing how true it really is.  I remember looking at 7 month old babies when Julius was a month old, thinking, “that can’t come soon enough”.  Well the last couple months have been so fun and gone by so quickly!  Though he’s not crawling, he is sitting and standing with some help.  He is such a cheerful smiley guy, and he likes to babble.  I love him so much!  When I picked him up early from daycare the other day he literally jumped up and down in the exersaucer and had the biggest smile on I thought he was going to pull a muscle.  It was the best.

Oh right, picking him up early from daycare, why was that?  Well on top of all the adorable genes Julius has inherited from daddy like brown eyes, expressive eyebrows and his eye wrinkles, he also got at least one not so fun trait from daddy – rashes.  The poor guy is covered.  He has rashes on his head, rashes on his back, rashes on his hands, rashes on his face, rashes on his chest.  Every time I take his onesie off he scratches and scratches at his chest.  The poor little guy.  And the crazy thing is they all look different to me.  All those rashes finally migrated to his eye region so I took him to the pediatrician again, just to have it checked out.  We finally are getting in to see the dermatologist this Wednesday (and that was after the pediatrician called several weeks ago to get us in “early”) so hopefully they can solve some of these rash mysteries.

The rash on his chest may just be what they call a drool rash.  The jury is still out on whether or not Julius is teething, but he is certainly drooling.  We would have to change his outfits 5 times a day if not for the best invention – bib bandanas.  These adorable bibs improve rather than detract from outfits!  And they look equally great on both ladies and gentlemen.  Of course, they are incredibly easy and cost effective to make, so you can make them in all sorts of cute cotton prints. Since the first one came out so great I’ll be making Julius some Star Wars ones.

Bibdana

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 yard cotton woven material
  • 1/4 yard fleece
  • 2 7/16″ snaps
  • Bibdana pattern here
  1. Prewash all material in baby safe soap.
  2. Cut out bib front using cotton material and bib back using fleece.

    Cut out front and back of bib using pattern.

  3. Pin bib front to back along the perimeter.  The top of the bib will have some excess cotton material.

    Pin back to front along perimeter.

  4. Serge or zigzag stitch all around the perimeter of the bib.

    Serge or zig zag stitch all along the edge of the bib

  5. Affix the snaps in the location indicated on the pattern.  Make sure to place the snap tops facing down and the snap bottoms facing up.

    Attach snaps per package instructions.

  6. Adjust excess cotton material so it’s fold comes directly above the neckline of the bib.

    Fold excess material so it comes to the neck of the bib.

    The happiest baby in his bibdana

    Back view of bibdana

 

 

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Cinnamon Birds

So while I was writing up this blog post I started becoming concerned with the renewable-ness of cinnamon.  This lead me to a longer than usual perusal of Wikipedia because cinnamon is fascinating!  For instance, of course it is the bark of a tree, but I always assumed it was like a birch tree, where you peel off a strip to harvest it.  It’s not. It is actually the inner bark of the tree, so they remove the outer layer and scrape down the tree to extract the inner cinnamon bark.  This process (thankfully) does not kill the tree.  It seems (for a New England reference) similar to maple tapping, which to me always seemed like it would harm the tree.

The most interesting part of the Wikipedia page mentioned that in the Middle Ages the western world had NO IDEA where cinnamon came from.  They thought it was fished out of the Nile or mined from the nests of giant cinnamon birds.  Just imagining giant cinnamon birds every time I eat cinnamon really brightens my day.

Speaking of cinnamon birds, I think it is finally springtime in New England.  And by that I mean, we’ve survived fool’s spring, second winter, spring of deception, third winter and mud season.  Now it’s just full on spring for 2 weeks until we hit summer.  The sad news is that the bees did not survive.  And due to my serious lack of time (aka Julius), I’ve decided to go on a beekeeping hiatus for a while.  But I promise that the lady beekeeper will keep providing you with lots of content, albeit even lighter on the bees, until she returns to her calling.  If this saddens you, just try your hand at one of the nifty candles below, and think of cinnamon birds every time you burn it!  I made them for Erin’s shower and I think they looked quite cute!  They cost around $2.50 a piece to make.

Cinnamon Stick Votives

What you’ll need:

  1. Place your glass votive on a table or other flat surface.  Find a relatively straight cinnamon stick.  Cover one side of the cinnamon stick with a good amount of hot glue and press it onto the side of the glass votive, perpendicular to the table, making sure one end of the cinnamon stick meets the table.

    Glue cinnamon sticks around votive, keeping sticks flush to one another.

  2. Choose another cinnamon stick and line it up on one side of the first cinnamon stick (without glue) positioning it so there is very little gap between sticks and the bottom of the stick meets the table.  After you are satified with the positioning, apply glue to the glass and glue in place.
  3. Repeat step 2 until you reach the place you started.  Here, place your last stick as best you can, and use a thin cinnamon stick to cover up the remaining gap between your first and last stick.
  4. Wrap twine around the center of the candle, tying in a bow to secure.

    Cinnamon votives flank a floral arrangement at the cinnamon bun themed shower

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There’s a Bun in the Oven!

Well I’m sure I’ve told you already that my wonderful sister-in-law, Erin, and my (equally wonderful) brother, Mark, are having a baby!  Their baby boy is due at the beginning of June, only weeks away!  In honor of Erin and her baby bump, my sister and I (plus my mom, Erin’s mom and sister-in-law) threw a baby shower brunch at Erin and Mark’s house in Chapel Hill.  Hopefully this will give you some ideas for a party of your own…

Mandy and I with Erin, the guest of honor (and the bun)

There’s a Bun in the Oven!

I love the expression “bun in the oven”, especially because Mandy called Julius my little bun everytime I talked to her.  We decided to theme the whole brunch around the phrase “There’s a bun in the oven!”   For invitations we decided to go green and send evites!  We found some that fit the theme perfectly here.  For favors, I made the potholders I posted a couple weeks ago in a cinnamon bun print from spoonflower, along with a cinnamon bun candle from the dollar store.

Cinnamon Bun themed favors

Decor

We took over Erin and Mark’s house and managed to seat 21 people at three large folding tables both indoors and on their patio under a tent.  It was a beautiful day so we didn’t have to go with our rain plan!  We chose a royal blue for the tablecloths, Erin’s favorite color, and an homage to the baby boy.  To go with our theme, we decorated the tables with cinnamon stick votives  and white flowers studded with cinnamon sticks springing from mason jars (later post).    White onesies, hung from a clothesline, adorned the tent and awaited decoration by guests.

Finished table set ups

Outdoor seating and onesie station

Tablescape

Food

Because of our theme, we decided to host a brunch.  Obviously cinnamon buns would be featured front and center.  Then, totally independently, Mandy and I both came up with the idea of a waffle bar.  I honestly have no idea how it happened, but great minds think alike!  Since we hosted the party at my brother and sister in law’s house we were able to do much of the prep work ourselves.  Aside from the buns, which we ordered from a local bakery, we prepped everything the day before to make the day of party prep easy.  We decided on the following menu; links to the recipes are included for your convenience.

Hot Drinks

  • Coffee
  • Tea

Mimosa Bar

  • Champagne
  • Orange Juice
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Cranberry Juice

Food

Waffle Bar Toppings

  • Maple Syrup
  • Whipped Butter
  • nutella
  • strawberries
  • raspberry coulis
  • whipped cream
  • mini chocolate chips
  • pecans
  • banana slices

    Drink set up

    Buffet set up

    Full buffet spread complete with Mark & DD’s watermelon baby carriage

Games and Activities

I find that games at showers are always controversial. Some people love them, some people hate them.  I’m personally always happy to play some tasteful games.  We did our personal favorite – “play doh baby”.  We gave everyone play doh and a set amount of time to create a “baby”.  Erin then voted on her favorite babies and their creators won a prize.

At my friend Morgan’s baby shower they had everyone decorate a onesie for the new baby.  We copied this shamelessly, and Erin’s mom went above and beyond getting the supplies.  We supplied plain white onesies (with a cardboard insert to protect the other side of the fabric), fabric paint, fabric markers, stencils and brushes and let everyone go wild designing a onesie for the little man.  We hung the finished onesies around the tent using clothesline and clothespins.  My onesie color scheme very nearly looked like vomit, but I think I managed to save it by turning it into Hobbes.

Mark’s totoro onesie

Full disclosure this is from my shower – my friend Amy made this winning play doh baby and teddy!

My attempt at covering up my onesie disaster

Timeline

The Month Before

  • Send out invitations
  • Make cinnamon stick candles (in future post)
  • Make flower decorating inserts (in future post)
  • Make potholder favors (if desired)
  • Make table cloths (if desired)

The Day Before

  • Go grocery shopping
  • Wrap favors
  • Arrange Flowers
  • Set tables
  • Set up drink table
  • Set up buffet with dishes – with post it notes in place of food
  • Make quiches
  • Make waffle batter
  • Prepare fruit salad

The Day of

  • Reheat quiches
  • Prepare waffles before/as guests arrive & keep warm
  • Make coulis
  • Make whipped butter
  • Make waffles
  • Set out buffet
  • Set out drink buffet

    Mark helps package thank you gifts

    Julius helps grandma package thank you gifts

Posted in Culinary Delights, Parties | 2 Comments

Tablecloths and Sleep Suits

This weekend was my first Mother’s Day!  We had my parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin over to celebrate and hang out with Julius.  He was good, as usual, and even took 2 naps!  I think he’s gotten much better at crib sleeping after a couple weeks of sleep training. Did I tell you about sleep training?  If not I must have mentally blocked it out!  What’s sleep training you ask?  Sleep training (also known as the Ferber method, cry it out method, or in our house group torture time method)  is a method where you lay your child down to sleep and don’t pick them up no matter how much they cry until they go to sleep.  I think the name “cry it out” pretty much sums it up.

Julius started waking up every two hours a week before we started daycare (and before I had to go back to work).  Until this point he was a very, very good baby thanks at least partially (and potentially entirely) to the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit.  This is a ridiculous looking padded sleep suit that lessens the startle reflex but allows babies to move their arms and legs around.  For Julius, it allowed him to suck on his fingers at night to comfort himself.  Many people swear to swaddling, but Julius hated having his hands tucked away from him.  (Even in the womb he sucked his thumb!)  My friend Maren told me about the sleep suit, and now I buy one for every baby shower I go to.  (I am not getting paid to tell you this but seriously, if you have an infant nearby, go buy one you’ll thank me later.)

Anyway this Magic Sleepsuit started losing effectiveness recently.  We originally believed it was due to teething, but I’m not sure anymore.  Enter sleep training.  The first night was truly horrible, listening to the little guy cry for several hours, but every night since has gotten better.  Sometimes he doesn’t cry at all.  Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night and cries.  But it definitely seems to be working, even though it is still torture for me to listen to him cry for 10 solid minutes in the middle of the night.

Sleeping baby (just days before he stopped sleeping in the suit!)

Speaking of sleep – did I mention that we don’t have naptime at work?  I mean seriously.  I am still off caffeine since I’m nursing (not that I was a big drinker before) so it has been a struggle for me to stay awake at work.  I find myself frequently nodding off in the nursing mom’s room.  Perhaps instead of focusing on getting Julius’ nap schedule in order before daycare, I should have focused on getting my lack of nap schedule in order.

The good news about the project I’m going to show you today is that you can finish it in a single naptime (as long as you skip the nap yourself)!  For all my parties I like to cover my six foot folding tables with tablecloths.  It makes things look so much classier.  The problem is that most commercial tablecloths are slightly too wide for the folding tables, so they drape too far down the sides of the tables and people pull on the excess fabric when they sit down.  My tablecloths not only have the perfect drop length but they are super easy to wash and come out wrinkle free from the dryer.  On top of that, they are dirt cheap.  I buy cotton polyester broadcloth from Fabric Wholesale Direct for $2.25 a yard, a grand total of $6.75 a tablecloth.

Folding Table Cloths

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 yards of 60″ wide cotton polyester broadcloth from https://www.fabricwholesaledirect.com/
  • polyester thread to match
  1. Cut a 102″ length of broadcloth.

    Cut 102″ length of 60″ wide fabric.

  2. On one side of fabric fold under 1/2″ of broadcloth, press.  Fold over another 1/2″ to form a rolled seam.  Press & pin.

    Fold an iron a 1/2″ turned hem.

  3. Repeat step 2 with other 3 sides of fabric.  At corners, I simply fold the corner of the fabric under so the unfinished edge isn’t showing.  But if you’re more motivated you can add a mitered corner.
  4. Stitch around the entire perimeter of fabric, 1mm from the fold line.

    Tablecloths covering two 6″ folding tables.

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