Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of 2010

January:  We begin what turns into a year of massive home-improvement.  As of December 28th, no wall had gone unpainted.  Phew!

February:  MacGyver gives me the Nike+ accessories for my iPod, and I begin half-marathon training.

March:  We visit my grandma in Florida.  We love the beach.

April:  MacGyver completes the engine swap on his z.  He's got skillz.

May:  MacGyver and our oh-so-helpful friends and family add a deck onto the back of our home.  Those frightening-looking posts are now a beautiful pergola with a porch swing.

June:  The Sunbean is potty-trained.  Oh, happy day.

July:  Nana and Bampa bought a boat.  We enjoyed lots of naps on long boat rides to get ice cream.

August:  We visit the Ohio State Fair and introduce the Sunbean to the joy that is the giant slide.  Also, our baby girls turns 2.

September:  We find out Baby #2 is on the way, just four days before what would have been my first half-marathon.  This proves that we aren't very good at math.

October:  The Sunbean is over the moon to be an owl for Halloween.  Also, overly adorable.

November:  We celebrate my birthday with friends in Columbus.  Caught this pic on our way there outside of the temple.

December:  I got a gourmet chef for Christmas.  Just today, she made me onion and eggplant ice cream.  Delish.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Update from Our Casa

  • MacGyver worked a total of 2 days this week.  That means tonight is the start of a 5-day weekend.  Love it.
  • Christmas was fantastic.  Having kids is great.
  • We haven't had internet at our house for a few days.  I was going batty.
  • We haven't had internet because we have been flipping some rooms around.  The Sunbean got a new (bigger) room so she can share with Baby #2.
  • I'm sick of people telling me our kids shouldn't share a room.  Seriously?  They'll share and they'll like it.  And they'll both be good sleepers, because that's what we'll teach them to do.
  • We've watched some good movies this week:  Inception and Bad Company.  Both are good.  Bad Company is on Netflix Instant Streaming.  Watch it tonight.  It's funny.
  • I'm 18 weeks pregnant and finally into (what I percieve to be) the obviously-pregnant stage versus the ate-too-much-for-lunch stage.  Much better.
  • I haven't been to the gym for about 3 weeks.  I need to go tomorrow.  Must.  Go.
  • I had to come to work this week for 3 hours (feel bad for me) and no one told me it was jeans day.  Sheesh.
  • We officially have a name for Baby Boy and Baby Girl.  For some reason, it was stressing me out.  We both agree, the Sunbean has given her stamp of approval (fyi...not a dealbreaker), and we'll find out for sure on January 10th.  As much as I really don't want to find out (MacGyver insists), I'm really looking forward to knowing for sure.  A few weeks ago, they predicted boy, but the tech told me not to take the tags off of stuff.  Santa may or may not have brought some cute boy clothes...
  • Did I mention I'm looking forward to MacGyver's 5-day weekend?  That's 5 whole days of sleeping in for me.  What a husband.
Have a good one!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I hope your weekend is full of fun with family and friends, and thoughts of the miracle of our Savior's birth.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Visit with Santa

So, here's the story.  I haven't really been talking up Santa much, just because I really don't think the Sunbean is old enough (almost 2.5) to really grasp the concept, and if this is one more year where Santa can get away with being a slacker, then I'm all about it.  I've got some stocking stuffers, but nothing fantastic.

But for the past week or so, she's been dying to see Santa.  Huh?  I still don't understand how she even knows she could 'see Santa'.  I was hoping we'd see a Santa somewhere, but we haven't.  I mentioned it to my parents, and so they're on their way over now.  Yes, we're those crazies who are going to the mall on December 23rd (strike one) to see Santa (strike two).

Well, we're back now, and it went surprisingly well.  I was thrilled to find that it was free if you brought your own camera (which was nicer than the one they were using and I'm more than confident I have better camera skills than their photographer).  The Sunbean was a little timid, but climbed up to have a picture with the old man.  She's been talking about it all day, and says, "Santa is amazing!".  Love that child.

I loved this shot of the Sunbean getting a sneak peek.

This is probably the best shot I got.  I forgot to change my white balance setting to reflect the lighting in the mall, so that stinks, but I love her little face in this one.  Cutie little girl. 
I wish I would have had about 50 of those outfits with me.  I could have made some serious bank.

We followed up with lunch at Chipotle...a fantastic morning!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Family Tradition: Christmas Pajamas


When the Sunbean was a baby, I started a family Christmas tradition.  I make pajamas for the family, and then we open them either or Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  This certainly isn't a unique tradition, but it's fun to look back at pictures and see the pajamas I've made.  Here's 2008 and 2009:


Here's hoping I actually keep up with the tradition and we have a fun collection of Christmas pajama pictures.  I don't make them holiday-themed since we're opening them on Christmas.  Otherwise we'd look like goons wearing Christmas trees and snowmen in March.

This year's are wrapped and under the tree, and they include a matching pair for Bitty Baby.  It's not too late to bust out that sewing machine....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick Gift for Kids

While trolling around on Land of Nod the other week (or was it the other day?  I'm pretty much addicted), I stumbled across this fantastic idea.  An art jar for kids.  If you have a kid in your life like mine, they love to craft.  And if you're like me, you don't love to share your craft supplies.

A fantastic idea?  Yes.  A fantastic price?  Heck no.  Since I'm ridiculously cheap ultra resourceful, figured it would be easy and wayyyyy cheaper to do this on your own.  I'm thinking a big jar would be great, like one of those vats of animal crackers.  I'm sure you could just buy some type of container, but I'd like to think you'd all just recycle something you already have.  Just call me Mother Earth.

So you've got your jar (or maybe jars?) and then all you've got to do is stuff them full of fun stuff, like:
  • pipe cleaners
  • cool scissors
  • glue
  • pom pons
  • googly eyes
  • popsicle sticks
  • buttons
  • glitter (if you're brave)
  • markers
  • crayons
  • paper
  • anything else that looks like it could make a ginormous mess.
After that's all done, you just need a label.  Because I just found a new place to download new fonts, I decided to share the wealth and offer a free pdf of my label.  Because I'm nice like that.  So just click, print, and enjoy.  Feel free to use it for gifting, but let's not go ahead and sell these jars with my label, okay?


craft jar

Monday, December 20, 2010

Homemade Snicker Bars

I spent all of last week in the kitchen, working my tail off to make 20 bags full of homemade treats.  Phew!  Glad that's over.  The homemade Snicker bars were pretty fantastic and ridiculously easy, so here you go:

1  pkg. chocolate chips
 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
 1 (14 oz.) pkg. caramels
 5 tbsp. butter
 2 tbsp. water
 1 c. coarsely chopped peanuts

Melt over hot (not boiling) water,  chocolate
chips and shortening. Stir until chocolate melts
and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Pour one-half of
melted chocolate into an 8 inch square foil-lined pan;
spread evenly. Refrigerate until firm (about 15 minutes).

Return remaining chocolate mixture to low heat. Combine over
boiling water, caramels, butter and water. Stir until
caramels melt and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts until well
blended. Pour into the chocolate-lined pan. Spread evenly.
Refrigerate until tacky (about 15 minutes).

Top with remaining melted chocolate, spread evenly to cover
caramel filling. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm
(at least 1 hour). Cut into the desired size pieces and
return to refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes about 2
1/2 dozen candies.

FYI:  This only makes 2.5 dozen if you cut them into too-small pieces.  I got just under 2 dozen.  I also doubled the chocolate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mary's Lullaby

My Primary children sang this today in sacrament meeting.  I responded with many tears.

Lullaby, lullaby, my little one.
Lullaby, my child so dear.

Thy precious life has just begun;
Thy mother holds thee near.
While Joseph watches through the night,
A star reflects thy radiant light.

Lullaby, lullaby, my little one.
Lullaby, my child so dear.

Thy gentle head shall wear a crown,
For thy Father is the King.

Thy tender hands, so tiny now,
Have blessings great to bring.

Let all creation join my song,
For peace and love this night are born.

Lullaby, lullaby, my little one.
Lullaby, my child so dear.

So sorry, I didn't save the sources of my photos.  A few are Greg Olsen.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Story Behind the Shoes

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave me to me...a totally easy and free advent calendar, the best Christmas movie ever made, quick gift card cozies, our Christmas tree, a sweet Christmas memory, and the story behind the shoes.

Okay, so maybe this isn't 100% Christmas-related.  But who reads blogs on Saturday, anyhow?

But yesterday I posted a picture with the Sunbean in these adorable Christmas shoes.  Quick tangent:  I h.a.t.e. that Christmas song.  Anyway, my friend Abby posted a comment that is actually one of my favorite memories, so I thought I'd share it with the internets.

If you're a regular reader (and followed me from my other blog), you know that getting the Sunbean in our life was a long, hard road.  In short, I was in the first trimester of a pregnancy for nine months of 2007.  Holy emotional year.  Poor, poor MacGyver.  Two of those pregnancies ended up ectopic, and one netted us our sweet baby girl.

In December of 2007, we were celebrating the fact that we actually had a viable pregnancy.  So exciting.  For New Year's Eve, we traveled over to see some friends in the Buckeye state.  While doing some shopping, we stumbled upon these adorable little shoes (on clearance, no less!) and right then and there, we made our very first purchase for our very first baby.

I think I looked at them about 300 times that weekend.  I was so excited when the Christmas season of 2008 rolled around, because I could finally use them!  So yes, they're cute, but they are probably one baby item I'll always keep.  I'll be that crazy old lady with the baby reindeer shoes, just because they mean so much to me.

Here's hoping Baby #2 has freakishly small feet so they can be worn again...

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Sunbean, Circa 2008

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave me to me...a totally easy and free advent calendar, the best Christmas movie ever made, quick gift card cozies, our Christmas tree, and a sweet Christmas memory.

Here's my sweet baby, two years ago on Christmas Eve.  Because everyone needs a daily dose of cute on Fridays.


I'm seriously glad we upgraded to a DSLR.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

O, Christmas Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave me to me...a totally easy and free advent calendar, the best Christmas movie ever made, quick gift card cozies, and our Christmas tree!

Side note, "O, Christmas Tree" is easily my least-favorite Christmas song.  I also hate the Alvin and the Chipmunks one.

Anyway, here's our Christmas tree.  Pretty similar to last year's.  The Sunbean has done really well this year with the tree.  See, for the first three years of our marriage, we had cats.  That meant I had to set the tree up literally every single night.  While we were working, they'd just climb up and knock it down.  So dumb.
Then last year, we had a toddler.  She was great last year, and really didn't mess with it.  This year, she was more adventurous and tried to 'help' re-arrange some ornaments, but she's over it now.  We'll see how destructive Baby #2 is in a few years.

10 points if you can guess my favorite ornament.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gift Card Cozies

FYI....the Sunbean's birth story is being featured on Musings of a Marfan Mom.  Go check it out!

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave me to me...a totally easy and free advent calendar, the best Christmas movie ever made, and quick gift card cozies!

On one hand, honestly.  Who has the time to make a gift card cozy??  (Enter me, sheepishly raising hand.)  It's not that I have the time, per say, it's that I hate just giving a gift card.  So plain.  So boring.  So wonderful to receive, though.

When I saw this tutorial, I knew it was for me.  Super simple, uses scrap fabric (read:  free), and dresses up that oh-so-boring gift card.  I whipped up a few tonight (just 40 minutes for 4!), and loved the way they turned out.  The best part?  Two of them are for TWO of you!  Not a giveaway, sorry.  It's just that I have two unsuspecting people on my gift list this year.  And I know they both read my blog.

Here's the finished product.  The tutorial is fantastic, so get craftin'!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Charlie Brown Bear

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....a totally easy and free advent calendar and the best Christmas movie ever made!

The Sunbean calls A Charlie Brown Christmas "Charlie Brown Bear", which is adorable.  I'm of the opinion that it isn't really the Christmas season until you've seen this movie, particularly this clip:


Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy (and free!) Advent Calendar

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....a totally easy and free advent calendar!

I've been wanting to institute some sort of advent calendar into our yearly holiday festivities, but I haven't seen one that I really like.  At least, enough to spend money on.

Last night I got a fresh dose of holiday cheer (let's blame it on the new snow!), and thought I'd whip something up to countdown to Christmas.   When you think about it, I already had all of the essentials:  cardstock, photoshop, and an endless supply of ribbon.

I had a few goals to accomplish with this project.  First, I wanted some sort of religious aspect to the calendar.  Second, I wanted something fun, too.  Not that reading scriptures isn't a grand ol' time, but I've got a two-year-old.  Third, I wanted to stay away from treats.  I'm one of those total weirdos who thinks that candy isn't good for you.  I know.
So here's what I came up with.

First, I took these gift tags and doctored 'em up a bit.  I love the way they look under our tree, so I figured I might as well not re-invent the wheel.  I basically made them bigger and added text.

Then, on the back, I added a scripture that pointed to the Savior's birth.  I also added a fun activity to do, like baking cookies or watching a Christmas movie.

I finished it up by adding a glittery ribbon to each tag, and hanging them next to our stockings.  I'm super excited to show the Sunbean how it works, and to do all of the fun Christmas-y stuff with her.

Who knows?  Maybe next year I'll go crazy and do one for every day in December.  This year I thought 12 would be a good start...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Naptime Report Presents....

Starting tomorrow, 12 fun-filled days of the Christmas spirit!

Get excited!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

on my mind

this body needs protein.  i even considered coming out of vegetarian-ism for the duration of this pregnancy.  then i threw up, thinking about eating meat.  scratch that.  instead, i found a great peanut butter smoothie recipe and ate a double-egg sammy.  6.5 ounces of protein per day is a challenge.  a girl can only have so many beans.

i'm nearly finished christmas shopping.  and when i say 'nearly', i mean i need to finish the sunbean, macgyver, and macgyver's parents.  and my company's gift exchange.  and make the treats for primary teachers.  and my visiting teach-ees.  see, nearly finished.

we ordered christmas cards from this talented girl.  can't wait to send them out!

i've been having intense cramping for a week.  even some spotting.  three trillion calls to the doctor, two visits, and 1 ultrasound later, everything's fine.  i'm not stressed about it, which says a lot.  ultrasound tech is guessing boy, but told us not to take the tags off of anything yet.  i'm just happy i have a healthy baby that is showing no signs of an early exit.

please submit your boy name ideas immediately.  if we've got a boy cookin', he will be lucky to have a name.  macgyver and i do not have similar boy name preferences.

i downloaded these gift tags tonight.  they look great under the tree.  i highly recommend them.

tomorrow is a busy day.

not just tomorrow, but the rest of the month.  but it is all fun stuff.  shopping, baking, family, weddings, parties, and friends.  love it.

have a great weekend!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Serger Elastic Waistband Tutorial

This is my very first tutorial!  For starters, tutorials are hard to make.  I kept forgetting to take pictures.  I think making the tutorial was harder than actually making the pants.

Materials Needed:
something that needs a waistband
elastic (cut to the right length) sewed together in a circle

Step One:  Pin the Elastic

Start by pinning the back of the pants to the seam in your elastic circle. 

 Then pin the front of the elastic to the front of the pants, and the sides of the elastic to the sides of the pants.  You should now have the elastic pinned into four equal parts.

Then stretch the elastic to fit the fabric, and pin.  I always leave the front of the pants flat, and stretch the elastic only on the sides and back.  It makes for a more 'professional' finish, but certainly unnecessary. 

It will look something like this.

Step Two:  Serge the Waistband

 If you left the front panel flat, that's a good place to start serging.  Otherwise, it doesn't matter where you start.  Make sure you are catching both the fabric and the elastic.

Make sure you pull the elastic tight as you go.

When you're done, it will look something like this.

Mine are always flat in the front, and gathered in the back.  This also makes it easy for children (and dads) to know which is the front.

Step Three:  Stitch Down

Next, just iron your elastic down and then stitch with a sewing machine.  You'll obviously want to pull the elastic tight as you sew. 

Ta da!  A super simple, awesome-looking waistband.  It does take some practice, but eventually it gets much easier than screwing around with a casing for the elastic.  If your serger is as ridiculous as mind, I've found it helps to loosen the tension on the top threads.

Happy Sewing!