Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crayon Cozy

I have started following a gaggle of craft blogs and on "Some what Simple" she challenges herself and others to make a simple craft that she found to make. So, to strengthen my skills I decided to take up her challenge and make a "Crayon Cozy." I think it turned out super cute. This project helped me learn how to sew on rick-rack. The first time (yes I had to unpick the whole thing) I sewed it together I had the rick-rack sticking to far out on the edges, so when I flipped it inside out you couldn't see it at all. Now I know where to, and how to pin it best to let it show and to avoid making it all bumpy. :) Here is the link to the tutorial in case you want to give it a try: Crayon Cozy.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Cookin' Cookies

So on Sunday I decided to make some of my mom's chocolate chip cookies (but with milk chocolate chips, instead of semi-sweet). They were so yummy! I told Sarah that I was going to make cookies and she ran up stairs and got her hat and apron to help me. So we pulled over a chair and let her put ingredients into the bowl. She had a lot of fun making them (and eating them afterwards).

I hope that I can be patient enough to let her help me cook more often. I can remember being in the kitchen with my mom when I was little and they are such great memories. It is moments like these that will help Sarah and I to have a strong, loving relationship, like the one I have with my mom!
I love you MOM!!!



I tried to get a picture of her eating a cookie, but she was talking to Maga Lisa on the computer and wouldn't look at me for anything! But I think this last picture captures how much she liked the cookies. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Grandpa Keith

Henry Keith Stephenson

September 24th, 1924 - September 25th, 2009



August 19th, 2005, on our Wedding Day


Visiting Sarah after she was born.


With Sarah on 1st Halloween - 2007



With Sarah on 2nd Halloween - 2008
(yes, it's the same costume, it still fit her so why buy a new one when this one is so cute!)


August 2nd, 2009 - The day before we left for Pittsburgh


Sarah was so sweet to him. She normally takes a good 10 minutes to warm up, but she was just a ray of sunshine from the moment we arrived to visit him this day. I was so grateful.

Grandpa Keith is one of the most kind hearted, generous men that I know. Ever since Ryan and I got married he has treated me like a granddaughter. He always had a way of teasing that let you know how much he loved you. I am so glad for the time I was able to spend getting to know him.

Love you Grandpa Keith!

Uses for Rice

There are many uses for rice:

To Eat (obviously)
Throwing at weddings (although most people have switched to bird seed)
To make Starch

Or, in Sarah's case:

Home Decor

Yes, today I discovered Sarah had decorated Rice throughout our ENTIRE basement. It was everywhere. How it happened, I'll explain. I had a large bag of rice from Costco, I opened it up I divided it up into several gallon-sized ziploc baggies, then I placed it on my food storage shelves. Well, my mistake was to leave them on a low shelf in the basement. *sigh* Yup, easy to open bags + within reach = Rice Decor.

I was letting Sarah play downstairs while I did some housework and she decided that a fun game to play would be to throw rice and the kitty and watch her try and catch it. Thus the Rice decor came into place. I should have taken a picture, but I was a little upset, and put Sarah in her room to, uh, keep her alive. Okay I was fuming, so to save Sarah from harsh words and to prevent me from feeling guilty for saying them, I put her in her room, is that wrong? I don't know, it was the best decision in the heat of the moment, and boy was there heat.
Well after it was all cleaned (and I was cooled off), I went upstairs and Sarah and I had a nice long talk filled with apologizes and hugs. We went and had some lunch and afterwards Sarah and I went downstairs to switch the laundry. Sarah was looking around and saying,
"Hmmm, where is it?"
I realized she was referring to the rice so I told her (with a humph in my tone),
"The rice is all gone Sarah, mommy had to clean it all up."
Then Sarah turned to me and with a bubbly expression on her face replied,
"Great job, Mon-ney!"

And that right there made it all better. Maybe next time I will let Sarah assist me in that "great job." It was so ironic, I was upstairs cleaning and Sarah was downstairs messing. HA!

The good things about this experience:
I was able to vacuum the entire basement (so it is more clean, yay)
I learned the best way to vacuum up spilled rice
(you have to use your hose attachment and make long lines away from you, if you go side to side it shoots all over the place)
Sarah and I got to talk about feelings
A little bit of excercise
I finally get to make a cute rice hot pack (can't let all that rice go to waste!)

The bad things about this experience:
I am going to be finding random grains of rice for months!


Dinner Conversation


Ryan:
Sarah, Daddy is sooo tired.
Sarah: No Daddy, you can't be tired. You're too big.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sisters, sisters, never were a better pair of sisters...




So after I got Sarah and Abby ready for the day, I realized that I had dressed them both in brown and pink, so I decided it was a good time to take a couple of sister shots.

For Lynxie-Lou

YAY! I completed my first project with Lynx! It is no where near perfect, but that is okay, it is my first project in a LONG time. I made up the pattern myself, which I think is why it took me so long to complete. Then, I had a "brilliant" idea to put pleats at the top to compensate for my machine getting narrower at the top. That was a mistake for an amateur seamstress! I had a heck of a time making the boxy top (which is hard without having to deal with pleats).

This was the first time I made those little white flowers (fabric yo-yo's). It was a fun technique and surprisingly very easy. Another idea that wasn't the greatest was stitching on the ribbon with a contrasting color. The idea is cute, but I should have bought ribbon with the machine stitching on it and then sewed the ribbon onto my project with a unnoticeable color. Instead I sewed the contrasting color myself and you can see how all over the place my stitches are.
Oh well, adds character, right?

TA DA!
(I may add some interfacing to stiffen it up)


In this photo you can see the ridiculous pleats I put in.


The Fabric Yo-Yo's
(Don't look too close, you'll see all my mistakes!)


Well I think it is cute, the pictures (as usual) don't do it justice. Maybe I can one day purchase a nice SLR camera that will really show off my future projects. But for now this will have to do. Oh, and the fabric is courtesy of Freecycle! I was going to wait for some really cute fabric that I ordered online, but I have been chomping at the bit to start sewing so I decided to just go ahead and use this fabric. It is cute, and I love the red, white and black combo.
Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Hey, Guess What?"

"I LOVE YOU"

So ever since Ryan and I have been married we have said this to each other. In fact we often try to say "guess what" in a nonchalant way so that the other person won't be expecting the "I love you" response. I guess its our little game we play. Well, Sarah picked up on our little game because she will do this to Ryan and I now. I love it because she will ask me, "Guess what?" and then she does her big squinty-eyes smile and says, "I love you!" It is adorable.


Also, today while we were getting ready to run some errands I sat Abby and her carseat on the kitchen table along with my cell phone and keys. I stepped into the kitchen to get Sarah a drink for the car ride when I heard this Dialog:

"Hi, Abby-Abgail"
"You want to call Maga?"
"Okay"
"Say hi Abby"
"Say hi to Maga"
"Say I love you"
"Say Buh-Bye"
"Blow kisses"
"Okay? Okay."

She is such a sweet big sister.




Tuesday, September 22, 2009

FYI

Just to let you know I usually only update our blog once or twice a week, and so I post things with previous dates on them so that I can still share the memories with you in the order they occurred. So when you are looking at the blog, check to see if there are any new posts that you've missed.

Hope I'm keeping things interesting enough for everyone.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Once Upon a Dream

Okay, so I have the most AWESOME sister in the world.

The sister who calls me almost everyday just to make sure I haven't gone stir crazy yet, yes the same sister who coordinated my family to all pitch in to get us the membership to the children's museum, yes, the same sister who made the stickers a month club for Sarah and Abby, and the same sister who created a blog just for me called "What to do in Pittsburgh"

Yes, this same AMAZING sister of mine sent us a little package today, for no reason at all. She sent us the Disney Princess COMPLETE Collection of Music.



So pretty much any song song by a girl in a Disney movie is in this book! Wahoo! Ryan has been playing the songs for us, while Sarah and I sing and dance around the room. It is so much fun. Oh, and Abby rocks out by bouncing in her bouncer. Rock on lil' Abby! So, I thought it was worthy of a post, just to Thank the awesomeness called: Brooke, my sis!

Here is a little clip of all of us Singing "Once Upon a Dream" the song sung while Sarah is doing pretty much anything and also the most frequently requested song at bedtime. Enjoy!

video

PS - and for the record I also have been blessed with AMAZING sister-in-laws who I admire and look up to a lot! Love you all!

The Lynx - Roar!

I finally got a SEWING MACHINE!!! Yay!

I found it on... of course you guessed, Craig's List. Some lady bought it for Christmas last year and never uses so I bought it from her for super cheap
(well, not as good of a steal as Deb, but it was more than half of what the lady paid for it).

As for now, I decided to call her Lynx. I may come up with something better in the future but the model number starts with LX and everytime I look at it Lynx pops in my head. So now she is my little Lynxie Lou! ;)
(by the way, why are all inanimate objects girls? I don't know)


I think it is ironic that September just happens to be National Sewing month and a couple of my friends are all jumping on the sewing band wagon. It sure is fun though. Although, you won't see any projects from me until I create my first. It will be a cover for my machine. I figured if I make my first project a gift for Lynxie, then maybe she will be nice and love me back (and not give me any problems). So stay tuned, it may be about a week or so, I ordered some super cute fabric online and am waiting for it to arrive.

Speaking of fabric. I just got two bags full of some awesome upholstery fabric. Some old lady, who can't see well enough to sew any more, posted it on freecycle and I kindly took it off of her hands, for free of course. I am very grateful because upholstery fabric is expensive, but it is what you want for most decor projects, which I plan on doing quite a few. So stayed tuned!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tour of our Home

Okay, okay... I know its been a while since we moved in, but I finally got some video for everyone, so you'll be able to visualize our home a little. There are still pictures to be hung and organizing to be done, but it was decent enough that I won't feel too embarrassed for everyone to see. Enjoy!

Oh, and ignore the lame commentary, I should have just kept quiet.
Just mute the sound or something. :)


video
Main Floor

video
Upstairs

video
Basement

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finger Painting...

with YOGURT!

Yup, thats right. I ran upstairs real quickand when I came back down this was what Sarah was doing with her lunch. She was pretty proud of herself,

"Look Mon-ney, its so pretty"



And here are some goofy pictures that just make me laugh!



And here are some of Abby that light up my day.

(I have one of Sarah doing this exact same look and pose...werid.)



Save the best for last, of course. ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bubble Teeter-Totter


Sarah and Kylee

Cody and Sarah

You can really see the bubbles in this one.


Okay, now for a really EMBARRASSING story.

On Thursday my friend Tiffany had me and another girl, Lindsey over for dinner (this is going to be a weekly occurrence for us). Well after dinner Lindsey went home and I hung out for awhile so Tif and I could chat and Sarah could play.
Well it was getting late and I felt like I needed to head home, but being the yacker that I am I wouldn't keep quiet and kept talking and talking and talking and...oh sorry. Anyway, we heard the kids playing in the sink and I thought

"Oh no, Sarah gets water everywhere when she plays in the sink!"

I rushed up the stairs to find Cody and Sarah "washing" their hands. As I walked up to Sarah her hands were covered in white, I was impressed that she had lathered up her hands so well. Then I realized that it wasn't soap but Desitin! Sarah and Cody got it out and smeared it EVERYWHERE!!! I was mortified. Sarah has never done anything like that at home and what timing to do it at our new friend's house. Arrgh!

It's a little funny now, but I still couldn't believe it happened. Next time I will make sure to pay attention to my feelings and stop yacking!

The Lion King

So Sarah's favorite movie at the moment is Disney's The Lion King.
Which isn't so bad, it has pretty music (I really need to get Tarzan, that had the BEST music!).
Anyway, well you know the part in the movie where Nala and Simba are
getting baths from their moms?


Well the other day I walked upstairs from the basement and found Sarah sitting on the couch next to the kitty. Then Sarah said: "Watch Mon-ney!"
(which usually is a warning for trouble), and thats right, you guessed it. She proceeded to lick the back of the kitties neck up to her head.
Ahhhhh! Soooo GROSS!!
Oh, well. At least she is creating a good immune system and funny memories.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sewing Machine

So, some of you already know that I am looking to purchase a sewing machine. I have been looking on Craig's List and freecycle for a while, but haven't had any luck finding one. (Well, I've missed out on a couple of them now). I've been debating whether to use my birthday money for a food processor or a sewing machine and I think I am going to go with a sewing machine.

The only problem is I have no idea what to get. Any suggestions? A few people on facebook mentioned the Brother machines are good. I was looking at this one. Anyone have one? My mom has only had Bernina's and that is all I have ever really sewn on (accept for the ones in Jr. High). Let me know if you have any good recommendations (I'm looking in the lower price range, like under $150).

Here is the info on the sewing machine that I am really considering. But I don't know if it is too much for a beginning sewer. I want something that I can grow into, and not be wanting a new one in a year or so because I want to do more complex things. But I also don't want one that is over my head. Let me know what you think!

PS - Do any of you know a great place to purchase cute but cheap fabric? Perhaps online?




She can be taught!

I can't believe how big my little girl is getting! She has been saying her prayers on her own for a couple of weeks now, but she keeps adding more and more. She tends to say things that she hears Ryan and I say to her when we say our nightly prayers (like in the video, thanking for the different people in our family...although I don't think we have ever said the kitty before, that was all Sarah's idea). She is really proud of herself for being so big. I was glad to catch this on video.

video

I just thought her little prayer was so cute. Let me translate what she said.

"Heavenly Father,
We thank for mommy, daddy, and sarah and Abby and the kitty and the Sarah and Jesus Christ.
We thank thee for the food. Please bless it. In the name, of Jesus Christ. Amen"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tummy Time



Today while I was giving Abby some "Tummy Time" Sarah decided that she wanted to join in on the fun. She went and grabbed her blanket and laid it out (with mommy's help of course). Then she said "Take-a my Picture Mon-ney!" It is nice to have a daughter that reminds me to take advantage of photo opportunities.
(Just ignore the unruly state of my daughters, it was BEFORE we got ready for the day). :)

Here is my big cheeser!


After Tummy time I decided to take a few pictures and video.
Hope they aren't too boring.




Here is another attempt to let you see her blue eyes, but it just isn't very clear once I post it online so I tweaked it a little on picnik.com to let everyone see. ;)

Okay, some more long and hopefully not boring videos. The first was right after tummy time and Sarah decided she needed to be in the video too. The second is Abby squealing. I guess we watched her cousin June's video one too many times and she decided it was her turn to squeal on camera. She was being really cute.

video video

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sarah + Jump Rope + Kitty = Hours of Fun!

video

So, I am beginning to think that this Kitty was an AWESOME idea! Sarah will run around and do this FOREVER if I let her (she is really loud, and I can only take so much). Anyway, she thinks she is pretty funny. Normally she is giggling hysterically while doing this, but alas I didn't catch that on camera. Enjoy!

PS - Don't mind the stuff on the couch, we had a student staying with us to interview for Pitt Med. The other junk around, I have no excuse for...hahaha!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chocolate Meringue Cookies and Heavenly Smiles

On Sunday I decided it was time to be adventurous with my cooking abilities. So...I decide to attempt Chocolate Meringue Cookies! They were yummy!
Here is the recipe for anyone who is interested!

Chocolate Meringue Cookies
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup white sugar*
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips**
  • DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

  • Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Beat until the whites form soft peaks. Slowly add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form, and mixture becomes glossy. Fold in cocoa and chocolate chips.

  • Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

*I used 1/2 cup of sugar.
**I didn't mix in the chocolate chips, I just placed a few on top. Some I didn't put any on at all, and I actually like that better, but Ryan prefered them with chocolate chips.



H
eavenly Smiles

Have you ever been holding a baby and then they look past you, or off to the side, and get a huge grin on their face?

Well Abby has been doing this ALL of the time. I know many people just say that it is gas, and maybe it is. But I like to think that Abby is smiling at angels, spirits, or whatever you call them. Specifically, I like to imagine that Grandma June and Grandma Goeckeritz are standing behind me talking to my lil' Abby. I often sit and wonder about the cooing words they would say to her and the funny faces that they might be making to get her to smile. I also like to think that they helped to get Abby ready to come down to me since they couldn't be here to welcome her.

So, call me crazy for thinking that there are angels or spirits hanging around, but I just enjoy the thought of loved ones past being around and helping me to become a better mother like they were. Hopefully the next time you see a baby do this, the same thought will cross your mind.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sarah Speech

Sarah has been saying so many adorable things so I decided to sit down and type up all of the ones I could think of, off of the top of my head. Enjoy!

"Take-a my picture mon-ny! Taka my picture please."
(Mommy is pronouces like - Mon-ny, an"N" for the middle /m/ sound)

(So here is me taking a picture of us)

Mom: "Sarah~ time for a bath"
Sarah: "No, I too big for bath"

*Abby sneezes* - "Bless you Abby-gail!"

"Mommy, you sleep good? Yeah?"

"Nigh-night mon-ny" *kisses my forhead*

*brings me the kitty* "She's nice, she's nice mon-ny" *I take the kitty and set her down so she can run away, Sarah chases her and brings her back* "Look mon-ny, she's nice!" (repeated a hundred times)

"Hi Abby, Abby-gail"

Wandering around the house singing songs (like "I am a Child of God," "I know you" (from sleeping beauty), and "The Wheels on the Bus").

(Anything with a slightly sad face) "Awe, she's sad. Look mon-ny, she's sad." Sarah then makes a sympathetic sad face (and makes sure that I see it).

"Happy day Mon-ny. You old. (I think Ryan told her that) Wanna sing Happy Cake? Okay!"
(On my birthday of course)

*Sarah saying a prayer all by herself...she's getting so big!*

Sarah: "I wanna drink"
Mom: "You want a drink?
Sarah: "No! I wanna a drink!"
(Um, isn't that what I said?)

"Say hi to Maga? Maga Lisa? Yeah?" (Nodding her head convincingly)

"Wimmy, where are you? Hmmm...where's Wimmy?" (She does this with Eleanor and Jeffrey too!)

"Nigh-night Baby, you sleep good. See you in the morning" *Tucking her baby doll into bed, putting a blankie on her and then kissing her hand and patting the baby's head*

"Clean up, time to clean up" *then starts singing the Clean up song...you know, everybody everywhere...*

"Mon-ny, I wanna snuggle, you want to snuggle? Okay"

"Tickle me Mon-ny, tickle me!"

"Mon-ny, I'm princess Aurora!" *spining around the house with a little tiara on*

(Here is Sarah pretending to be Princess Aurora, I had to have her sit down to get her to focus and actually look at the camera, still not the best picture, but I'll take it!)

"I don't know where it is?" (She says this when I ask her to get anything) *gasp* "There it is! Look mon-ny, here it is!"

"Hi sweetie! You sleep good? Okay. Hi, Abby-Abby-gail" (when Sarah wakes up I am usally in feeding Abby and this is usually what she says to Abby every morning)

When I ask Sarah to do something her latest response is: "I can't! I can't mon-ny" Then she pulls a half smile (that I have yet to catch on camera) that she picked up from her new friend Cody (the smile, not the refusal to do things, Cody is a very well behaved boy).

"So funny mon-ny, its so funny!" *while doing a fake laugh and covering her mouth*

I know there are lots more phrases that she says all the time, but of course when I go to type them up I can't remember. There may be a sequal to the Sarah Speech in the future. Hopefully it isn't to boring. Its really cute to me, because I can hear how she says it in my head.

For the Grandmas!


And anyone else who is in love with my lil' Abby as I am!



Sarah and Abby having a Tea Party



Don't mind the naked girl...

Asleep at last...

Oh, I'm so cute!


She loves her lil' sissy!




All done with the photo shoot!