Sunday, April 22, 2012

Due dates mean nothing to Eliza!

Well dear friends. I am still pregnant.

Colton was 5-8 days early (depending on which due date you agree with.. the one my MO dr. gave me and I had for the first 8 months of my pregnancy, or the one my NC dr. gave me, and I had for the last couple months. They couldn't agree!) Either way - he surprised us early one Saturday morning and decided to get the show on the road. He wanted out, so he (in my opinion) punched hard enough to break my water. And I was so grateful! I didn't want to wait another day to meet him, and apparently he didn't want to wait either!

Since he was a week early, everyone told me my second child would be a bit earlier. I was very okay with that - and even expecting it. But the days have been ticking by and all of a sudden I am PAST my due date. Sigh. Every day my belly expands a bit more, and I can just see my stretch marks getting darker. (This may be an illusion. I'll have to let you know after she's born!) Every day it gets a little bit harder and harder for me to get on and off the floor to play with my sweet boy. Every day I am just a little bit more uncomfortable than the day before. The hardest part though is just how much I want to play with Colton and do all the things we had been doing even just a few weeks before, that have become very difficult for me. He LOVES wagon rides, and we used to take wagon rides down the street and back very often, then end up in the backyard to climb around on the play house, throw balls, run, splash in the water table, etc. Unfortunately, after pulling that cute little chunker (This boy is 30lbs last I checked!) around the street, when we get back my feet and ankles are so swollen I have to sit and just watch him play in the yard, with my feet propped up. It's not as fun that is for sure!

Picking up toys = difficult. But this has been good because I was super motivated to teach Colton to pick up toys, and he has gotten so good at it! He always needs prompting, and rarely initiates "clean up time," but when I tell him it's time to "play clean up" he knows what that means and he runs around the living room grabbing the different toys and putting them in the correct bins! Oh it's so nice! He is easily distracted, but as long as I am right there next to the toy bins, saying "pick up all the cars!", then "pick up all the blocks!" repeatedly, he does really good. Sigh.. my boy is getting so big. (He thinks clean up time is a game. Please nobody tell him that it isn't!)

So every day I ask God for TODAY to be Eliza's birthday. For some reason, his answer has always been "not yet." I don't understand why. I don't know if He is trying to teach me something (patience?!) or give me more individual time with Colton, but I am trying and trying to enjoy these last few days of being a family of 3 instead of 4.

I am just so anxious!!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eliza's Nursery

I have spent a lot of time googling, pinteresting (can pinterest be a verb yet?), dreaming, and creating for Eliza's nursery. The walls had already been painted pink with a dark pink trim when we moved in, and we made the decision not to paint them if we have a girl. The ceilings are 10' tall, so painting would be a bit more of a chore than usual! And so, after much time and energy (and less $ than I thought it would be!) here is a mini-reveal of what I have been doing to her room. More photos to come later :)

These letters are purchased unfinished from Hobby Lobby, painted white, and hung from ribbons. 
I made these cute little flowers out of the left-over material from her bed skirt and added them to each letter. I think it added a bit more of a personal touch to her name. 
This is Eliza's crib. It is the same crib we used for Colton, except this time we decided we were not going to spend the same ridiculous amount we did on Colton's bedding set, when he barely used it. And so, we are using this sage green crib sheet, as we already had 2 of them from Colton's nursery. We also had two sky blue ones, so he still has two sheets. I think it will work out just fine. :) I picked out this fabric online and hoped the colors were the same as I could see on my screen. LUCKILY they were! My mom helped me make ruffled crib skirt. We decided to only do 3 sides, since nobody will ever see the side against the wall. I think it turned out great! I love it!
I chose to use the base of the mobile from Colton's crib skirt, and just change out the danglies (what are they actually called? Stuffies?) Colton's set had two ships and two whales. I decided to attempt to make four birdies out of this cute fat quarter bundle. I think they turned out really cute! And they were the first stuffies I have ever attempted. :)
This is the large window in her room. We purchased these black-out curtains (My one actual splurge! But I used a gift card... so not actually a splurge..) and my mom helped make the inner curtains out of a fabric I chose online. I really really love the way it turned out. The next picture shows a closeup of the curtains so you can see the fabric better. The danglies in the window I also made - but I have close up photos of those down the post a bit :)
A close up of the curtain fabric. I was afraid it would be too much pink, but it actually helps balance it out since it's more of a patterned pink. It definitely takes away from the pepto bismol feel of the room :)
Here are the window danglies! A good friend helped me with all of the birdies, we came up with a pattern and traced it onto all the different colors of card stock and cut them out, adding the wings, beaks, and eyes. Whew was it time-consuming! Then I made these cute flowers to add in and add more color. 
These are the flowers on the window danglies. The crystals hanging from the fishing wire cast prisms around the room in the morning when the sun shines in. It's actually really pretty!
Next photo of these! It was so hard to capture what these look like with the window being behind. Back-lit photos just don't work for this!
Brad and I used some pinspiration and made this adorable bow holder/headband holder  for her. I think it turned out so adorable! We have plenty more space for her hair collection to grow! :)
And this is the lamp I had when I was tiny. My grandma gave it to me one year. The lampshade was in pretty bad shape, but the base is the real beauty of it! I love the clear glass, with an etched design. It's so feminine and perfect! Since it needed a new shade, my mom and I found one at good ol' hobby lobby, and then found this white ruffle fabric. My mom took this project on for me while visiting (THANKS MOM!) with only a little bit of help from me. I love the way it turned out, and clipping this adorable bright flower onto it just puts the finishing touches on!
Well? What do you all think? I will add a few more "finished room" pics to my blog in a day or two..and if I get REAL adventurous I might put a tutorial or two of the different things we made. (If there's something in particular you'd like to see a tutorial of, please let me know!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

(Fake) Cleaning

So I just read randomly found this blog post, written by Anna over at, and thought it was HILARIOUS so I had to share it with you.

If you are a stay at home wife or mom, I bet you can relate. I cracked up the whole time as I read what other women do right before their husband walks in the door to make him think they cleaned all day. I know I have been guilty of some of my own "fake cleaning" episodes before, and I am so glad that many others are as well!

My husband is NOT a clean freak, and if our house is a slight mess it doesn't really bother him. He likes the dishes done, the toys picked up, and at least a plan for dinner ready (if not dinner in progress). All VERY doable, easy things. Unfortunately, they don't always get done before he is home. It is very difficult to keep toys put up with a 1.5 year old taking them right back out again. Also, I hate dishes. If I could choose one chore to have someone else do all the time, it would be dishes. Hands down. On the flip side, I HATE dirty dishes. Really, truly, despise having dishes sitting in the sink or the counter. My two hates really pull at me - the desire to just get it over with, and the desire to avoid at all costs.

For the most part, those 3 things are done every day. It is everything else that gets "fake cleaned" before Brad walks in the door. Fabreze is my best friend. I love how it smells like I really cleaned. Unfortunately, it just doesn't last that long. Pledge lasts longer - and if I pledge my coffee table just a minute or two before he walks in the door, it smells up the whole living room and lasts for quite awhile. Plus, it takes like 30 seconds to spray and wipe a coffee table. (I suppose this is real cleaning, with a fake intent. I want him to think I cleaned everything - not just the coffee table).

Another thing I rush to do right before Brad comes home is to fold the throw blankets in the living room, and straighten all the couch pillows. It makes a HUGE difference in the way our living room looks if those two things are done, even if there are toys scattered about.

My husband knows I fake clean. I have told him, and honestly he appreciates the small effort to make him feel more comfortable. What a sweetie, right?

But, I have decided this isn't enough for me. I need my house to BE clean - not just FEEL clean. Confession: I vacuumed my whole house today, and realized it had probably been a week since the last time I had done this. One week may not be a long time for most families, but for our family, vacuuming really needs to be an every other day event. We have a pomeranian, a cat, a daddy who wears combat boots, and  little boy who LOVES to play outside. Once a week doesn't cut it for us, especially for the amount of time we spend playing on the floor.

So I need to make a "chore chart" - and STICK TO IT. That is my goal for this weekend - create one. Start it Sunday.

I think the place where I may fail is the sticking to it. Creating one is easy peasy - following it is not.

I'll let ya'll know how it goes - I'll post the schedule when it's done, and (hopefully) keep you up-dated on how I am doing on it.

So, dear friends, how do YOU keep your house clean? Do you fake clean? Are there chores that don't get done often enough? Is your house perfect all of the time? Do you clean as you see something that needs done? Or do you clean before it needs done - because that's the day you're supposed to do it?

Do you ever feel like you're in a losing battle with your house?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Crock-Pot Chicken Tostadas

Be prepared to be hungry. The other day, I was craving some Mexican - something fierce. So I spent some time googling recipes on Pinterest that would satisfy my craving and use things we happened to have on hand. I combined a recipe or two or three (or more) and this is we had for dinner:

Crock Pot Chicken Tostadas!

Seriously ya'll.. it was so easy and so delicious. Even Colton liked his, and Brad and I may have each eaten 3 tostadas. (THREE TOSTADAS! Can you say preggers?!)

So I would love to show you what I did, just in case ya'll get a craving for some Mexican, but no desire to change out of your yoga pants. 

Let's start with the chicken. Here is what you'll need:
-1or 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1 can cream of chicken soup
-1/2 jar of salsa

And here is what you'll do:
-Throw all ingredients into crock pot. Set on Low for 6-8 hours.
-After 6-8 hours, take chicken out and shred on plate. Really you just need to do a little stirring on the plate, as it will be so tender it will just fall apart. Add some of the remaining juice from the crock pot on top and stir in, until all chicken pieces look nice and juicy. Feel free to sneak a few pieces to taste, and get excited for your meal. 

And now onto the tostadas. Here is what you'll need:
-1 pack tortillas. The small size works better on a cookie sheet, but whatever you have works fine. We used the small, extra thick flour ones, because I am not a huge fan of corn tortillas.
-pepper jack cheese
-Chicken (from above recipe)
-And your favorite toppings. We used tomatoes, baby spinach, cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

Here is what you'll do:
-Lay tortillas out on cookie sheet. Top each with pepper-jack cheese. Bake at 400* for about 10 minutes.
-Take out of oven, and top with shredded chicken. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until tortilla is golden and crispy, and meat is hot.
-Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
This was taken on the cookie sheet, before putting back in the oven.

The delicious finished product! I do not add sour cream or salsa to mine, but my husband does. 

Feel free to send any recipes my way, friends. I am always on the look-out for new, delicious meals to try!

With Love,

Friday, March 2, 2012

Slide climbing

Apparently crocs have great traction for climbing up our slide.. Who knew! He tried and tried to make it to the top but kept slipping and sliding back down. He loved the sliding though, so I am not so convinced he wasn't trying to slide :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A little girl's nursery

I am starting to have a few mini panic attacks about having everything ready for baby girl. When I was pregnant with Colton, I had a plan. I researched nursery "themes" and looked for hours upon hours, and settled on a nautical theme fairly quickly after we found out the gender. Of course, I had much more time to research and choose, back when I had no job and no child, and we lived in a new place where I barely knew anyone at first!  I knew which exact bedding I wanted, Blake by Nautica. We are renters, and so I knew his walls would be plain colored, which helps a lot when deciding on what to get. By the time I was 31 weeks along, which is how far I am now, I pretty much had everything figured out. We had purchased or been given everything we knew we needed, or had a plan of when to purchase it. I did spend the last month doing all of the finishing touches, but that was completely intentional. We moved during the last two months of my pregnancy to North Carolina, and Brad almost immediately left for a month of no contact training, SEER school (Survive, Evade, Escape and Rescue school - basically POW school). But I had a complete plan. I was calm, mostly, and extremely excited about getting everything ready and perfect for our upcoming bundle of joy to change our lives forever.
The bedding we picked for Colton's room. Isn't it adorable?!

This time, I have a bit of a different perspective. I do not have hours upon hours to sit and research what exactly I want to do in the nursery. I have a sweet little boy who keeps me more than busy, and hates when I sit down at the computer. The limited amount of time I have spent trying to research and decide, has left me frustrated and discouraged. Needless to say, I keep putting everything off. But I now feel like I am at the point where I just need to make a decision and stop stressing. As much as i want her nursery to be absolutely perfect for her, as great as it makes me feel to have everything "ready" to welcome her into our hearts, arms, and home, I know it just isn't going to happen. The nursery I pictured whenever I would think about having a little girl is NOT coming together. I completely understand that not having everything perfect will definitely not change how much we love her, want her, and are excited about her. But I still want her room to be planned and prepared for her!

My favorite fabric for baby girl's room
So here is my dilemma. We moved into this rental home, that we absolutely love, and have a two year lease. To paint a room, we have to pick a color, submit the color and plan to the property management office, and they will pass it on to the home owners. The home owners then have the option of agreeing to the paint plan, or nixing. The owners live in Germany currently, and don't seem to be the easiest people to get ahold of. Also, we really just don't want to paint. So baby girl's room color is: light pink. And yes, all of the trim in her room is dark pink, including the two closet doors and the hallway door. It is a pink overload! I am all about pink, honestly, but I don't know if that room can handle any more pink without feeling like the inside of a pepto bismol container! So I need to find bedding that incorporates the pink, while not BEING pink, if that makes sense. My thought has been to not buy a bedding set, as the AAP now recommends no bumpers anyway, using a plain colored crib sheet, and picking the fabric I want to make the crib skirt. Also, I want to make the curtains to either match the crib skirt or coordinate with it. But I just can't find material I like, in my  price range! Here is a sample of the one I am absolutely in love with, but at $30/yard, it is definitely NOT practical! Plus a 2 yard minimum on each order, I just can't get it. Not even for a little "pop." But I love that it has the two colors of pink from the room, plus a pop of tiffany blue in it - I love tiffany blue in a little girl's room!

So I am on the search for fabric. Cheap, sweet, not entirely pink fabric.

But I did find a crib mobile I love that I think I can recreate (it's from Etsy).  It has the birdies that I love and want in her room, with enough dimension and contrast to be very visually stimulating. I imagine it will take quite a bit of time to cut all of those birdies out, in two or so different card stocks each, but this may actually be a project I can work on while Colton is awake. If he is coloring at the table next to me, he is usually fairly content with me doing something a bit different than him, as long as I am next to him. So as soon as I pick fabric, I will get the paper to match and start on this cute bird mobile!

Can you tell I am trying to do this nursery on the cheap? We are using the dresser/changing table from Colton's room and purchasing him a new dresser. The crib that matches the dresser will also be in baby girl's room. We purchased Colton a new crib that converts to a toddler bed, so he will be in that. Actually, we didn't purchase it new - we purchased it from someone, but it looks brand new. Their baby decided to be a complete co-sleeper, and now that she's 3 and has slept in it less than a handful of times, they decided it wasn't worth it to keep it. Score for us though! We will be using the glider from Colton's room, we have his old swing and vibration chair for her as well. She gets to use his car seat, luckily it's gray and green so no worries about it being too "boyish" :) Really, we haven't had to purchase very many things for her at all so far! My mom's sister has a daughter who is turning 2 soon, so we have been given all of Mayli's hand-me-down's from when she was tiny, so baby girls wardrobe is pretty set. :) We will probably purchase a few things, since I have never gotten to shop for a girl before, but it's nice to know that we don't have to! So really.. I don't know why we are stressing. Lots of little things to get (girly paci's, blankets, swaddle blankets, maybe a few girly toys, etc.) but none of the "big stuff" besides bedding and curtains. And I have right under two months.

Two months.

Oh gosh, if I am going to be sewing something, I better get on it. I only have two months.

If you're still reading this, give yourself a pat on the back. You have just read my repeated rambling thoughts for the past week. Sorry it's so long and not that interesting!

Loves, Jessica

It snowed in Texas!

A week or so ago, here in TEXAS, we had a bit of snow. It didn't stick, but we had big ol' pretty flakes falling from the sky. Colton and I quickly got dressed for snow, which isn't hard when really it's not all that cold, and ran outside to experience our first, and possibly only, snow of the year. I got a couple of pretty great shots of Colton loving it. He was very excited to point at the snow, and try and "catch" the flakes. You can see a few of them on his jeans in the photo where he's sitting in his adirondack chair. What a sweet little boy. :)