Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stepping Out

Yesterday I took a little step out of my comfort zone for the sake of socialization and making friends.

Some think I am an extrovert.  I think otherwise.  I can be loud and crazy and animated, but that is generally only when around people that I know well and am comfortable with.  I hate meeting new people.  I hate awkward social situations.  I hate talking to people I don't know.  I hate small talk.  In general I just don't like new situations.  Especially those that involve meeting new people by myself.

But... I know it has to be done and it's important.  So I try to suck it up and put myself out there every once in a while. :)  Since moving back to Ohio we have been home bodies.  I honestly don't mind, but I know that I need to make friends for Olivia.  Shortly after moving into our rental house in December I joined a local mom's group on Facebook.  It just popped up as a recommended group and I joined.  They do play dates here and there, but I haven't  gone to any because of Logan.

We are ready to start venturing out though.  Someone posted that they were going to the fountains at Easton (outside mall) and invited others to join.  Most of the group started chiming in that they would go. I seriously debated with myself for over a half an hour before I replied that we would join them.

I was so tired yesterday morning.  I got very little sleep and everything in me wanted to just stay at home and be lazy, but I trudged on.  I got Logan ready.  I got myself ready.  I packed two bags-snacks, bottles, changes of clothes, etc.  I tried to get an uncooperative toddler changed and started questioning "Is socialization really that important?". :)

We got there and the mom that had set the whole thing up introduced herself right away.
Olivia wasn't too sure about the water.  My child of caution.

She just kept running to the edge and then running back to me.  I even tried walking her to the water, but she wasn't having it.

Eventually she got a little braver.

But she  didn't stay there for long.

A lot of the kids already knew each other, and the fountains didn't really allow for her to actually meet too many kids. But I think in the long run it will be a good group to be in.

I found out that one little girl that is close to her in age (but was at her grandma's house) is actually going to be in Olivia's preschool class.  So that will be perfect.  She will potentially have a friend before school even starts.

Her favorite part was her snack of pretzels. :)

So we did it.  We got out of the house.  We met new people.  We survived.
I'm looking forward to getting to know some of the moms better.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Meeting Milestones

I mentioned last week that Logan had a good OMT appointment and the doctor felt he was doing well.  At that time he would give me a minute, maybe two, where he would hold his head up before screaming.  He wasn't consistent with it, and he wouldn't lift it too high.  Even still, it was progress.

Well all of the sudden this week he has become a tummy time rock star!  I don't know what happened, but I will take it!

 Last Thursday

This week
This isn't a great picture.  It's hard to get a good picture with my phone in the first place and then he was just constantly moving.  But you can see how far he can get up.

On Tuesday I laid him down and got down on the ground with him.  He wasn't too happy about it.  He was holding on to my dress and I removed his hand and before I knew it he was rolling over.  I wasn't sure if I should count it as an official roll. The whole thing happened kind of fast and I wasn't sure if I somehow helped or laid him down different.

  But then yesterday he definitely did it all by himself and it wasn't even out of anger.
Right after.  I tried to catch him in action, but no such luck.

So not only is he doing great with tummy time, but he is rolling too.  Woo hoo!

Olivia was always just a little behind with her milestones.  It never worried me.  I knew it was because she was a big baby and it would come. For whatever reason, I am a little more relieved this time around that he is on track! I was honestly picturing him being 6 months still having screaming tummy time sessions. :)

Way to go buddy!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Shortly after I started working with Little Man (six years ago!!), we made this sunflower on canvas for his grandparents.  Then his mom loved it so much that she asked us to make one for her too.
 The petals are his hands. The seeds are his fingerprints.  The stem is from the side of his foot, and the leaves are his feet.  Cute, right?

So I was driving down the road the other day thinking about crafty type stuff and decorating my family room.  It is almost done.  It just has one wall that needs some items on it, and then a few little things here and there.  I was waiting for family pictures so that I could do a collage of sorts on the wall above the couch.  But I want other things mixed in.  I've already started collecting.  But my mind wandered to the idea of having something that has both Olivia and Logan's feet or handprints.  Kind of like a way to memorialize this moment in time.  I remembered the sunflower and knew that I would do something along those lines.

Here is what I ended up with.  I'm pretty pleased.  It's not perfect, but it pretty much sums up their current stages.

I bought a 2 pack of canvases from Hobby Lobby for $7.99 (and then 40% off).  Of course, I only used one of those canvases.  You might not be able to tell, but I actually did a very light blue background instead of keeping it white.  Only because my walls are a neutral.  I bought the blue paint, a sunflower color and the green.  I already had a brown.

I did Olivia's first.  I made the stem with the side of her foot and then just did one leaf.  I wasn't sure if two would fit.  She has pretty big feet.  Then we did her hands.  She did pretty well.  The fingerprints got a little dicey.  She was letting them slide all over, but we got it under control.  Overall she thought it was the coolest thing that I was painting her hands and feet and even thanked me.

Next up I did Logan's stem and leaves.  That part was easy.  I knew the hand was going to  be difficult.  I was under no illusion that it was actually going to look like a hand.  I would just get him to spread out his fingers as best as I could and then they would kind of just shuffle all over the place while I tried to press them down.  They don't necessarily look like handprints, but I still think it looks neat.  The fingerprint seeds weren't too hard.  I think he enjoyed having his feet painted too.

I didn't take a picture tutorial because I had paint all over.  Have you ever tried getting a handprint from a 3 month old?! :)  But I think you get the idea.  Not bad for less than $8!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Painted Knife Block

About a year and a half ago I was at a 31 party at someone's house and noticed that her knife block was painted the same sage green as her walls.  It looked so cute.  I complimented the hostess on it and she said that she got the idea off of Pinterest.  So when I got home I looked it up and there were all sorts of takes on the painted knife block.  I thought it was cute and was a "maybe" project for me to do.

I'll be honest.  I actually never even liked knife blocks.  I hate clutter on my counter tops.  I don't want to have a jar of utensils sitting out (no offense to those who do).  I don't want 8 billion kitchen gadgets.  I get that some things need to be out for function, but overall I like simple and clean lines.  Cluttered counter tops make me twitch. :) 

But we got a knife block as a wedding gift.  We didn't register for it.  Someone just decided it would be a great gift.  (That someone later told us that they found it on "super clearance" at Kohl's.  Not tacky at all!).  Since I had it, I put it on our counter and used it.  Turns out I love it.  I use it multiple times a day. Every. Single. Day.  It is very convenient.

So when we moved into a house with an all cream kitchen I knew that my knife block would be getting a makeover.  I wanted to add color and I knew this would be a perfect and simple way to do so.

I started off by removing the knives and cleaning the block.  Then I lightly sanded it with a sandpaper block that I already had.  I wiped it off again to get all of the wood dust off.  Then I got to painting.

After the first coat

In the past I had read a few tutorials.  Although it seemed like there was no right or wrong way.  Some people sanded. Some didn't. Some people primed.  Some didn't.  Some people used spray paint.  Others used wall paint. There was just all sorts of ways to go.

I have learned that I am not quite patient enough to use spray paint.  And I wanted something that would hold up to being used in a kitchen.  I decided to give this paint a shot.  It was for outdoor use and could be used on wood.  Why not?  It was about $1.  All of the other supplies I already had.

The hardest part of the whole project was waiting for the paint to dry.  The bottle said to use 1 to 2 coats.  I did 2.  You can still see the wood grain through the paint, but it is pretty red.  I don't think another coat would have made it look any different.  Also, I knew that I would still be able to see the wood grain and I was OK with that.  I didn't bother trying to hide the name on the block either. Some people went to great lengths to cover that up on theirs (spackle, medallions, etc.).

I am going to get some sort of protective coat for it.  I have a protective spray, but it is a matte finish and we are wanting something glossy.  But the entire project cost me a dollar plus whatever the protective finish will cost (which should be less than $5).

I've seen ones with vinyl on the front.  Some have the first initial of the family's last name.  Others have words.  I could do that, but for now I am happy with it just being red.

The knives contrast nicely!

Let there be color!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Little Helper

Lately, Olivia has decided that she really wants to be my helper.  Her favorite thing is to get her "step tool" and be up at the counter working with me.  So I've been trying to let her help me as much as possible.

She's a little hasty with her pouring, so if I'm not quick on my feet it generally leads to more of a mess than a help.  But she loves it and she's learning, so it's worth it.

She does great with the mixer.

 On this particular day we were making banana bread.

We love using the learning tower!

The cutest little baker there is!

Yesterday she wanted to help me make lunch so bad.  I was just putting together sandwiches, but we made it work.  She put two slices of bread on each plate.  She helped squeeze the mustard for mommy and Boppa's sandwich. She put the cheese slices on.  And she helped put the tops on the bottoms of the sandwich when everything was in place.  She was SO proud to tell her Boppa that she helped make his sandwich.  It's the little things, people. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Olivia's Pictures

OK.  I promise this is the last picture post.  It's just that the files are so big and there were so many that I liked and wanted to share, so breaking up the posts was best.  I am just going to share some of my favorites of Olivia.  Like I said, we ended up with nearly 60.  Not all of them are frameable.  There are a lot of her smelling flowers or running down paths, etc.  But they are still fun to have nonetheless.  You may see some other ones during her 3 year posts, but for now here are some we like.

Although you can't see most of it, this gazebo is where we got engaged and also where our engagement pictures were taken.  Coming full circle! :)

I think I might have mentioned Frozen here in attempts to get a genuine smile.

Isn't she beautiful?!

This is Michael's favorite.

I can't believe she's going to be 3 in a month!