7/31/11

Avery's 4-Months!

Time flies when you're having fun!  This Friday, Avery hit the 4-month mark.

Photo by: Melinda Elin Burg Photography


THINGS OF NOTE:

  • 15 lbs, 7 oz (85th percentile); 27 inches long (100+! my baby is off the charts!); head circumference 40.5 cm (35th percentile)
  • Has found her hands and feet and is constantly chewing on one or the other
  • Blows spit bubbles when she's excited
  • Has tried rice cereal from a spoon, but was not impressed - she liked the yellow squash food puree better.  Who wouldn't!?
  • She loves her big sister and is entertained by everything she does!
  • Had her first tooth break through (on 4 months and 1 day!)
  • Laughs with her Dad at the "Soooo Big" game 
  • Smiles at any face that will smile back
This baby is a joy in our world - hearing her squeal to get our attention and the big grin that follows really makes my day.  It's no secret that being a working mom is more than stressful and the thought of being the sole-breadwinner could have sent me over the edge (but Nate took a new job - GOOD THING!)  I have good friends and a happy, healthy family that helps keep me grounded.


Photo by: Melinda Elin Burg Photography
Photo by: Melinda Elin Burg Photography
The class baby shot for our family - measure kid against this ugly stone cat - been around since I was a baby!
Fish face, spit bubbles anyone?

7/29/11

Things You Should Know if We're Going to Be BFF

This place has become a soul-dump of sorts for me, so I figure, let's just let it all hang out.  You can know me, even if I don't know you on the same level (though I would love to - I'm sure if you're reading this blog, you are more than delightful!)

I didn't try as hard as I could have in college and regret it to this day.

I always knew I wanted to be a Mom.

I have had the same group of friends since Junior High (with some awesome new additions) and wouldn't change that for anything.  Two friends (Jenny and Courtney) I've known since I was 5-years old - this fall we'll hit the quarter-century mark.

When I was younger, because I was so tall, my pants were never long enough and kids teased me with "high waters."  I am ashamed to admit, I didn't realize what that meant for a long time!

Matt Damon is my heart throb - he is #1 on my "freebie" list with the hubs.

I was in Drama Club in junior high - my favorite role was to play Jane Curtin on "Weekend Update."

I slept with my soft blanken (yes, blanken) until I moved into the house that Nate and I own (4 years ago, he finally made me put it away.)  I can still see it in the closet, but it's never come down.

When I was little, I would write short stories on our GIANT Apple computer.. 

I met my husband at a wedding - it was supposed to be a fun weekend fling that ended in marriage 2 years later.

I delivered both my girls without an epidural.  I also didn't breastfeed either of them - and they've turned out great so far.

I grew up watching Muppet Babies without really appreciating who the REAL Muppets were.

I do not iron and have no idea how to fold a fitted sheet.
To my home's detriment, I am horrible about emptying the dryer's lint trap.



7/27/11

Photo Wall Revamp

In our split level home, we have a back wall where I've hung photos of the girls as they've gone through their "newborn" and "birthday" photo sessions.  Just think, for over 2 years, Liv got the wall all to herself, but now she's forced to share.  And what's worse, with my redecorating attempt, she's going to have to share with Nate and me too!  Typical strife of the oldest child :)

I found this link on Pinterest, care of Brand Sushi and thought it would be amazing to share with you all, in case you're going through the same revamp that I am.  See - we can't buy a new house right now (mostly because we can't SELL the one we've got) so we're making the one we have "newish" to us.  Almost four years - I'm bored!

The page is actually to sell you templates, but the photos give good inspiration for whatever look you may be looking for.  Flexibility is key!

I do believe I will be using the brown wall-option, with the picture shelves.  There are options for wrapped canvas, which is another project I'd love to take on with something fun and funky to brighten up the space.  We have great windows down there, but hello, it's a split level, so half the wall is underground!

Looks like I'll need a 10x20 frame, 11x14 frame, there's a 10x10 shown, but I have my fabulous 8x10 option of important family dates, and a 5x7.  Bummer.  Shopping.  Probably at Pottery Barn.  Shucks.

My would-be-painter got a new job (yeah) so that means my painting project is getting shifted back to our already overflowing weekends (boo).  I promise to post photos of the end result...

7/25/11

How to Get Anyone to Eat Green Beans

This is a simple story - take something that is maybe less than yummy on it's own, such as a fresh, green bean.  Take the best meat known to man - bacon and VOILA!  You have a winning combination.

We visiting the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Sunday and scored about 5lbs of green beans for 3 bucks - can't pass that up!  In the past I've made this dish, following Rachel Ray's recipe to the T, but this time, I didn't have any bacon thawed, so what's a girl to do??  She takes out her jar of reserved bacon fat and uses that as her cooking oil!



So the dish ended up sans bacon bits, but the bacon grease was so yummy that you didn't really miss it!

Enjoy!

7/15/11

A Decade of Wizadry

I guess there's a new movie out today.  I am by no means a Harry Potter super-fan, even though we own the series on DVD (once you buy one, you might as well keep going!)  I've tried to read the books.  I've actually only read the first one and it's really cheating to say I "read" it.  It was read to me in the 48 hours worth of car riding that a few of us took out to Mexico PA (yes, there is a place called Mexico in Pennsylvania and it is NOTHING like the country, unless you look at all the dirt and heat.).  I'm not a car-reader, so my friend, Sarah offered to read it out loud.  Worked for me - we didn't have a DVD player, so our entertainment options were limited.  I have watched the movies, which in principle I am against only seeing the movie and not reading the book, but at the same time - have you SEEN how long those books are?  I barely have time to go through my Food Network magazine each month!
So anyways, thanks to Facebook, I saw a friend post this in her status.  I thought it was interesting to read what it was like 10 years ago.  Seems so long ago, and yet I know the next 10 years are going to go by at light speed.

10 years ago I was 19.
10 years ago I kept the company of men who weren't going to be my husband.  (Don't tell Nate I dated before him.)
10 years ago I lived in St. Paul, on the campus of The University of St. Thomas.
10 years ago I didn’t know who I was. I wasn’t a mom. I wasn't thankful for the "little" things.  Drama was a big part of my world.
10 years ago I saw a movie... [but in my case it wasn't until it came out on DVD]
Oh my, college.  I was in college 10 years ago, my first year.  In fact just last summer, I went to my 10-year high school reunion (and had a BLAST!)  If I could tell my 19-year old self that this is the life they would have, I don't know that I would have believe them.  I didn't know that I was lucky - school, family, food, friends.  But at 19, one boy is mean to you and the world is going to end.  (Have I mentioned before how TERRIFIED I am to have two teenage daughters!)  Boy drama was a big part of my college life, but it got better.  I got older and stopped carrying to the point that I met someone who lived 600 miles away at a wedding, thought he was cute over a long weekend and ended up marrying him.  And let him knock me up twice.  (Don't get me wrong, we had a very lovely and respectful courtship.)
In the world of movies and entertainment, 10 years doesn't seem like that long.  But 10 years from now, I could write this post - Liv would be almost 13 and Avery would be coming up on her 10th birthday.  Oh God.  I should invest in Ecco Domani and chocolate now.  Smartest financial move I could ever make!

7/14/11

Leanne's Awesome Free Prints

For those of you who have seen similar items on Pinterest, here's where you can print out these awesome designs - FOR FREE!  Can't beat that!

Leannes Awesome Free Art Prints

I printed this one as a 5x7 for the girls' room - a little upload to Shutterfly, order online and there it was!


I just may print this one for the entryway.  We are very lucky.  And awesome.  And deserve a sign that says so!

7/13/11

Sleeping Beauties

My name is Liz and I am a sleepy-kiddo-watcher.

I have snapped photos of my girls sleeping since the day they were born.  And I don't mean just when they were in the hospital.  Or a few weeks old.  I still take pictures of Liv when she's sleeping.  And Avery's little smush face, forget about it.  It started out because their faces are so serene and sweet. They're calm and warm and perfect.  Then it's because they start flipping around and ending up in the strangest positions (a la example below)


Liv at 9 months

And then the cuteness snowballs.  Liv plays so hard and I can just imagine how she's reading stories in bed one minute and then next she's crashed so hard, she wouldn't even wake up if I vacuumed her pillows.  I've seen it happen - one very clear memory was from our vacation to Beaches in Turks and Caicos and Liv and I went in for nap (weird, being pregnant in the sun all day makes you tired mid-day!  Or maybe it was just the pregnancy)  She laid down and I watched three very slow blinks and the fourth time, her eyes didn't open.  She was crashed. 

But I have to wonder - when will I stop going in to watch them sleep?  I mean, not even just the last kiss good night before I go to bed.  The watching them sleep.  Standing there in awe of what has come from that tiny blue line.  Recalling the funny things they've done during the day and the anticipation of having them wake up to do more good things. (Granted, I LOVE me some bedtime, night time sleep.  OH yes I do!)  These little people are in the world and I am totally to blame for it - for better or worse.



What can I say, Avery's not a performer for the camera!


My name is Liz and I am a sleepy-kiddo-watcher.  I have decided that I won't stop until I can't do it anymore.  The day will come.  The girls will wake up, call me weird or *gasp* move out and leave me.  I will soak up every moment that I can - again, in between the tantrums and teething and fits of rage and love.  It's too special to miss.

I will be the first to admit being a Mom is the best and hardest thing I've ever done.  I'm not one of those "everything is perfect and our lives are so great" people.  Hello, read the blogs.  

But this life is speeding up and it's a good reminder to take the good with the bad.





7/12/11

Special Dates Frame

Another Pinterest inspired craft that I had to do!



Super easy and the cost, amazingly LOW, which I love.  I reused a frame that we got as a wedding gift and the paper was from Archivers for less than 4 bucks!  I will say the punching of the numbers (using the free die cuts at Archivers) was super time consuming, but luckily my little crafting buddy was sleeping, so I had time to work!



 First, you'll want to figure out what numbers you'll need.  For those of you who don't know all of our birthday's and wedding anniversary, that's what the dates are.  This would be a cute grandparent frame with kids' birthday or other special dates in your world.  The most important thing is that it's special to you, no need to explain it to everyone!
I used a quick tally system to count how many of each I'll need.  I did the dumb thing and combined all the dates together not remembering that I wanted the wedding date to be a different paper.  No biggie, just Mom Brain!


Get your supplies together.  You'll need a frame of your choosing, the paper you want to use, with 1 sheet cut to the size of you "photo" frame and the rest used for your numbers.  You'll also need a ruler and some glue.  You could also use stickers or even hand-print them if you're so inclined. 


I wasn't sure what background I was going to use so I made two sets of my "wedding date."  This just goes to further point to my indecisive nature when it comes to making personal decisions.


I laid out all my numbers, A. to make sure I got them all and B. to get a sense of the colors and I still could make a decision.  So I put them both on their own background, and we had our winner!


I centered the page and then added another 1/2 the size of my numbers to find my starting line for the anniversary.  I'll walk you through the math because I realize that a HORRIBLE explanation (I was an English major, not a math major!) I have an 8 x 10 frame.  My numbers were 1 1/4 inches tall.  Half the page would be 5 inches and half the letter was 5/8 inches, so I found 5 and 5/8th and started from there.  The rest I pretty much just eyeballed the pencil lines and I think it worked out OK.   Sorry if that's oversimplified - again English, not math!

As Nate would say "Good enough for the girls I date."  Not sure what the really means or if I should be offended, but whatever.

I LOVE the yellow print that I picked and am going to use it for another project (yeah!)  Styrofoam covered with paper and the edges trimmed with ribbon.  Hello easy and cute!

Til next time...




Good Thing, Bad Thing

My girlfriends will attest that this "game" has been around for a very long time.  It started when we would all get together during college.  Tell me 1 good thing and 1 bad thing that's happened to you in XX time period.  It was a great way to keep up on everyone and share stories.

I still love this.  I am probably the only one.  I like knowing what's going on and it's an easy way for everyone to have a turn to share - whether they want to or not!

Good thing:  I got a new job!  I'll still be with my same company, but just moving on and up.  Very excited - I start next Monday.

Bad thing:  Nate lost his!  Without warning, bam, and we're down again.

Now I could bitch and moan and cry, but I've already done that.  I shed some tears yesterday and now we're moving on.  Life sucks without money, but life would suck a lot more without other things.  We have a great family support system, awesome friends, healthy kids and a home, food, heat and all those other things you NEED in your world (just with tighter purse strings for the time being)

Sadly, this isn't our first round of playing the one-income game, but we're smarter now and more importantly, we know we can survive it.  Or at least history would suggest that we can!

I am insanely jealous that he gets some free time home (and gets to spend time with the girls) but I am also excited to start my own new job and that adventure.  Look at it this way, I'll get my handyman, cleaning service back again.  Just in time to repaint the downstairs living room for all my redecorating ideas (mostly all on the cheap to begin with!)

I've got a couple projects in process, so check back soon for the tutorials and final projects.

Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

7/11/11

New Baby Fish

This weekend, with the 90 degree weather, you KNOW we had to go to the pool to soak it all in.  It's days like those that make us Minnesotans endure the winters here!  I took a brave leap and let Avery come in the water sans swim diaper.  There's a photo of my mom and me when I was little (probably about 5-6 months) just like these.  My mom has 80s hair and I'm bald as can be and naked as the day I was born, but we're all having a blast in the water.

I love that I get to relive these moments with my kids.  Never in my childhood days of paddling around that pool until my lips turned blue did I think "I want to do this with my kids," but here I am.  Snapping the same shots that were taking nearly 30 (ugh!) years ago.  I still have to sit back and think - I'm a mom.  I'm a MOM of TWO kids!?  When did that happen?  When did I get so old?!  And time is only speeding up. 

Nate admitted to me this weekend that he knew he was old when we were watching "Friday Night Lights" when he sympathized with the parents of the college student, rather than the college student.  Granted, we're watching parents of daughters - heaven help us.  The drama of being a teenage girl was painful enough first hand - I can't imagine having to watch my babies go through it.  My babies will grow up and fall in love and get hurt and that's just not OK with me.  The getting hurt part, not the falling in love part.  But I'm smart enough to know it's just something you do.  A right of passage.  Gonna need a lot of Ecco for those days :)

Until then, I'll just enjoy the moments while they're little and the drama is considerably less.  Don't get me wrong - Liv is a D-R-A-M-A Queen these days, but she's also 2 going on 22.  It's her right as a toddler, I guess.  Or at least that's what I'll tell myself to manage the tantrums and hugs.






Just keep swimming Mamas.

7/7/11

Satin Flower

Another project where there are a gazillion and one tutorials out there, so why not one more!  Besides, you're not reading all those other blogs, you're reading mine.  A girl's got to deliver!

This was so easy and I was skeptical at first about how the "burning" effect would turn out but the 1st one was so cool, I couldn't wait to do more!

 

First, gather your supplies:  satin fabric of your choosing, coordinating felt (for the circle base, as all good things come from that), scissors, a ruler (or your eye balls for measuring), a lighter or taper candle and your trusty-always-there-for-you-hot glue gun.


Cut out concentric circles - the size if your choice depending on how large you want the flower to be.  I did 10 petals, 2 of each size, roughly 3, 2.5, 2, 1.5 and 1 inches wide.  Go back to your kindergarten skills and cut squares and round the corners.  Perfect circles aren't necessary - you're burning the edges and want a natural feel to them anyway (love those not-perfect-projects!)

 

Start burning.  You can use a lighter or a candle.  I tired both and the long lighter gave me the control I was looking for, but the candle did burn hotter and curled the satin more, which gave a nice effect, but if you look closely, it did darken the fabric on the ends.  Experiment to your own tastes!

When you're done, your stack will look something like this.  Cool, huh?


Now for our trusty felt circles.  Start with the largest size and just dab a little glue in the center of each petal to stick them all together.  Again, don't worry about perfection - this is supposed to be fun, not stressful.  Now what else do these need??

 

BLING!!!!

I will be getting myself some black and perhaps fashioning something for myself for a change.  Shocking, I know!

Baby Belle is quite a fan, as per usual...

7/5/11

Favorite Weekend of the Summer

I love cabins.

Don't get me wrong, I am not an "outdoor" girl, but cabins - the lake, the sun, the family and laughter, the indoor plumbing, I love it all.

A few years ago, Nate and I started going up to The Scheeweis Lodge in Clearwater, MN.  It quickly became our tradition and one I really, really love.  We hang out, decorate for the Fourth of July with flags and other red-white-and-blue do-dads and have more fun with the best people than karma should be allow.  Oh, and don't forget the life jacket "diapers" in the swimming hole and filling the fridge with more food and booze than 6 adults would ever consume in a mere 3 days (though we try!) 

This year, Miss Avery got her first taste of the Lodge.  Despite the booger nose, she had a wonderful time and was the happiest when he was outside watching the leaves (either in the arms of Grandma Carol or her Uncle Steve.  And my sassy almost-3-year old.  She was so excited A. to see Genna and Steve and B. to go on a boat ride, I don't know that she thought about much else in the days leading up to our trip.  Also, for the 2nd year in a row, she caught about a fish a minute from the dock - something about that lucky Snoopy rod!  Not that it was a competition, Uncle Steve, but so far, she's got you beat.

We snapped over 200 photos and about 40 minutes of video - would have been more, but the Flip battery wasn't as charged as I thought!  I can't wait until next year when there will be another little girl in a sweet summer romper (and a drink in Genna's hand again.)

With the weather being what it's been - high and low and violent and calm, this weekend finally felt like summer and I can't wait for more of it.

Everyone should have friends as great as these.  Big hearts create big smiles.

That's what she said.







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