Friday, February 5, 2016

Sorry... not sorry.

I've underestimated just how hard this motherhood thing was going to be. I knew going in, it wasn't going to be easy. Free time, whats that? As you might have guessed, blogging/crafting have not been priorities. Taking care of the babe, maintaining the house and going to work is pretty much all I do. I'm not complaining, because out of those three things, the only one I hate doing is the house work. Since most of my time is occupied any spare time I do have, I'm tired or want to spend it with my husband. I just haven't felt that drive to do much. 

I also felt that it was important to disconnect for a bit. I was so sucked into this blog, my etsy shop and my little craft room, I needed to walk away from it for a bit. Especially for the baby's first year. There have been opportunities  to do work on stuff while she was just hanging around, but I was more motivated to spend it with her than spend it in front of the computer. Its something I recommend anyone do if they get sucked into a social media whirl wind, its nice to just walk away for a bit. Now that I have I feel a bit refreshed and ready to start again. 

Just because I haven't been blogging or doing much crafting doesn't mean I haven't been creative. I've been doing a few things that are easier to do with my little girl crawling around. 

I've hopped on the adult coloring bandwagon. I think we need a new name for this trend. Adult coloring book sounds like its full of nudie pictures. Anyway, moving on, I got a coloring book full of kaleidoscope designs and I've been enjoying it. I even caught my husband Tim coloring a page! 

I've also been doing a few classes. For those that are unfamiliar with, it is an excellent source for education on a various types of media. I'm lucky enough to have a library that has a subscription, so check a library in your area because you may be able to access this site for free!
I have been the most interested in the drawing classes. I've done a few drawing challenges and more recently have been tying to teach myself how to make vector images. The goal here is to make my own silhouette images. When I make stuff for personal use I usually just grab an image online and trace it, however if I'm going to sell my own stuff, I want to be able to make my own graphics. 

To help keep my creative brain going I do daily drawing prompts and sometimes writing prompts. Here is an adorable otter I drew, complete with mustache. 

Some changes are coming along the way, so stick around. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

the State of Craft

The last few weeks of my pregnancy I spent getting everything ready for my girl and I also felt terrible. Crafting was not a priority! Now that I feel normal again and I have my energy back, I got my desire to DIY back! Here are some of the creative things I have been up to… 

We had a big hunk of wood hanging around in the garage. It was calling to me, “Sarina repurpose me into something pretty!” I couldn’t ignore it any longer! So since I was no longer prohibited from staining, I gave it a coat of dark stain and added a quote. Since this was going in the living room, I couldn’t use just any old quote. I wanted to do something about love that wasn’t going to make me or Tim puke. I found a quote from Lord of the Rings that I liked and the quickest way to my husband’s heart is through Tolkien. For the lettering I found a cool Lord of the Rings font that just gives it the extra nerdy pizazz. 

Of course I have to craft some fun baby things for my little girl. After the new Star Wars Trailer came out after I squeed like a crazy person, I knew she needed a Star Wars onesie. I made her this snazzy one for my little Rebel Princess. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

How I Survived the First Weeks of Motherhood

The other day my husband asked me what day it was. After a quick glance at the calendar I came to the shocking realization that six weeks have already flown by! It felt like it had gone by so fast but at the same time it feels like my little girl has been in my life forever. Its a weird feeling. I am also incredibly proud of myself for making it this far with very little breakdowns. I have heard horror stories of how hard motherhood is and in my experience, its not hard but it also isn't easy. I've managed to get things done, despite being interrupted with feedings and diaper changes. I have had help. Here are some of the things that helped me keep my sanity, some you can buy and some you can't.

  1. iPhone: This has become one of my most vital tools! I use the Baby Feeding Schedule app to track her habits (feeding time, diapers and sleep) When she is a bit extra fussy I use Pandora, Songza or Amazon Music to play some calm music for her. She really enjoys Sufjan Stevens. I also use it to take some quick snap shots of her when I don't have time to get my fancy camera. I know people have been having babies for millions of years, but I don't know how those moms survived with out a smart phone! 
  2. Rock & Play sleeper: I didn't bother with a bassinet. Babies only stay in those things for a short time! Instead we opted for the Rock & Play sleeper. Its awesome because its portable. She would be asleep in it and we could move it around from room to room with out disturbing her. It was also nice because it is tilted which came in handy to help with our little girls reflux. 
  3. Books: In between naps there is lots of down time. Be warned they are short periods of free time, so it can be difficult to actually get anything really productive done. There were also some times when I couldn't get my little girl to settle down and reading aloud from my kindle came in handy. After the morning feedings the little lady is usually very alert, so that is the best time to read some picture books with her. She loves it! 
  4. Brewer's Yeast and Mother's Milk Tea: At a few weeks old she wasn't gaining weight. I had to supplement with some formula for a bit and I had a mental breakdown. "Is there something wrong with my breastmilk? Am I not drinking enough water? Am I a terrible Mom?!" The doctor assured me that it is normal, and there is nothing wrong with me. To help boost up the supply I had some Mother's Milk Tea on hand. Its not the best tasting of teas but it helps! I have also been taking some Brewer's Yeast supplements. Its helped not only with feedings but also with pumping. 
  5. Netflix: Speaking of pumping, I felt like I was chained to that stupid machine when I was trying to build up a stash. What to do when I'm stuck there pumping away? Watch TV. I've been binging a lot! Including Parks and Recreation, Twin Peaks and a lot of documentaries. 
Things you can't buy: 

  1. Baby Daddy: I lucked out, not only is Tim an amazing husband, but he is a great father. He's so supportive and when I'm at my wits end, he takes the baby without me asking. He shares many special moments with her and its just so nice to see. I am a Daddy's girl and I know about that special bond between father and daughter. Its interesting to see that relationship from another perspective. 
  2. A Mom expert: Its good to know a seasoned veteran that you can go to for answers. My sister-in-law Trisha has been a huge help and has been my go to person for help and support. I don't think I could have made it through breastfeeding with out her advice. When I was freaking out it was nice to shoot her a quick text to reassure me something was normal. 
  3. Treat yo Self: Raising a baby is not easy. It can be exhausting, repetitive and painful. So remember... Treat Yo Self! I would take a few special trips to the craft store and indulge in some sweet treats. Treating myself to a little something helped me keep my sanity.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Birth Announcements on the Cheap

Baby stuff for some reason is ridiculously expensive. With all the extra expenses a baby brings into a household it had me looking for deals and how we can save money. Despite being on a budget I didn’t want to sacrifice having fun with my new baby, like spreading the news of my little girl with birth announcements. 

After coming home from the hospital (and when I had a spare minute) I did some shopping and found that birth announcements through photo services were one dollar each. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but I figured I needed to order about 75 and when you have to order in bulk, that is money that could be used on diapers or other essentials! So I got a little more creative and came up with another option which was dramatically cheaper and I ended up paying about $13 instead of $75.

So are you wondering how I saved so much ? It involved a little bit of work but was well worth it. Here is how I did it. 

I looked at some other birth announcements for some inspiration. Once I figured out a design idea I picked out the photos that I wanted to use. We were lucky enough to have some great shots of our daughters early days. I also have sister-in-law who is very talented when it comes to photography. So we decided to go with those pictures. 

Next I went to my favorite photo editing tool, Picmonkey.comI used Picmonkey’s collage tool. I reformatted the pixel size to match up the photo size that I wanted. I went with 1200 x 1800 pixels for a 4 x 6 size photo. Here is a list of photo sizes and their pixel dimensions that is very helpful. 

After my page size was formatted, I picked out a collage style I wanted to use. I wanted to keep it simple so went with a square deal variation. Then I added my pictures and readjusting them to my liking. I kept one section blank because that is where my text will go. I selected the swatches tool and added a decorative swatch to the text box. Lastly I added a background color. After doing a bit of tweaking and I liked how the pictures looked, I saved the picture. I saved mine as a png. This file size gives you a good quality image.

After saving the image I went back to Picmonkeys main page and selected, edit photo. I then uploaded the collage I just made. I used picmonkey's text and shape tools to created all of the birth info. I even added a cute little owl. After I liked how it looked, I saved it. 

So I had my digital file complete! I then went to Target's photo service and ordered my prints. I've used plenty of other photo sites before but I prefer Target because the prints are a great quality and they are the least expensive. If you give it a try let me know how it turns out! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nerd Craft Librarian.... and Mom

My little girl is finally here! She made her grand entrance into this world about two weeks ago and she is a perfect little lady. Here is her birth story....

I starting having some sharp pains one evening. The pain would come and go periodically and pretty soon I realized there was pattern to the pain and that they were contractions! I started to keep track of them while also trying to sleep through the night. Later the next morning the contractions were closer together. After calling the Doctor they told me to come on in to the hospital. As we started to gather our things for the hospital, Tim and I took a minute to realize we would be coming back to our house with an extra person.

As we got the hospital, the pain got worse. The nurses and doctors examined me and told me that although I was having contractions, my water did not break. I was to be induced. This began the most painful 12 hours of my life. The contractions became so severe and every time I felt one I took hold of Tim's hand and gave it a good squeeze. I also tried all of the breathing techniques, all of which did not help with the pain. Despite being so tired, I tried to get some sleep but it was interrupted. I was also hooked up to an IV which I had to take with me anytime I had to go to the bathroom and Tim had to help me. It was all so romantic. Eventually my water broke!

I was moved to the labor and delivery wing of the hospital, this was the room I was going to have the baby in! This is when they offered me an epidural which I give a big YES to! The pain went away and I felt incredibly relaxed.  Now we just had to wait to push. Tim and I took the time to enjoy our last hours together as just a couple, before we became a family. We made each other laugh and Tim served me some jello.

We were watching Blazing Saddles on the hospital TV when the doctor told me that it was time to push! I ended up pushing for about an hour and a half. This was the thing that always scared me when it came to child bearing, getting the baby out of me! However, compared to the previous evening of hell, pushing was a lot less painful. Tim was there holding my leg cheering me on the entire time. I kept pushing and then before I knew it, they place a baby on top of me. Her eyes were wide open and she was so alert and I said "Well hello there." It was truly amazing to finally meet the little person that was growing inside of you for nine months, to see the hands and feet that were kicking me from the inside and to actually see her face instead of the spectral image of a sonogram.

She is just about two weeks old and I think I'm getting the hang of this motherhood thing. She is a perfect little baby!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Woodland Nursery Reveal

Its countdown to baby time, this kid could arrive any day now!

I've been planning this kids nursery since I found out I was pregnant. I've had a lot more fun planning this room than doing any other room in the house. That probably explains why she has the most complete, put together room in the entire house. I think it came beautifully and I hope she loves it as much as I do.

Here is how I set out to create an adorable little space for my little lady. 

I like to plan early (because I'm a bit of a crazy person). Since we had yet to find out the sex of the baby I decided to go with a gender neutral theme. I should also mention that I'm not too thrilled with gender heavy themes, no ridiculous pinky princesses for girls or heavy duty sports things for boys. 
With that in mind I set out to find a theme! I took some inspiration from work, some of my favorite stories to read feature woodland creatures.

With a theme picked out I took a look around the inter-webs to see how other woodland creature themed nursery's have turned out. This one featured on the Little Umbrella was pretty adorable. I looked at a few others and took what I liked. I also found this post full of free printables!

Next it was time to take all of my ideas and inspirations and focus them into a plan! I found a color scheme that was kid friendly, but not ridiculously loud. Despite being anti-pink, I thought it couldn't hurt to have some pink accents, but for the wall color I went with the teal blue. 

For furniture, I went with white and mostly stuff from Ikea. I woke up one morning in December crying and freaking out that nothing was getting done and that we wouldn't be ready for our little lady! Tim told me I was acting cray-cray and my friend Caitie came to my rescue. After an entire fun friend afternoon, I left with some essential items! 

The dresser was probably one of the most important elements of the room. We do have a closet in the room, but little people go through clothes so fast! Also the dresser doubles as changing table. I originally had a larger Hemnes style dresser picked out, however afters seeing it in person I realized it was too big for the space! So pro-tip, pick out the furniture in person before purchasing it! So I went with the smaller dresser. The dresser also doubles as a changing table and it fits the changing pad perfectly! If you are concerned about safety (because its not secured to anything) I used some velcro to affix it to the dresser and I also picked up some no-slip material from the dollar store to make it more secure.  

Since I went with the smaller dresser I had to think about all of the diaper changing accessories I'll need at my finger tips. This gave me a legitimate reason to purchase the raskog cart. Ever since seeing the cart in the Ikea catalog I wanted it, but never really had a reason, till now! The cart is also going to come in handy because its mobile, so I can wheel it on over to help me with late night feedings, into the bathroom during bath time and of course wheel it over for diaper changes.

The room didn't have any lighting! So I wanted to get a floor lamp that would brighten up the space. After seeing this lamp at my friends house, I thought it would work well in the baby's room. After doing some more research I discovered that I could get special e12 lightbulbs and a dimmer. Thats something I might look into later when I have to check on her late at night.

My mom and future step-sister, Trish came to my rescue this time around. I went with the sundvik crib because of size, price and function. Some other cribs are like cadillacs! I didn't need this huge epic crib, so I went with simple with the   crib. What is nice about cribs is that they have a standardized size to match up with the mattress. I was concerned about safety because of some recall issues. So even though I went with an Ikea crib, I went with a different mattress. 

I went with the glider from Babies R us. The colors matched and its one of the smallest for this tiny room.

With all of the main pieces in place I felt like there was something missing. I thought how could that be, I had thought of everything! Apparently my co-workers knew exactly what I needed. They through me a wonderful shower. Of course it involved getting lots of books and a bookcase to house all of them in! It wasn't just any old bookcase. My very talented department manager, Kim, custom painted it to match the baby's sheet set! I love how it turned out and it fits in the room perfectly! 

Today is my due date! I have everything ready for her and she has to do is get here. The room is all set, her clothes are all washed and the hospital bag is all packed. Now we just need a baby.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The waiting game....

Its countdown to Motherhood....

Throughout my pregnancy I've been told that the last month is the hardest. I now understand what they mean! I've gotten so uncomfortable all of the time and I'm making frequent bathroom trips throughout the night. Considering the rest of pregnancy has been smooth sailing so I can deal with this last month of torture. 

Throughout my pregnancy I have been touched by everyone's kindness and generosity. I had a wonderful shower at the end of January. The lovely ladies of the library also through me a little shindig and there was even a shower for Tim at his job! I have even received gifts from library patrons! I can't tell you how incredible it is to receive all this well wishes and love from so many people. As seen above, Gypsy is also very touched. 

This past week I received a pleasant surprise in the mail, Geeky Sprinkles! A while back Tara from the Geek Hostess started a kick starter project to create nerd themed sprinkles. I donated and was lucky enough to get some police box sprinkles in a backer package. I look forward to making delicious nerdy treats with these delicious morsels. She was successfully funded and you can head on over to her blog and purchase some of your own! 

This countdown to baby has been all about getting everything ready. The room is all ready, clothes are all washed and my hospital bag is packed. I even have my kindle loaded with some fairy tale stories I plan on reading to her right away. 

Unfortunately not everything has been super happy. My cat friend, Bmo took a terrible turn and deteriorated fast. He hung on for a bit, but he let us know that he was ready to go. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do because this is the first pet I've had to put down myself. He was extra cuddly with me during my pregnancy and he would knead my bump and she would kick back. I'm sad that they never got to meet in person. 

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