Saturday, September 29, 2012

39 Weeks (Pregnancy Update)

No baby on the outside yet, but we're still doing well. Everything looked really good at my checkup this week. All of baby's and my vitals are measurements are still great. The baby is head down in the ROA position, one of the two best positions for a baby to be in at the time to birth. Interestingly, all three of my babies have settled into this position during the final weeks of pregnancy.

I have been having contractions on and off, but they don't stay close together for long and then quit all together. This is also quite similar to the time leading up to the birth of my second though. I am hoping the baby will decide to come sometime during the next week that my husband has off for the holidays here. But we'll have to see, babies don't always like to come when it is convenient.

Linking up to My Pregnancy Journal at My Joy-Filled Life.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Family Fridays: Small Miracle

No baby yet, but we did just have a different miracle. We lost power for at least 24 hours, at a time when I have the freezer fully stocked for after the new baby. I was really worried about losing a bunch of food, and especially thought the ice cream cake I made for the baby's b-day was probably long gone.  However, this morning just as we were trying to decide whether we should call and bother our friends again or buy an expensive generator from possibly not the greatest source, the power came back on. Then when I checked out the freezer a little while later, everything was still fine!!! The ice cream cake was just barely getting soft, a single popsicle was still frozen solid, and the only thing that seems to have softened up much at all was banana bread which is fine. Amazing! We're really thankful.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Family Fridays: 37 Weeks (Pregnancy Update)

I think this is going to be a rather boring update, but I guess that is really a good thing. My checkup today was again very normal and boring. My weight, measurements, BP, and baby's heart rate were all fine. The most exciting part was walking to the bus stop and watching everyone stare at the waddling white lady, but we generally get stared at everywhere anyway, so it isn't that big of a deal.

I am very glad that the baby is full term now, but I know that it could still be a while for the baby to come, and that's fine too. We're basically ready for the baby to come, and I am pretty ready for the baby to come. But we found out that Nate has a week long break from classes that starts a couple of weeks from now, so that would actually be a convenient time for the baby to come.

I am still working on a few little projects here and there, but don't have anything that has to be urgently completely before the baby is born at this point. Baby's got diapers, clothes, and a place to sleep and newborns really don't need much else besides love and care.

Looking forward to enjoying my older boys now and meeting this new little blessing whenever the right time is.

Latest baby creations
How did my first baby get this big?

Baby's Moses basket style bed

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DIY Baby Sweater Pants

Many sweater pants, baby jeans, and baby black skirt
Another item I made quite a few of for the new baby's wardrobe are these sweater pants. I used this very basic tutorial which tells you all you really need to know is you cut off the arms of a sweater about the length you want the pants, sew a crotch seam, and make a casing for an elastic waist at the top. It is a really simply and fast project.

I don't have any of our tiny size baby clothes with us, so I used the patterns from here to guesstimate the correct sizes. In the picture of the pants you also see a little pair of jeans I made using the 0-3 size pattern. I tried to make the size of the sweater pants so with the sweater cuff folded up the pants would be about 0-3 length and down about the 6-12 month length. So far we've have big babies who have grown incredibly fast, and with cloth diapers the bum area really does need to be about the same size through all those sizes. So hopefully these stretchy sweater pants will last awhile. We discovered grow cuffs on baby clothes with our second, and thought they were amazing.

Anyway, I made a bunch of similar pants from upcycled sweaters, leggings, and knit turtlenecks. Save the other parts of the sweaters and turtlenecks for making infant gowns, onesies, hats, and even socks if you like. These will hopefully make some more great free (save the cost of thread) additions to our newborn wardrobe.

For this pair I used the hem of the sweater
to make a separate casing for the elastic.

For this pair of pants I just folded the top over
to make the casing for the elastic.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Infant Gowns and Onesies

I mentioned before how we were having a hard time finding newborn clothes we liked and that I ended up sewing an newborn wardrobe for Baby # 3. The staples of this wardrobe are probably the infant gowns and onesies I made.

For the gowns I ended up using this pattern and tutorial. I upcycled clothes as well, making these gowns basically free to make. I even was able to re-purpose elastic so I didn't have to pay for anything other than thread. For a few of the gowns I re-purposed very soft sweaters instead of t-shirts, and I thought that worked well also. I didn't put elastic in the bottom of the sweater type gowns, but simply used the bottom hem of the sweater that was already more tightly woven and stretchy.

Instead of using designs already on t-shirts, I chose to applique and embroider them. This took longer for sure, but I was able to make very custom baby clothing this way. And I think they turned out really cute. I think these could also make really great baby shower gifts.

For the onesies, I could find a 0-3 month pattern on the internet, so I ended up simply folding the gown pattern into a onesie pattern. Probably tracing an existing 0-3 onesie would be even easier, but I didn't have any in that size here. I sewed the onesies together in similar fashion to the gowns, just finishing the contoured bottom with a tiny rolled hem all around and adding snaps. After I had sewed a bunch of onesies, I embroidered and appliqued these as well.

Upcycling clothing

Gown pattern folded into a onesie pattern

Friday, August 31, 2012

Family Fridays: 35 Weeks (Pregnancy Update)

I am doing fine and have no real health problems, but I am definitely getting to the part of the pregnancy where I am big and slow. I can still do most things just fine, but slower. Nate and the boys have been helping me with even more things around the house again. On the upside, I haven't felt nauseous for quite a while.

I had a prenatal visit today and everything was fine and boring, which is actually a really good thing at this point. The only funny thing was that they told me my baby was too active, so I should sleep on my left side. Sleeping on the left side is the best for blood flow, and the baby doesn't like it when I lay on my back like at the prenatal visit, so it gets mad and starts kicking. However, I'm not sure a baby could really be too active or that laying on the left side will make it less so. Oh well, at least someone is small and fast, even if it isn't me.

We also pretty much finished up getting ready for baby this week. I finished stocking the freezer. Some friends came over to find out all they needed to know to watch the boys during D-day. I finished up sewing some new cloth diapers, wipes, and small covers for the new baby. And we picked up disposable diapers, special snacks, and the last few other things we'll all need around D-day. I'm glad because I really wanted to be basically ready before my husband heads back to classes next week. We'll all be really glad to meet the new baby on the outside in a few weeks.

Linking up to My Pregnancy Journal at My Joy-Filled Life.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

DIY Grape Popsicles

This is a really simple idea, but it has become one of the boys most loved treats recently. Basically you stick grapes on a skewer or chopstick and put it in the freezer until frozen. That is it. Then eat, and smile that you are enjoying an all fruit treat.

Another great all fruit treat is 1 ingredient "ice cream." We've been enjoying this a lot recently too.

Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY Marshmallows (Corn Syrup and Egg white Free)

I talked about how we made our own marshmallows for s'mores a little while ago and now I'm getting around to posting the recipe I used. I wanted a recipe that didn't use any corn syrup and I basically ended up following the recipe from here. I did end up making a couple of minor adjustments to the process and am including more pictures of the process. I found I had to boil the sugar syrup longer, probably because we are at high altitude. We also had to beat the mixture longer to get it to the right consistency, but  that is because we only have a crank mixture. If you had a stand mixer this recipe would really require very little hands on time, just some monitoring really.

One other cool thing we discovered was that homemade marshmallows don't catch on fire and burn like commercial ones. They also fly across the room really well and make the best foam in hot cocoa that I've ever seen from a marshmallow.

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or other flavored extract, mint is also really good)
  • Prepared baking pan
  • Butter for greasing pan and powdered sugar for coating pan and marshmallows
  1. Butter and coat a 8x8 pan with powdered sugar. I used a silicone pan, but if using a regular baking pan you will probably want to put waxed paper inthe bottom first too.
  2. Dissolve gelatin in cold water in a mixing bowl. Use the bowl for your stand mixer if you have one, but we were able to make these with just a crank mixer, a few family members, and some determination.
  3. In a saucepan mix together sugar, boiling water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then stop whisking and allow to slowly boil for 15-30 minutes (I had to boil at least 30 minutes at high altitude) or until candy thermometer reads 236F.
  4. When the syrup is thick and ready, slowly pour down the side of the mixing bowl into the dissolved gelatin. Mix for about 20 minutes with an electric mixer, 30-40 with a crank mixer, or until the mixture is thick, white, foamy, and cool.
  5. Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth out mixture.
  6. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours, or freeze for a few hours to allow the marshmallows to set.
  7. Finishing up mixing
  8. Remove from pan (and remove waxed paper if necessary) and cut into squares on a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar. Then roll individual marshmallows in powdered sugar and eat or store in airtight container. Ours did keep OK in an airtight container at (a cool) room temperature for two weeks, but I wouldn't plan on keeping them any longer than that at room temp.
Cute helper

Yield obviously depends on how big you want your marshmallows. This would make, lots and lots of mini marshmallows, 64 one inch marshmallows, or 36 one and a half inch marshmallows, or of course just one giant marshmallow.

These are great for roasting or in hot cocoa.

Valiant Warriors Mini Camp

This week's mini camp was based off of learning about the armor in Eph. 6:11-17. Aaron learned the first verse of this passage and what the pieces of armor represent. Andrew chimes in with the right words occasionally. My husband and I made the armor out of cardboard and a reusable grocery bag, and the boys decorated the pieces over the course of the week. With just two boys this project was very easy. We also read different famous battle stories.

We encouraged the boys to try to act them out too, but they the two year old didn't always think that was fun. The most successful attempt at a "reenactment" was when "David" hurled a kitty cat from his sling at "Goliath" and then ran away really fast. And of course we weren't able to get that part on video.

Oh well, Aaron really got into all of the stories and making the armor. I'm sure in a another year or two if we do something like this again Andrew will be more interested too.

Valiant Warrior in Full Armor

Family Fridays: Too Cool

Cool Andrew: When did he get so big?

Aaron built a "really big" block house.
He says it big enough for us,
all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles,
and cousins all to live together. :)

A friend dropped off a bunch of old clothes to see
if we could use any of them. Andrew chose quite
the random assortment to wear all at once.


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