Friday, November 7, 2014


Hey look, some sewing at last!  At the bottom of Soph's quilt is some embroidery: "To Sophia, Love Mama and Grandma Carole."  Wes's quilt was done before he was born (miracle!) except for this would have been hard for my mother to do the embroidery since I wouldn't reveal his name to her.  Now I get to play with scraps to create a fun place to put the signature.

I used fabric marker to sketch the boats onto a double layer of white, then freehand cut. I'll sew them together and hand them over to the expert for some embroidery, and then we can wrap up the quilt...which has already been taken over by Wes's big sister, in her big-girl bed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Toddler Leaf Printing

Love it when I come up with "an activity:" "this is such a good idea, so creative, so cute, so seasonally-appropriate and educational and sensory, so super-mom!" and Soph says "yesssss, good idea Mom.  Lets mix all the paints with our hands, AGAIN!"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Big Girl's Raindrops Room Tour

Decorating Sophie's new Big Girl room was really a pleasure for me, an obsession all summer. Considering we were making her move rooms, and the whole new-baby thing, we wanted to make it a Big Deal for her, and she is, thankfully, as obsessed with the outcome as I am.  The inspiration originally came from this raindrops room, and I really love the direction in which we took it.  I love this room because it is like my girl: feminine, but not overly girly.  Fun and smart. 

I also love the addition of all of the touches from my childhood. My saintly parents saved the dollhouse, doll cradle, and tons of books and clothes (including the Glacier National Park shirt in the pic below) for me.

Soph is a big fan of the room; she calls it her "fancy room" and shows everyone who comes over, even months after it was finished, even people like our parents who have seen it half a hundred times by now.  

I made the raindrops using a stencil I cut from blank stencil plastic from Michael's. The paint is from her old room, some of it I modified by adding other paints to darken it, since we were painting on grey instead of white.  It took two coats in really only about 4 hours.  Poor baby Wes, subjected to 4 hours of paint fumes in utero for the sake of his sister's Big Girl room. There goes Harvard, I guess... 

Books feature prominently: my girl shares her parents' obsession with reading (or being read to as the case may be).  

The slipcover for our Ikea Poang is custom from an etsy seller, Colorful Covers.  An outstanding purchasing experience.  I selected fabric online and simply had it shipped to her. Magic!

The curtains are me-made, a super simple matter of zig-zag stitching around the edges of some lace fabric and zig-zagging on the pom-pom trim.  I didn't even turn under the edges, just stitched.  The room was a tiny bit dreary before the curtains.  With them I think it it light and bright and airy.  

The giraffe was a gift from my mother when Sophie was born, a protective amulet handmade in Africa.

Sources: Crib and Dresser: Baby Cache from Babies R Us; Poang chair, bookshelf, and puke- love-stained rug: Ikea; grey baskets and pink-and-white bins: Home Goods; Custom Chair Cover: Colorful Covers; Sunshine print: pumpkin and butterfly on Etsy; Color changing sleep clock (love this!): Tot Clock; Wooden Bunny Piggy Bank: Pearhead

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Counter Quick-Fix Clear-Up



So far this maternity leave can be defined by two things: fighting Soph to keep her from killing her brother/me/herself and sitting on the couch devouring old blog posts on iheartorganizing while engaged in the hideous cylce of breastfeed-bottlefeed-pump. Then of course inspiration strikes for streamlining/decluttering/pretty-ifying our own space, and Jon gets commanded to do some ridiculous task the minute he walks in the door at 5 because I can't actually do anything, I'm always holding a baby.

It's funny how you can live with a mess for so long you don't even see it. And when you clear it up, ohman, you can suddenly breathe. It did, at one point, make sense to have these various things out on the counter, but let's be honest about how much I'm rocking the stand mixer these days, the coffee grinder is an eyesore, and getting those knives onto the magnetic strip (ikea) not only clears up counter space but moves them further from the grabby hands of waist-high little ones. We tossed a few things, as well as retrofitting some cabinets with ikea pull-out drawers, to make room for these things out of sight.

Expect a lot more of these little updates from me. I don't have the hands free right now for sewing, but mini spruce-ups are making me feel creative and productive and in control, and that's important for the whole family.  You know what they say, "When Mama's not happy..."


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tea Pot

I honestly don't even love loose leaf tea, I find that it doesn't steep as well as that weird? But I bought this tea, and drank it, because I wanted the that weird?

A friend gave me a lovely planter for mother's day. It's been outside all summer and it was time to save this little succulent before frost. 

I don't know much about succulents, just some vague notion that they prefer drier, sandy soil. I potted this with all things I had on hand, in a 5-minute do-something-creative-before-the-baby-wakes-up mad dash.  First went in collected pebbles from the garden, then sand from Sophie's sandbox (yes, really), then some peat moss and potting soil, both found in the garage, some of which was actually left three years ago by the previous owners.  Really, as still life of found objects.

I'm excited to inject more green into the house as it turns grey outside (ohhai Michigan lake effect) and I have to come up with ways to do this that won't end in the cat eating the plants and then puking them...not the sort of green I'm going for.  So succulents and hanging plants are probably my options. Which is good because they are hard to kill. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Little Man

Wesley Peter was born Sept 8, 6lb,12oz at St Joseph Hospital in Ann Arbor. (That's the hospital where I work L&D, my second home, and so he came into this world surrounded by so much love.) 

He is very long and scrawny...the first thing Jon said when he came out was "He has Lord Voldermort hands!" He is a lover, smiling at 5 weeks, rolling at 5 1/2, rocking some alarming Male Pattern Baldness, and proving the stereotype of Mama's boy. We've definitely had lots of ups and downs: feeding issues like his sister, a stay inpatient for jaundice, being beaten up by his adoring big sis, and always sleep issues, always.

But now this little man is 6 weeks old and I can't imagine our family without him.  I know everyone says that, it's a chiche because it's true.

And now it's time for me to get back to the blog-o-sphere. I have missed this space.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Baby Brother's Nautical Nursery Tour

I told Jon before we even got pregnant, "if it's a boy I want a nautical nursery."  I have seriously straight priorities, y'all.  Luckily that wise man said "yes, great idea" as if it was a super important point to nail down.

I had so much fun decorating this room, starting with a pin board here, in case you need even more nautical nursery eye candy. Everything I do right now starts with a pin board. 'Cause I just got on Pinterest.  Welcome to 2012, amirite?

Let's talk about the whale, as he is clearly the pièce de résistance. I saw a couple of big whales on pinterest, mostly wall decals. I quite frankly didn't want to drop a load of cash on such a simple shape, so I set out to paint it myself. After asking around trying to find a teacher friend with access to an overhead projector, I learned that those things no longer exist (what?!?!).

My dear friend Amanda came to the rescue with a digital camera that projects the images you take with it.  This camera happens to be made by Playskool and belong to her three-year-old.  Yeah, they make that.

I took a picture of the whale, right off my computer screen, rigged the camera to my tripod, turned off the lights and traced it onto the wall with some leftover navy paint from some other project. Shockingly easy peasy.

Right after I painted the whale Soph said "I want a whale in my room" and my stomach dropped as I had just finished painting her room full of raindrops, but she never asked again and luckily digs her room. 

The flags are leftover quilt fabric and stash seam binding.

The wooden fish and boat are my other fave part, an etsy find that Soph keeps stealing for her room. (Had to grab these pics with her at daycare, otherwise the room does not stay intact for four seconds.) The boat is personalized, so it's turned around here so you can't see Baby Brother's name, a fact I dropped to my mother for the pure joy of tormenting her with the secret.

Sources: crib, bookshelf, throw pillow, light feature, and red lamp: Ikea; wooden fish and boat: TheSeasideKids on Etsy; "Come Sail Away With Me" print: erinjaneshop on Etsy; whale crib sheet, polka dot changing pad cover, and red striped big canvas bins: Land of Nod; blue striped bin with red top: Home Goods; glider: Shermag from BabiesrUs (Stolen from Soph's room, we have been using this for 2.5 years and love it, but it took 12 weeks to arrive when we ordered it, so order early!)