Thursday, September 30, 2010

Long time...

... no post.

I have been grossly absent from posting here.  I am finally getting into a routine around the house here in Ohio now, and with fall activities like Bible study beginning, some order and familiarity are returning to my days (yea!).  Asa still takes 2 naps, and I try to use his first name for Bible study and housework so I can use his 2nd afternoon nap for whatever I want (read: crafting!).  That Asa started sleeping through the night about 2 months ago hasn't hurt either. ;)

One of the first things I made when I felt a little of the "old" me returning after Asa started sleeping through the night was some drawstring sacks for a few of Asa's toys.  He has a set of wooden alphabet blocks (thanks, Holli & Todd!) that needed a storage solution for when Asa isn't knocking down towers of blocks. :)  He also has several matchbox cars.  He loves to drive them around on the floor (and sometimes the couch) and he loves to take things out/put them in containers.  I knew he  needed a car bag as well.

I whipped up this dog fabric bag for the blocks (Asa loooves dogs)

and this car fabric bag for his cars :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Asa's Lamb

Asa's lamb did not turn out exactly the way I had it pictured in my head.  There is a smidge of a puppy look about it (partly from the nose, but the minky I used on the face was super fluffy and embroidery was just lost in all the fluff--a lesson for next time), but unless I finish all the other projects on my list of dream projects (which seems like a laughable idea with a 15 month old who is in love with his newest trick--walking--as of the past month) and make a version I love TONS better, I'm willing to let its imperfections go.  Which is big for me.  Really big.

I had to modify a couple of the pattern pieces I drafted.  They just did NOT look right overall.  And I learned a valuable lesson when I went to turn the lamb in order to stuff it and sew it closed.  Stuffed arms and legs do NOT fit well through little lambie necks!  Next time, I will leave my opening in the torso instead of the head!  Whew! I was afraid I would pull it to pieces as I tugged and tugged and the seams strained and strained.

I love the verse God gave me for the lamb as well.  I searched and searched wanting just the right thing to speak of salvation and God's goodness and comfort.  I considered parts of hymns.  And then God led me to this:

I am excited to try a scripture animal again.  I don't know if my next one will be a lamb or something else, but I just love these scripture dolls--whatever form they materialize in. :)

I love the tail!
You can also check out the scripture dolls I made for my niece and nephew last Christmas! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010


J. Leigh Designz is hosting an upcoming Bump 2 Baby giveaway.

There are all sorts of incredible prizes up for grabs, including the new Britax B Ready stroller!  It has 14 single and double, forward and rear facing configurations!  Too cool!  Go check out the giveways for yourself! Contest begins in September!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A New Pattern

For my birthday, my parents gave me a sewing pattern I asked for from an Etsy seller.  It's the A Girl's Best Friend wallet pattern from Jennalou06. I was a bit intimidated by it; I'm still working through my anxiety about sewing from a pattern instead of drafting my own pattern or just figuring things out on my own.  It also has a zipper, which I have never done before... until now!

A sweet friend of mine graduated from high school this spring and will be attending the University of Alabama.  I was trying to think of something fun for a graduation gift.  Eventually, I set my sights on a Bama themed wallet with this pattern.  I look at Bama fabric, but none of it was very pretty.  So I did an Etsy search for "University of Alabama" and was quickly reminded that black & white houndstooth is signature Bama!  Woo hoo!  Now I could make a houndstooth wallet with crimson accents for my newest favorite Crimson Tide fan! :)

I spent part of one evening cutting the pieces, affixing the interfacing, transferring marks, and reading over the instructions.  During the following day's afternoon nap I completed the first three steps (out of six), and during today's afternoon nap I completed the remaining 3 steps!  It is a deceptively simple pattern that I had NO problems with!  I am really happy with how the wallet turned out and can't wait to get a gift card to put in it and send the gift on its way!

Here are my quick shots of it from this afternoon. :)

front exterior, velcro wrap-around closure

Interior.  The top half has a pocket big enough for cash, 6 card holders, and an elastic loop for a pen.
The bottom half has another cash pocket and a zippered (coin) pocket.

With some cards in it for example.

bottom large pocket

both big pockets

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back from Vacation

I am back from 2 wonderful weeks in TN with my family!  My grandmother, aunt, and cousin were visiting from California, and not only did *I* want to see them, I was desperate for Asa to meet them, too!  He is named after my grandfather, after all (they have the same middle name). :)

It was a fun time of relaxed schedules, lots of cousins (there are 5 now on my side, and Asa has been ousted as the youngest on my side, though he's still the baby on Matt's side :) ), delicious food, and good times.  The only down side was that Matt couldn't stay the whole time.  He drove us down on Saturday and came back to OH on Monday.  What a servant heart!  Asa and I got to stay and play in TN and then my mom drove us back to OH (another servant heart!).  We are settling back in now, and my mind is turning to.... new craft projects!

I figured I'd make a list of the things I have in progress that I'd like to finish, some short term goals, and some longer term goals.

In progress:

  •  Asa's strip quilt (quilt top done, needs to be sandwiched, basted, quilted, and bound)
  • I really thought there was something else, but of course now I forget!  I'll have to check my "to complete" bin in my sewing cubbie :)
Short term goals:
  • try new wallet pattern
  • make Asa's scripture lamb
  • 2 other scripture dolls
  • 2 casserole totes
Longer term goals (I am sure this list will evolve):
  • 2+ sets of Jesse Tree ornaments
  • True mural on canvas for Asa's room
  • diaper changing stations
  • traffic cone
  • a couple painted signs
  • maybe try another quilt (stacked coin?)
 Maybe since these goals are right here in print, I will actually get to them!  I hope I have some update pictures to post soon! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I am still learning my way around my new grocery store (and sorely grieving the loss of Publix.  I am recalling a certain Sinead O'Connor song "Nothing compares to youuuuu!").  It takes a lot of "fun" out of grocery shopping when you have to wander up and down aisles repeatedly because items are not stocked where you expect (at your old grocery store).  But the only way to get rid of that icky, unfamiliar, can't-I-just-go-to-Publix-already feeling is to forge ahead and learn my way around.  Thankfully, I have a patient baby as grocery trips now take considerably longer than before (that wandering I mentioned).

Another by-product of grocery shopping truly feeling like a chore at a new store is fighting a huge lack in motivation for cooking.  Who wants to cook when it means you have to go to the grocery store that reminds you about not being at Publix anymore (so I liked Publix a little...)?  On top of that, I went from my DREAM refrigerator in FL to a dinky, old, (TINY) refrigerator here in OH.  I used to stock up during sales.  It saved us $$$ and I always had extra meals in the freezer. I have no idea how to do that here.  It's a bummer.  I admit, I have cried over my fridge (it was my anniversary present.  No fear, Matt has promised me a new one where next we settle... but it won't fit in the place we're currently renting).  Amazing how you can get so spoiled in 6 shorts months of refrigerator bliss.  I told Matt I tried to ask myself if I could just be thankful for the 6 months I DID get to use my refrigerator.  My honest answer to myself was, "No.  If I'd never had it, I wouldn't know what I was missing."  And there you have a transparent look into my heart during the transition of this move.  I never thought I would miss Florida so much.

This menu plan is my attempt to get back on track and feel a piece of normalcy I've still been lacking even as the house has come into order.  Getting back into my cooking routine might help things feel a smidge more like home.... (I hope, I hope, I hope!)

Monday:  fractured tacos
Tuesday:  spaghetti pie, corn on the cob, salad
Wednesday:  crock pot chicken cordon bleu, potatoes, salad
Thursday:  Matt's birthday!  He requested pork tenderloin, potatoes, corn on the cob, and peanut butter cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting.  And ice cream.  He LOOVES ice cream
Friday:  frozen pizza, per tradition
(weekend = July 4th plans)

Back from Blogging Hiatus

Wow, I haven't blogged here since April.  What has happened since then?

  • (background:  Matt accepted the OH job and moved there mid-April leaving Asa and me in FL)
  • I spent 6 weeks packing, packing, and more packing at our house in FL
  • we unlisted our house with agent #1 and relisted with agent #2
  • house went from listed to CLOSED in about 3 weeks!!!  AMAZING and totally GOD-ordained turn of events!
  • Matt, mom, and movers came for the big load up
  • Matt drove to OH with my car and our dog
  • Asa had his first plane trip as we flew to OH to be reunited as a family
  • movers delivered our stuff
  • my incredible mother came to help me unpack
  • we celebrated Asa's bday
  • my in-laws came to visit
  • gearing up for Matt's bday
There is some crafting involved with the recap of Asa's birthday, so that will be coming soon.  I also have Independence Day outfit plans for Asa.  Hopefully they will come to fruition!

I am back! :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Follow THIS link for an update on the family in my last post. :) You will not believe how God moved! :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Will you join me in the REALLY FUN give-away and help this family bring their little girl home from Ethiopia? You can see the full details and purchase your 10.00 entry here:

Here is the run down...

See all these shirts and the beautiful pendant?

Well...they can be yours. ALL OF THEM !!

So this is how this puppy works...
You enter into the give away and you choose how many times 1, 2 or 3. It's easy!

One entry is only 10.00 and if you are quicker than me you have already done the math and figured that is less than a dollar a shirt. Yeah, really.

To sweeten this a bit more, you can have two entries for 15.00.

Really, really want this ensemble of shirts? (Me, too!) Receive a third entry by blogging, tweeting or facebooking about it. They will even send you the wording so you can just repost. Not on their facebook? You can fb friend them by clicking on the fb badge on the left side bar of the blog.

So just head on over to and give it a shot. You will be helping in bringing home a PRECIOUS one...and what is better than that? And if you already have one of the shirts in the set, imagine the blessing you will be to gift it to another person who God may be calling to love the orphan.

Seriously, lets blow the socks off this family and bless them. We are ALL in this together...and helping one another

Friday, March 26, 2010

Craft Favorites Friday RETURNS!

I haven't had as much time to cull through blogs for ideas as I'd hoped. But here are a few ideas that are super cute (and look simple enough to complete for Easter)! :)

1. Easter Egg Wreath

I love how my Christmas ornament wreath turned out. This is a similar idea from Frills, Fluff, and Trucks. Oh that I would make a wreath for each holiday. :) Once again, the main ingredient (plastic eggs) is from Dollar Tree! But you can find those eggs pretty cheap anywhere, especially if you are willing to forgo the wreath this year and buy them on clearance after Easter! I have a door hanging similar to this that is a cross covered in eggs. You could fashion styrofoam blocks into a cross and make something similar. So many possibilities!

2. Fabric Covered Birds

Since Asa's room with forest themed with an emphasis on all things avian, these little birdies at The Creative Maven immediately caught my eye. What a fun way to use some scraps... and more Dollar Tree materials! Another idea to store away for when we're on the other side of this move! :)

L.O.V.E. these. They were originally posted on The Purl Bee, and then MADE went and created a lamb family representing her own family. I must make a daddy, mommy, and baby lamb. Seriously. I love the ruffly edges. I love the ears. I love the simple face. 5 thumbs up from me! :)

The Purl Bee doesn't stop! These felt bunny finger puppets are adorable too. Asa loves puppets... I might have to scout out some felt! I really like how the white felt is paired with another bright, springy color. Perfection with ears (and a cotton tail).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I know I have been absent around here lately, but I promise I have good reason! We are in the midst of a whirlwind MOVE. That's right, we're packing up in sunny Florida and headed for Ohio!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided it was time to throw a few of his resumes out "there" and see what happened. Before we even sent a single one, a former coworker called and said he had a position open... and he wanted my husband for it.

That began a 2 week period he was home for approximately 3 days (and throw a little stomach flu in there, too, while you're at it). He interviewed at the company, came home for 3 days, and then left for a conference. When he returned from the conference, he received an offer at the new company. It is even better than we were hoping for, and God has put every detail into place. Yesterday he gave 2 weeks' notice at his current job, and life is definitely in the fast lane.

Thankfully when my mom was here a few weeks ago, we knew this was stewing. So we painted over Asa's walls (sniff, sniff) to make them neutral and buyer friendly. :) We also cleaned out every closet, the laundry room, garage, and many nooks and crannies. Tonight we officially sign on with a realtor and the "real" fun begins. ;)

We are almost done with our "house" to do list. It has occupied about every spare second I have, thus not much crafting has happened around here (plus most of my fabric is already boxed up!).

We will be separated for a time as Matt begins his new job and finds a place for us to rent. We are praying, praying, praying our house sells quickly! Since we'll be apart for a little while, Matt's taking some time to have 2 "family" weeks before he leaves for Ohio. The first week will be just the 3 of us here in Florida. We plan to take Asa for his first Disney World trip (we have some time on passes we bought a while back)! The next week we're meeting my family at the beach (Asa's first time at the beach and first "vacation"). I'm so thankful we can make these memories together!

So, hopefully the house to do list will be completed soon. HOPEFULLY then I might be run out of my home frequently for showings ;), but maybe I'll get some sewing or something in there, too. I have been trying to hang onto links this week (still woefully behind in my google reader) to post a Craft Favorites Friday this week. There are sooo many cute Easter ideas I am excited to pass along!

Stay tuned.... :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

No Craft Favorites Friday...

... I regret to say I have no CFF prepared for today. Sunday night, my husband came down with the stomach flu. I succumbed Monday morning. He left Monday afternoon for some important meetings out of state all day at Tuesday and got home in the middle of the night Tuesday night. I didn't really start feeling like my stomach was settled enough as I'd like until Wednesday. And even on Wednesday and Thursday I was completely wiped out energy-wise.... having the stomach flu when you are a nursing mom is rough! My sweet little guy was so patient though, especially since my husband was out of town and not around to help!

The GREAT news (totally crafting unrelated) is that my mom is coming to visit starting TODAY!! WOO HOOOOO! Well, maybe that's not totally crafting unrelated. You never know what project we'll dive into when we're together (or that I might have time to jump on if I can steal away a few moments when my little guy plays with G-Ma). You should definitely expect a "completed guest room headboard" post this week. :) We love how it looks!

So sorry for the delay with Craft Favorites Friday. I am thankful to be feeling back on my feet!! :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Monograms

I recently embroidered a few items for a friend at church. She wanted a personalized burp cloth to give as a gift and her daughter's initial monogrammed on a dress.

There's not too much to it, but I wanted to post them here as I often forget to post pictures of things others request.

p.s. The dress is from Walmart! What a find!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Craft Favorites Friday

It's time for the last February installment of Craft Favorites Friday! :) I hope you find something you'd like to try (I know I have!).

This project stood out to me because my niece LOVES Scotch tape. I hear about it because it's not one of those things parents are going to let you use for no reason, but when she's at my parents' house my mom (her G-Ma) will let her tape and create to her heart's content. So naturally I thought C might enjoy this craft. :) I love The Crafty Crow for creative and unusual ideas like this.

This project makes me wish I was still teaching in the classroom. Oh how my students would have LOVED this. Awesome book report project or science chapter wrap up... even for math vocabulary or story publishing. Seriously. I will definitely be filing this away for when Asa gets a bit older. In the meantime, maybe Asa can "help" me use Rosy~Posy's tutorial to create a little special something for his grandparents or cuzzies. :)

M.U.S.T. M.A.K.E. In case you don't know, Asa's nursery is decorated in a woodland forest animal theme... with lots of birds... and he sleeps with a little owl. The Rubber Punkin's tutorial looks very easy to follow. Now to choose the fabric for Asa's little hoot. :)

My brain about explodes from going into overdrive when I see these patterns. If only there were more hours in a day. :) Be sure to check out Bit of Whimsy's Boo Bear Pay it Forward deal also (free pattern in exchange for making 2 bears)!

I have less than a month until I try dairy again (I've been dairy free for Asa's benefit.... and ours because we get more sleep and have a much happier baby without it). I tried at 3 months and 6 months, and I'm trying one last time at 9 months. If Asa is still too sensitive, then I'm staying dairy free until he's weaned. All that to say, Matt and I joke at times about an imaginary list of things I have not had that I am really looking forward to indulging in when I can have dairy again. I've never eaten these before, but I sure think I will give them a try! They look delicious! Making the World Cuter's cupcakey-oreo-caramel-brownie-goodness, I hope I can eat you soon!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Personalized and Holiday Onesie

When Valentine's Day was approaching I wanted to make a special Valentine's outfit for Asa. His G-Pa and G-Ma sent us an outfit for the actual day, but I wanted something for Saturday as well. And I hadn't made him any clothes in awhile.

I decided to make him an "A" shirt that would work for Valentine's Day and still be wearable at other times. I had the idea to cut an A out of red fabric and cut a heart out of the top for the "hole."

I sorted through several red fabrics and settled on red with white polka dots. I ironed steam a seam to my little swatch of fabric, drew my A on the back (hooray for mirror-image letters!), and cut it out. Finishing the onesie was as simple as placing the A on my onesie and ironing it in place. I plan to go back and sew the edges of the applique to help it last as long as possible, but it's just fine without any sewing as well.

I wanted to share because this is such a simple, easy way to make something special, themed, or personalized, and you do not even have to sew to do it! I had not used steam a seam until recently, and now I am finding SO many uses for it! I am a fan!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Craft Favorites Friday

Oh my, where do I begin?!?

These cookie were made for Valentine's Day, but you could personalize them or "decorate" them for whatever occasion you like! There are lots of pictures and even a tutorial over at Pamela Susan. Check it out--they definitely look good enough to eat!

I am all about monograms. I love the idea of using fabric--so many pretty patterns, weaves, and textures to choose from! Make it and Love it tells you exactly how to make a framed fabric monogram.

3. Floor Blanket

I do not have a tutorial typed up for this (yet)... but it could NOT be easier! My grandmother, Asa's Mimi, made him a floor blanket that we received at one of our baby showers. It has sweet teddy bears on the front, a thin layer of batting in the middle, and it is backed in flannel. She hand tied it to "quilt" the layers together and top stitched it with a decorative scallop stitch. A while back I ordered some fabric online. It had adorable animals driving cars and I thought it would be perfect for Asa or my nephew. When it arrived, the design was a MUCH larger scale than I anticipated. No little shirts or library bags to be made from it as I had been considering. Eventually I decided it would be a perfectly adorable floor blanket. What little boy wouldn't look scrumptious playing atop a mouse driving a cupcake liner and other critters driving strawberry, carrot, and shoe-mobiles?? This week I purchased my batting and found a bright, fun car-themed flannel for the back (I like having flannel on the back because it really helps the blanket stay in place when it's on top of carpet). I made my fabric sandwich, stitched it together (leaving a hole, clip corners, turn), and top stitched it (I did just a regular straight stitch). Then I found some bright red yarn to coordinate with the bold colors in the fabric and hand tied it. Now I am just deciding if I want to put silky blanket binding around it too. But Asa has already been playing on it (it helps protect the carpet from drool and the occasional spit up), and he looks MIGHTY cute on it too, I must add. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Craft Favorites Friday: Completed Projects

For a slightly different spin on Craft Favorites Friday, I decided to post about a few projects that are complete or almost complete around our house. :)

1. Laundry Room sign

I saw this cute laundry room pun on a blog awhile back and thought I would love to make one for my home. I LOVE fun puns. It stayed on my list of "craft ideas" for several months. But I decided January was THE month. I bought the piece of wood at Michael's and already had the craft paint. I played around with different fonts on my computer and used them as a guide. My favorite part may have been drilling the holes for the ribbon. I love power tool projects. :) [I was so excited when Matt received a drill at one of our wedding showers!] In no time at all, the sign was ready to hang. I'm not certain I will leave the ribbon the way it is, but I like it for now. :)

2. Guest Room Headboard

We have a double bed in our guest room without a headboard. I knew I wanted something as flush with the wall as possible to maximize floor space around the bed. I thought I would keep an eye out for a simple iron scroll headboard or something. But in the back of my mind I wondered about making a headboard or faux headboard. I saved pictures here and there I found online of faux headboards, but the idea of using fabric always stuck with me (imagine that!). While my mom was hear visiting last weekend, we stopped at JoAnn's, pillow sham in hand in order to match colors. I looked at some stripes, but the quilt on the bed is striped. I considered polka dots, but they didn't lend a grown up feel to the guest room, happy though polka dots may be. Then we came across a pattern that had the perfect colors and would compliment the quilt. I couldn't believe it! They had just enough yardage on the bolt to cover the 6 canvases I had bought weeks earlier MAJORLY discounted and even have enough left over for pillow to go on the bed. :) For this project, I got to use another tool! The staple gun was perfect for covering the canvases. I even learned how to reload the staple gun. :) All the canvases are covered now and just waiting for a time Matt is home when Asa is also awake long enough for us to hang them (the wall they will go on is a shared wall with Asa's room). I'll post an updated picture when they are actually in place.

3. Valentine's Decor

I had these beads in this hurricane for the Christmas season. When I was packing up Christmas decorations, I decided to leave the beads out for Valentine's Day. I think they add a sweet, catchy splash of color to the den. :)

4. Asa's photos

We recently got to pick up Asa's most recent portraits. Our "first year" package with the photographer includes an 8x10 from each session. We are slowly building a collage of sorts in the hallway. I hung the photo from his last shoot this past week. I love seeing his bright, shining face grinning at me as I walk down the hall. And I marvel how that little baby boy has already turned into the 7 month old Asa. Time is flying.

5. Christmas Cards

In my parents' home, my mom always did one of two things with Christmas cards. She either taped them to the inside of the front door in a cross pattern or she hung them from ribbon off the stairs. When we moved into our home, I looked around wondering where I would display our Christmas cards. I considered and tried a couple of different things, but I settled on covering our laundry room door. We are in the kitchen all the time, so we get to see the cards all the time. :) It is a fun treat to see our family and friends smiling at us while we cook, eat, and play. I am especially excited to start a new tradition I have heard about from several families. When we take our pictures down (very soon, it just makes the door look so bare when they come down), we will be placing them in a basket. Each night before dinner, we will draw a card from the basket and pray for that family. We can keep cycling through them as the year progresses. I am so excited to start this with Matt and Asa!!

6. Silly Sammy Sign

We have a sweet dog, Samantha, who is a 3 year old mutt (Rhodesian/lab mix) and very much a "people puppy." She LOOOOVES her people. She has transitioned to life with Asa amazingly well. One thing she does NOT do well is keep her tongue to herself. She is rather notorious for this (we always work on it and it improves during the summer.... then everyone's legs and feet are covered during the winter and we retrain all over again in the spring when skin comes out of hiding ready to be licked), as evidenced by the hilarious sign my parents gave Matt for Christmas. It now hangs over our back door (the door we use to let Sammy out into the backyard). It cracks me up. :) And it's true. So very true.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

The past couple weeks have been a time with many questions and wondering and plenty of opportunities for worrying and anxiety. God has been so faithful though, and we are rejoicing that we have hopefully closed in on the answers.

Asa had his 6 month check up (a month late due to the holidays) about 2 weeks ago. He's always been on his own little growth curve, but there are plenty of boys he is related to who are tall and skinny. Since he has reached all his milestones on time (and most of them early!) and he was growing consistently, our pediatrician decided to just watch and see what happened. At his latest appointment he showed a decrease in the rate of his weight gain for the 2nd visit in a row (and pretty significantly) and his height increase was tapering also. Without her coming right out yet and labeling it as such, I knew we were entering "failure to thrive" territory (which sounds ridiculous--the boy is the picture of happy, engaging, thriving except for this growth factor) and we began the process of bloodwork to see if it was a fluke or his growth stemmed from an underlying problem.

We went to our our insurance-covered lab several times, and that was frustrating several times. He's a sweet little baby with tiny baby veins. They had a lot of difficulty getting a line in. They had employees who were not always particularly professional. But even in the midst of that, God showed me He was near. The least professional of them all actually said out of the BLUE [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS], "My baby boy was always so little. Complete strangers would act like I must starve him for him to be that size. Now he could eat me out of house and home!" It blessed me so much because I have been there--I have received dirty looks from complete strangers when they've asked how old Asa is. Yes, I know he's skinny. He nurses whenever he's hungry. He has tall, skinny uncles. All the while I'm thinking, "Why am I defending myself to you??" They eventually got blood for some tests, but they collected it in such a way (pricked his finger and squeezed out a few drops) that it nullified the results. But those results had come back with abnormalities and now we didn't know if the abnormalities were real or because of the collection method. So we went back to try again for an actual line into his vein. We went twice. They suggested "hydrating" him. We tried water--the instant he realized it was not mommy's milk he pitched a fit. :) We worked with a wonderful employee [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS] who was determined NOT to stick Asa again unless she was sure she had found a good line. She did not feel confident about any of his veins and sent us back home. She was wonderful--shout out to Erma! :) I also KNEW we were being prayed for. When Erma tried earlier that morning, Asa became completely still and calm right as they got the needle in (but the blood stopped flowing into the vial). It was GOD'S FAITHFULNESS.

At that point it felt like we were stuck and would not get any answers. How were we going to draw his blood? We were sending out emails to friends, Bible study, etc. to pray--that we could get a good blood draw and for good results. Our pediatrician stepped in and gave us a couple options. We went to a lab at one of the hospitals in town where they have a bit more experience with babies and children. They loved on Asa so sweetly. They got a line the first try [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS]. The most troubling abnormality came back normal [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS], but there were still a few results that were off. On to the next round of testing and follow up appointments. All the while, we have been praying praying praying for Asa's health--it is his liver? Kidneys? Intake? Thyroid?

Yesterday I took Asa for a follow up with our ped (I am thankful all over again we changed pediatricians when Asa was first born. She has been WONDERFUL. She is thorough, responsive, but not alarmist. Just what this mommy needs!)[GOD'S FAITHFULNESS] and to meet with a lactation consultant. There were several blessings that came out of this appointment.

  • the LC guessed by name--without me saying it--who it was at our old ped's office who was so discouraging and unsupportive of nursing and a major reason we left that practice. I felt so validated to know I was not the only one (+ Matt + my mom) who thought she had terrible bedside manner!
  • Before she even watched Asa eat, she checked his mouth and immediately noticed that he had a posterior tongue tie. He can stick his tongue out far enough, but the frenulum was too tight to let him get the middle of his tongue up to the roof of his mouth. That was making it so he was working his little heart out to nurse but tiring out before he got enough. It explains everything!
  • Before correcting the tongue tie, she watched Asa eat. She marveled over how well he was doing--latch, positioning, etc. She said to me, "You never could have known there was a problem. He looks perfect from the outside when he's eating." Balm to my mommy heart!!
  • As soon as they clipped the frenulum, I scooped Asa up and he stopped crying. He nursed right away without problems.
  • The solids we have ramped up, per our ped's orders, have brought Asa back to his previous weight gain pattern.
  • Everyone agrees nursing is #1 priority. I feel very supported.
  • Asa has been eating less at some feedings if he recently had solids (twice/day), so I added in some extra times I'm offering him a chance to nurse even though he shows no cues. :) When they did a pre/post feeding weigh it showed he's still getting plenty from me. My supply had not dwindled too much from this change in feeding habits.
And now, after less than 24 hours I can already tell Asa is nursing more effectively [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS]. I can already tell I am making more milk (adding extra feedings, pumpings, and soon herbs to ramp up my production now that he'll be able to eat more efficiently and effectively) when I've been doing my "extra" routines less than 24 hours [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS] and haven't even started the herbs yet (which worked for me very quickly when I was worrying about my supply needlessly with a newborn). I am so encouraged!! [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS] Our doctor thinks THIS is the factor that caused his funky bloodwork and that it will address and answer all the issues. In other words: no liver problem. No kidney problem. No supply issue on my part. In other words: GOD'S FAITHFULNESS. As we ran down the possible scenarios, I didn't think of any that left room for Asa to be healthy (i.e. no liver disease, etc.) AND me to be healthy (i.e. plentiful supply). I was just amazed when this discovery came forth that is the easy problem and simple solution we prayed for. [GOD'S FAITHFULNESS]

I wanted to record this summary of our past few weeks to remind MYSELF now and later of GOD'S FAITHFULNESS to us. He would be JUST as faithful if something were wrong with Asa's liver or if I just couldn't produce enough milk. But we are rejoicing in His mercy in allowing us such a simple issue to address. I have been amazed at the friends with medical background who have stepped in to encourage and assure us of signs of great health in Asa. Of friends who've dealt with tongue tie to encourage us that it should make a tremendous difference to have corrected it. Of people to remind us that God has a plan for Asa. HE is the author and giver of Asa's life, and we stand in awe of the blessing of being a part of it. We pray that the three of us continue to be molded and shaped by His FAITHFULNESS. I hope GOD'S FAITHFULNESS is an encouragement to you as well.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Craft Favorites Friday

I am back with 3 more sweet and simple ideas that are perfect for the little ones in your life. :)

1. Felt Brown Bag Lunch

I am huge fan of crafting with felt (as I've mentioned a few times). ;) It is just such a fun medium to create with and so versatile. Can you believe how amazing that lunch looks? You really need to visit Skip to My Lou to see for yourself how the sandwich pieces--complete with "plastic" sandwich baggie, brown bag, chips, and dessert all come together (super easy)! HOW FUN!

2. Counting Book

Personalized activities set in your child's own environment and context--what a way to make connections! Here is a quick way to connect numbers and counting to things your child sees (and loves!) every day! I love the different things Lu Bird Baby thought to photograph. :)

In the same vein, here is a texture book made with easy-to-find materials. Asa is at an age where he loves to touch everything... from the carpet to the curtains by his changing table to toys, stuffed animals, and even his clothes (when I change him out of his pjs every morning, one of the first things he does is feel the texture of the clothes I have put on him for the day)! This book from Bloesem Kids and New House Project is another great idea. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

With a Moo Moo Here...

Before I get to the cows, I thought I would post a little update about us. We had a wonderful Christmas with both of our families. It was so sweet to share our traditions with Asa and start some new ones, too. I can only imagine when he "gets" it more! Since we returned home, Asa has really been working on some locomotion--he started out with a snowplow kind of move, then a sidewinder slither, and now he's getting very close to an army man crawl. He is getting into EVERYthing. Since that is a new development, I'm still at the "Wow! I can't believe you can do that!" stage. I'm sure it will get a little old at some point. ;) Let the babyproofing begin! He is also playing around with his voice a lot. He likes to try out different volumes, though we do not have a screamer as-of-yet. :) And just this weekend he burst forth with lalalas, nanananas, and best of all, he called me Mama! :) If that doesn't melt a mother's heart, I don't know what does! We have his 6 month check up this week (even though he was 7 months old on Saturday), and I imagine we will introduce some solids after the doctor's green light. He is pretty much showing every sign he is ready, willing, and able to try some food. You can be sure we will document this new venture with all sorts of film. :)

Alright, onto the farm. While browsing the crafting blogosphere, I came across this adorable crafty barn... it was too cute to wait until Friday to post about it. :)

It's made from a paper-mache treasure chest/trunk. I just think it's so clever, and I hope Asa loves playing "farm" some day so I can make him one! :) Go visit This and That and her barnyard post to learn more! I think this would be a great gift for a little farmer friend, too. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Craft Favorites Friday RETURNS!

I know it has been several weeks since my last CFF round up. Between Christmas travels, settling in back home, teething, etc. I've been storing ideas but not posting them. I have 3 new projects for today though!

I read this week that the dollar store wash mitts are back. I have seen a couple different projects made with these, but the hedgehog is my favorite. I hope to scope out some dollar stores this weekend--I'll let you know if I hit the jackpot! You can find complete instructions by clicking the link above and going over to Darling Petunia.

Over at Little Birdie Secrets, you can find an idea for a sweet, simple felt Valentine's garland. We finally got our Christmas decor packed away (we usually try to enjoy it for an extra week or two once we return from our Christmas travels) and I decided to go ahead and put our Valentine's decorations up so we can enjoy them as long as possible. I have some other projects that require felt, so I just might try one of these while I'm at it. :)

I think this is soooo cool, and I really want to make some for Asa when he's bigger. I LOOOVE pattern blocks and used to have a giant bucket of them. I think they are so great for open-ended play and exploration. This is such a wonderful and inexpensive way to encourage some amazing creativity. :) Go visit Mer Mag--it could not be easier!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Presents

I only made one set of crafty presents this year, but I am BEYOND thrilled with how they turned out!

I had seen some scripture dolls online, and I thought they were something I could make--and would enjoy doing so.

First I tried drawing my own pattern. I posted about that attempt. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't exactly pretty either. ;)

I ended up using The Black Apple doll pattern, and it worked beautifully! Without further ado, here are the dolls I made for my niece and nephew--the scriptures were chosen by their mom. :)

I can't wait to make more! I already have the materials to make one for Asa, so stay tuned! :)