Friday, September 18, 2009

binkie clips

Since our second baby will be our second boy, I was feeling pretty prepared, but for fun have decided to welcome this boy with homemade goods. I haven't worked full time throughout this pregnancy, so it has been easier to make the time to craft a little (somewhat... as it turns out taking care of my little boy has turned out to be a lot harder than my job was, but at least I can multitask some and make some time for some home crafting a little easier).

So, after I got my bassinet done, I decided to make some binkie clips. It is another simple, easy, fast and addicting craft I highly recommend. The Little Birdie Secrets blog has a great tutorial here. The differences I made were, I sewed all of my velcro on to make sure it was super secure and didn't add cute buttons as to cut down on the possible choking hazards.

Here are the first couple of binkie clips I made:

Here are the supplies for my next batch of binkie clips:

I plan to use these as part of baby gifts in the future. I got rave reviews from my sisters that I made some for- super sturdy, lightweight, cute, and the perfect length:)

For another way to make binkie clips you can visit here.

getting ready for baby

A while back I did a post on my personal blog for a friend of mine that was getting ready to have her first baby and was feeling those normal first time jitters (who am I kidding, I have jitters this time around and probably will with any future babies to come).

Anyway, I thought it was a pretty useful post, and got several useful comments from friends and family on their favorite things to have for their babies that I have added. Hope it helps someone! It has reassured me that I am ready the second time around:)

Going to the hospital:

The hospital provides the majority of the stuff you will need so really don’t stress. You will get there, they will get you in a gown and take care of you until (and after of course) you have that little baby.

Once the baby arrives, they have pretty much everything he will need to- diapers, wipes, bottles with formula if you need it, little shirts, caps... the works. They even send you home with a little starter kit with diaper cream, a brush for the baby (don’t lose it- it’s awesome) and other essential samples for you and the baby.

I think the most important thing to think about bringing is whatever will make you comfortable. I just like to make sure to have a camera, a little make-up (vain, I know), shower stuff and go home clothes for me and baby. Of course you will need the car seat (more on that later). And I think this time I am going to bring an i-pod and some dvds, but I don’t know that I will even use them... I just think they might help distract me... maybe:)

As far as worrying about your husband... I wouldn’t. Some people say that he should pack a bag, but as long as you have family and/or friends around. He can go home and take a break as needed. I would just warn him and tell him to bring whatever he wants.

Bringing baby home:

Car Seat & Stroller- Whatever kind of car seat and stroller you decide on just make sure you get a system that allows you to transfer your car seat to your stroller without having to unstrap him, pick him up, and re-arrange him in a new contraption. Paul and I had to think about the height of our stroller (so Paul could push it without having to hunch over) and the weight that our carseat would carry in case we had a big baby (I was 10 lbs and Paul was a 9lb. twin! and we had a hunch he would grow fast). We got the one pictured above and love it, but they have come out with lots of cool stuff since we had Kaden.

Taking care of baby:
Bathtime- I love Mustela products, but they can be expensive and hard to find. The next best thing in my opinion is Aveeno. I bought a baby bath, but I used a baby sponge I got more than I used the bath even. It is cheaper and easier to use and transport in the sink or bath. Soft baby washcloths and towels are always nice too.

Diapers- Boudreaux's Butt Paste for diaper rashes (Desitin works just fine too). And I don't have a preference on diapers really- I remember different ones working better for different stages. Huggies and Pampers are great and Costco brand is right up there with Huggies. It's always nice to get diapers and wipes at Costco because you will always need lots!
Regular Care & Emergencies- A thermometer, baby tylenol, finger nail clippers, nasal aspirator, onesies, burprags, and blankets. Just a little baby care kit should suffice. Carter's onesies are my favorite. Plain old cloth diapers are my favorite burprags. And it is always nice to have plenty of receiving blankets on hand because they are nice for everything- you will always want to use one to lay your baby on and they are constantly being spit up on, peed and pooped on.

I was a little shocked at how tricky breastfeeding was, but it really worked out for the best in the long run for Kaden and I (its cheaper and easier than formula for one thing, but I have had several friends that have struggled with it and I certainly think formula is just as good). I got
super engorged and throughout the whole experience had several cases of thrush and a few clogged duct infections (oooouuuch!).
These were my favorite tools...
Medela Nipple Shields made it a whole lot easier for Kaden to latch on and just worked better in general.
Lansinoh breast pads- these are the thinnest and most absorbent in my opinion, so you don't feel bigger than you already are:)
Avent breast pump was my favorite pump. I tried the hospitals, rented one from WIC, tried the $150 medela version, and the avent was the easiest, simplest, least painful, and easiest to transport. If you have to pump lots, then an electric one is probably the way to go- I think I might just rent from the hospital- they work awesome!
As far as treating the infections I got- refer to a doctor:)
...Oh and bottles are necessary obviously. Just look for bpa free, and gas reducing.

Finding a little you time/making a fussy baby happy:
(These are not all necessary- borrow from friends and see what works best for your baby before you decide to purchase because different things work for different babies- these are just ideas and what worked for me)

Baby swing- I got one like the one pictured above. I like it because it swings back and forth andside to side. Our little guy didn't like the back and forth movement as much as he did the side to side.

Rocker/Glider/Exercise Ball- I am
such a rocking chair girl and was so excited to rock my new little baby, but... he didn't seem to really like rocking!!! I felt pretty cheated to say the least and somehow out of desperation I found out that he liked bouncing on a big exercise ball with me. I think it may have helped me get back into shape a little faster too! I also found out when visiting a friend that he liked the gliding motion better than the rocking motion, using her glider. We have a glider now too- we'll see what our next likes!

Baby bouncer- when I was hospitalized from dehydration a few weeks after our first was born I remember feeling so overwhelmed with realizing I would have to take care of him in the hospital with me. Paul had football and school he couldn't get out of and he had been kind of a high maintenance baby up to that point. The hospital let me borrow a bouncer and it made all the difference!! He was happy being fed, burped, changed, snuggled, and bounced!!! We got one to have at home shortly after that.

Baby Bjorn- Our baby boy loved this and it allowed me to hold him easier and gave me an extra arm or two when I needed it. He had to be by me all the time it seemed, so this freed me up a little bit. We tried the Snugli version that was a little less expensive, but he just didn't take to it like he did the bjorn. I have been tempted to try the baby wraps too, but the bjorn worked great, so unless my next doesn't take to the bjorn I will just stick to what worked with our first.

Baby backpack- We got one from my sister-in-law that is old and faded, but this allowed me to have him by my side and do even more housework than the bjorn did. These are great for
so many things!!

Things I don't really think are necessary, but can be nice...

Hooter Hiders- Blankets work pretty well, but hooter hiders can be cute and really useful.
Boppy Pillow or "My breast friend"- Just regular pillows work pretty well too I think.
Wipes Warmer- I just don't think it is necessary unless your baby absolutely throws a fit when wiped. I have even been known to warm them up by blowing on them if they seem super cold.
Diaper Genie- I think my friend put it best when she said they are just difficult, stinky, diaper sausage makers.

Down the Road:

Colic and Teething Tablets, Playmat, Walker, Exersaucer, Bouncer, Food Grinder, Teething Toys, Books, and Music.

I think it is key also to remember how fast each stage goes, how fast baby stuff can add up in expenses, and remember you really don't want to crowd your house with tons of baby paraphernalia. Babies really don't need that much, but hopefully this post helps new moms in moments of desperation!

**Added by comments from friends and family
  • If it's a boy, get tiny wash cloths for when you change the diaper so you don't get sprayed!
  • Bring a nursing bra and pads to the hopital just in case the milk comes that early, and get the lansinoh cream!
  • For diaper rash I LOVED aquaphor.
  • My one "need" is my nursing cover. I also love our umbrella stroller which is a Chicco brand one.
  • Buy the very basics and wait until the baby comes to really shop.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

this past week...

...I worked on recovering a bassinet I bought about a year ago at a garage sale. It took me a lot longer than I thought, so I apologize for the lack of posts last week.

I originally bought the bassinet because it was in such good condition and thought it would be a good mobile and functional baby center for this little baby on the way. Unfortunately after I washed it it seemed to be in worse condition than when I bought it. The terry cloth material that lined the inside of it got all 'pilly' and over time the whole style of it bugged me more and more. Eventually I decided to be brave and attempt to recover it. Here are the results (I can't believe I pulled it off and love it):

I got the pattern for the birds in the mobile here.

In other baby getting ready news I received this blanket in the mail this week:

I bought it here on etsy. I love it too, even more than I thought I would.

My next couple of projects in the works include:

  • binkie clips
  • burp rags
  • booties
  • bibs
  • quiet books

...oh and clean house, make some freezer meals, and pack my hospital bag.

We'll see what I can get to before this baby comes... maybe I better start by packing my hospital bag;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

organizing jewelry

With two recent posts about making jewelry, I thought it might be appropriate to do one about organizing it. Is it just me or does coming up with a good organization system for your jewelry seem to be sort of tricky? I have tried all sorts of systems. For a long time I had the better portion of my jewelry in a nice jewelry box similar to this one:

I liked it better than previous systems I had tried, but quickly outgrew it as I started making jewelry.

Another problem I find with storing my jewelry is that I am lazy. If my jewelry is put away too well, I find I don't wear it as much as I should.

As I searched for a better organization solution I came across a few options I really liked such as these from PBTeen:

...but I still wasn't sure how much it would all store, and the minimalist in me didn't want a bunch of things to put on my dresser or in my bathroom.

I also thought a jewerly armoire like this one might be the way to go:

...but again I didn't want another piece of furniture in my already somewhat crowded room.

I considered a hanging canvas solution like this one:

...but didn't want to put my necklaces in it and have them get all tangled.

Another idea I came across that I thought about was a wall mount jewelry armoire in the form of a picture frame or mirror such as this:

...but alas, because of everything I have in currently in my bedroom (tons of windows, and no real good place to put it), it still wasn't really the right solution for me.

Eventually the solution I came up was this one:

...simple, organized, and easy to get to!! Sorry the photos aren't the greatest. My jewelry is kind of hiding in a poorly lit corner of my room.

I came up with the earring solution in my head, proposed it to my husband to see if he could make it for me, and he was able to whip it out fairly easily with scraps he had hanging out in his shop. So, first and foremost I am thankful for a handy husband. We have since decided on a few tweaks to the design that would make it work a little better that will be easy to fix when we take it down when we move again, but I love it so far.

For my necklaces and bracelets, I was inspired while at DI when I saw the simple wooden accordion coat hanger, brought it home, hit it up with some spray paint, and voila!!

Want more diy jewelry organization inspiration? Check out these other great ideas I found on the web (click on the links for more info on each solution):

I think down the road I may like trying something similar to this. I love the idea of having cutely framed jewelry storage!

Natalie came up with a great solution for storing all of her jewelry with the help of her husband too. And she has one big jewelry collection!

How cute is this one?!

This idea came from a guest post featured on Designmom:

Find more great ideas from this post!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

making jewelry (II)

Another thing I had been meaning to make for awhile in the way of jewelry was scrabble tile pendants. I bought a kit from a friend of mine awhile back when I was just getting into jewelry making and finally got around to doing it. It was fast, fun, and addicting. I should have designed my own images for the centers like a good designer, I know. But I was lazy and used scrapbook paper. I think I will do more now using images I have designed.

For a great tutorial on how to make them click here.

To buy a kit you can visit my friend's etsy shop (she has good products at great prices and ships fast). Other people on etsy sell them too. You can even buy them already made. In fact the top jewelry seller on etsy according to etsy wiki sells fabulous scrabble tile pendants and is also the author of the tutorial link found above.

Another cool thing you can find on etsy for these is a collection of cool images for your pendants via digital image collage sheets. Just wanted to share another fun easy craft. These make great gifts and would also be an easy fun craft to do with your kids!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

making jewelry

I made some more jewelry recently. I wanted to use some of the stuff up that I had bought when I had my jewelry etsy shop. Here are some samples of my latest creations:

A while ago I had a request to do a tutorial on making jewelry. I must confess however that I am very unqualified, but I will tell you how I got my start.

I had done some beading in middle school, but found that my creations never turned out to be things I really wanted to wear very much. I also recall the available bead options at my local craft stores being less than desirable.

One day, about a year ago, I was perusing my local Michael's craft store when I saw a collection of beads that I really liked. A lot of their beads were on sale that day too, which always helps peak my interest. As I continued down the aisle or two of beads I kept on finding more and more things that were easy for me to envision as jewelry that I would wear. I also started realizing how much jewelry I could make and have for a small fraction of what a piece of jewelry from the store would cost me. The quality might not me be quite as good, but I am a sucker for the creation process and for a good deal. So I bought a little collection of beginner beading tools (just a few pliers) and several packets of beads I liked.

{above image via here.}

One of the keys for me in the creating process is to keep my style in mind. It is easy to get carried away with beads, but I find that simpler is better... not to mention easier and cheaper. I tend to like jewelry from places like Sundance and JJill. While I have a great admiration for more costume-ish type jewelry from places like Anthro and JCrew, I feel I just can't pull it off.

So with my tools in hand, and my style in mind, I put on some good music and get to creating. It is so fun to be able to put together so much, so fast, for such a good price.

You can find tutorials and inspiration all over the internet. I highly recommend taking up the hobby. At least until your jewelry armoire is full:)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

homemade onesies

One of the etsy inspired crafts I wanted to attempt before the baby came was to make these:
{Can be found and purchased here.}

and some of these:

{Can be found and purchased here.}

I had attempted to make things like this before with some success, but found it to be time consuming and I definitely could have improved on my first attempts. These are some gifts I made for two of my sisters who had babies within the last year:

Like I said, they worked and were cute enough, but could have been improved upon (sorry sisters... I still thought they were pretty cute).

Anyway, then I remembered that I had t-shirt transfer printer paper in my stash of stuff and wondered what my results might be if I were to try to create some t-shirts and onesies via that route. It was certainly a lot easier and I loved the results:

It was addicting too. I find myself thinking of all sorts I want to do with t-shirts and onesies for my little guys now. So until I can afford a YUDU, or have time to make cute appliqued stuff, t-shirt transfer printer paper will be my answer for designing fast cute clothes for my little kiddos!