Saturday, October 11, 2014

Happiness Is...

Happiness is...
  • The leaves changing color and reminding me that nothing is permanent and to live each day to the fullest
  • Checking off items that I have completed on my to do list ... even better ignoring the things that can wait until later on my to do list
  • Spending quality time with my family
  • The sound of my children laughing

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Look What Laura Made: A Quilt for Penelope

When my best friend told me she was expecting her second baby I immediately knew I wanted to make her a quilt and I knew just the fabric that I would be using for it.  A few years ago I found a set of these fabric samples and fell in love with them but had never come across a reason to use them... nothing felt right, nothing that is until now! The fabric has somewhat of a "hippy farm" feel (that's how I describe it anyway) and it was perfect for this baby.  As the due date got closer I began realize that I hadn't ever actually made a quilt before so I enlisted the help of my Grandmother, Pat and my friend, Vivid to help guide me on my quilting journey and since neither of them are local to me I probably bothered them too frequently with questions!  So this is my shout out to those two lovely ladies, thank you a thousand times over for being patient with me and my late night questions... and thanks to y'all I now have a new hobby!  So without further ado, here are some photos of the quilt progression... enjoy!

Here is the quilt laid out and ready to be sewn. 

The quilt top has been all sewn together and "quilted" to the inside layer and flannel backing.

Here is a look at the back of the quilt.  Since this was a smaller sized quilt I was able to do the quilting myself by "stitching in the ditch" with my sewing machine. 

Here is the completed quilt! Ready to be wrapped up around a sweet little baby! :)  I am so happy with how cute it turned out and that my first quilt didn't end up a total mess!

I was so excited to give this quilt to Tiphany at her baby shower and even more excited for the baby to have it once he or she made his/her appearance!

And here SHE is! Little Miss Penelope laying on her quilt!  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Look What Laura Made: A Quilt for Brooks

With one quilt already under my belt I couldn't wait to get started on the next one and I knew just who the recipient would be!   My cousin (in law)/best friend Krystal is currently expecting her second baby boy and I was eager to get a head start on the quilt for him.  I found the cutest fabric set and got to work! 

I learned the hard way that you shouldn't just start sewing because you are really excited and can't wait to see how it turns out and sure it'll all come together... you know that saying "measure twice, cut once?"  Ya, I think the same can be said for quilts.  I mapped out blocking for the portion of the quilt below and went ahead and sewed it all together before I figured out what I would do for the rest of the quilt.  Yes, it looks cool, and yes in the end it all did work out but if I had mapped it out ahead of time it would have been a little easier!  Oh well, you live, learn, and then blog about it so you won't make the same mistakes next time!! 

After I sewed the middle portion together and mapped out the remaining squares I sewed team all together. This part was a little tricky because of all of the various corners and intersections (punny.. get it, bc its a car quilt...) but I was able to make it work and logged this down as a lessons learned for the next go round! 

Instead of stitching the ditch this time, I used the "swirly" stitch (number 63 on my Singer Stylist) to quilt the three pieces together. I really liked this better because I didn't have to worry about coloring sewing outside the line and it looked super cute! Double points. 
Photo found here
I found a tutorial on Cluck Cluck Sew on how to machine bind your quilt and I LOVE it!  It is very easy to follow and I think that this binding actually looks much nicer than the first quilt I did.  (And so you know, I did ask Tiphany if she'd let me take back the quilt and "fix" the binding, but being the wonderful woman she is, she said she loved it the way it is!) 

Here's the final product! Can't wait until Brooks is here to snuggle up in it! 

Chatting with Everett (2 years old)

Since kids really do say the cutest things I have been keeping a note on my phone all of the cute things Everett has been saying. Here's a list of the most memorable and things (that I remembered to write down at the time) he said when he was 2!  Hope you enjoy this little compilation as much as I do! 

Me: Everett, who is your best friend?
Everett: Ummmm Toke-Oh (Tyler's friend)

Me: What are you gonna do tomorrow?
Everett: Me play with my friends. Micah, Tee Tee, Pig Paw, Rae Rae, Colt.
Me: What are yall going to do?
Everett: We play trains.

Everett: Me go to PigPaw's house.
Tyler: How are you gonna get there?
Everett: Me ride my bike.
Tyler: Oh, well we are about to go there- you wanna hitch a ride?
Everett: Uhhhh ok.

Everett: PigPaw has a little lamb.

Everett: Daddy, we go in dere.
Tyler: Sorry buddy, we can't go in there.
Everett: Yes me do!

Everett: Me call mommy.
Me: What are you gonna call me?
Everett: Ummm Woah-wa (Laura)
Me: How about mommy?
Everett: No. Woah-wa

Rebecca: Will you be in Patty and I's wedding?
Everett: Ummm sure.
Rebecca: oh great! Will you wear a cute little tuxedo?
Everett: No CaCa, me a Viking. Me Hiccup. (From How to Train Your Dragon)

Everett: There a monster in the closet.
Me: Oh no! What are we gonna do?
Everett: I get my gun, it on the porch.
Me: Your gun?
Everett: Ya! It go "pow pow!"

Everett: (After over hearing Ty and I talking) Mommy what's the issue?
Me: What's the issue?
Everett: Ya, what the issue?
Me: Oh, well daddy I were saying we weren't going to order you your own meal because you won't eat it.
Everett: Oh, that be fine.

Everett: Where's Reo? (A car he named Reo)
Me: Your car? Why do you call him Reo?
Everett: Weeee ohhhhh weeee ohhhhh!

Everett: Guess what?!
Me: What buddy?
Everett: IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! (It was not his birthday!)
Grandpa: How old are you?
Everett: I be 17, its not my birthday!

Everett: That man and me, he my best friend.
Me: Who is that man?
Everett: Jimbo! He my friend.

Everett: I love you and mommy and Nolan and you and mommy and Nolan. You my family.

Me: What do you want to name our new puppy?
Everett: Pink
Me: Pink?
Everett: Oh, I fuh-got. Jon.
Me: You want to name the puppy Jon?
Everett: YA!

Everett: I want to watch bwee-dos (videos) on your pweeder (computer).

While watching Spiderman Everett saw Martin Sheen and who plays Uncle Ben and repeatedly asked who it was. Tyler and I kept telling him it was POTUS or the President (because he also plays President Bartlet in the West Wing).  Then about ten minutes later Everett says "Oh! That West Wing guy!"

Fhing-en = Anything that he doesn't know the name of

Everett: That girl, she text me.
Me: A girl sent you a text?
Everett: Ya, she say "yaaaaa baby!"
Me: What?! Who is that girl?
Everett: Oh, it Lilly Bean.

Everett: That man, he told me the car go fast!
Me: Where are you driving to?
Everett: Oh, I here. I in Jean-na.
Me: What?
Everett: I live here. You know, Jean-na.
Me: Oh! Virginia!

Me: Hey Everett, wanna help me unload the dishwasher?
Everett: Um actually, no.

Everett: (While wearing sunglasses and walking outside at 8pm) It sure is dark out here.

Me: Do you want fries or rice?
Everett: BEANS! No beans!

Everett: Hey daddy
Tyler: Hey Everett
Everett: What?!

Midnight Thoughts

With all the tragedy, loss, violence, hatred, and tears that we experience here on earth we must have faith and cling to the knowledge that God is who he says he is, that Christ died and rose again to cover our sins, and that the Holy Spirit will intercede on our behalf. There is hope through Christ, that our life here on earth will not even begin to compare to the glory that we will experience in heaven.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Letters to Nolan: 4/18/14

Dear Sweet Nolan,

You are just one month shy of being one year old! Spring has sprung and you are really loving spending time outdoors and since you have your daddy's skin tone you are rocking a great tan. One of your favorite pastimes these days is playing in the water table! You really enjoy splashing your hands in the water and getting yourself soaking wet and I'm sure once it gets warm enough you are going to really dig the sprinkler! Speaking of water, you love taking baths and have now graduated out of the laundry basket and now sit just fine with your brother in the tub!
This month you got your first hair cut- you were staring to have a little baby mullet so it was definitely time!  You also have four teeth now and your smile is so so cute! You still love to laugh and giggle, especially if your brother is around. Now that you're more mobile you are starting to play more with Everett and you love that!
You are still quite content to nurse just as frequently as you always have, which is fine with me. You are eating more from the table and prefer to feed yourself. Some of your favorite foods are... anything that we give you! So far you aren't very picky which is great!

I am so happy you're in our life little dude!

Here's what you've been up to: 

03/23/14: First haircut, started playing peekaboo 
03/25/14: You started to laugh when other people laugh 
03/28/14: You will dance when we ask you to!
04/04/14: Said "dog"
04/10/14: Fourth tooth broke through (top left)
04/14/14: Can climb in and out of the bathtub
04/15/14: Got your first freckle

Momma and daddy love you to the moon and all the way back! 


For more Letters to Nolan, click here
For Letters to Everett, click here!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Letters to Nolan: 3/18/14

Dear Nolan,

You are such a sweet boy! Your little personality is just blossoming and you are becoming a little boy (not  a baby anymore) right before our eyes.  You are very inquisitive and want to know what is going on in every room, want to check out everything, and you especially want to just dump all the toys out of the baskets! You really like to mess with Jedi, something that he does not like at all.
Crawling is still your main mode of transportation and boy are you fast! You can get from one side of the room to the other in no time.  You do like to pull up on any and everything and are getting more and more daring in your attempts to let go.  This month you started to push the walker around the house, although you have not quite got the steering thing down yet.
You and brother are still sleeping in our room at night and you usually "request" to nurse two to three times throughout the night.  Since it has been cold outside we have been spending the evenings inside (usually watching The West Wing) and our routine has been for you and I to cuddle up on the couch and you fall asleep while nursing. It is nice to have that time at the end of the busy day just to relax and be with our little family!
Last but certainly not least, your baby dedication was this past month!  This allowed daddy and I to think about the type of person that we hope you will grow up to be and how we can strive to be great parents. We invited family and friends to join us and it was a very special time to share with them.  We pray that you will find Jesus and will trust him to guide your life and we pray that we will be with you every step of the way! 

Here's what you've been up to this past month: 

02/18/15: Nine month well check- 21lbs 14oz (70th percentile), 28" long (60th percentile); Started waving 
02/20/14: First time you played at the play area in the mall 
02/26/14: Said momma 
02/28/14: First ice cream cone 
03/08/14: Stood by yourself for the first time 
03/09/14: Third tooth broke through ( top right) 
03/10/14: Started walking with the walker

Momma and daddy love you to the moon and all the way back! 


For more Letters to Nolan, click here
For Letters to Everett, click here!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekend Links: Frozen Fun

I have to admit, I really love Frozen! If you have not seen it yet, you should- even if you don't have kids!  All of the songs are so catchy and the movie plot is great. So with all of the Frozen mania going around I thought I would share a few videos for this edition of Weekend Links that I have come across and think are awesome!  Enjoy!

Some other videos of note:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An Update on E

Today I took Everett back to the pediatric pulmonologist for a recheck on his progress.  I had both the boys dressed and in the car by 9am and it took us a little shy of 2 hours to get there, we got out and were in the doctor's office for about 45 minutes and then back in the car for the ride home. Although we logged a lot of miles today it was well worth it- we love our doctor and how much he really seems to care about Everett's well being. The doctor asked how Everett was feeling, if he'd had any issues in the past 3 weeks, had he been having trouble using his new inhaler, had there been any need for his rescue inhaler at all, etc. Even though we were there for a shorter period of time for this appointment he was still very thorough. The doctor was very glad to hear that Everett has been doing much better since he has been on the new treatment plan.  Everett has been back to his "old self" since his last cough subsided and the new inhaler has been added.  In the past he would have been sick by this time again so to have him not be sick was a great step in the right direction.  The doctor asked that we keep him on his daily inhaler for another few months (through the spring) and then we will reevaluate his dose.  I am so happy that we finally have a diagnosis and aren't floundering around anymore just treating the symptoms and in turn not actually providing him any long lasting relief.  Thank you again for all of your kind words, thoughts, and prayers.  We truly appreciate everyone of you. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

FBP: Cleaning Gone Green

Ever since Everett was born I have been rethinking a lot of the choices that we make around our house, specifically anything having to do with chemicals.  I do not like the idea that some of the products we use have harsh and harmful ingredients that would definitely cause panic if my children got a hold one of them. 
At first I wasn’t sure what to do; I did not want to buy the traditional household cleaners anymore and I also did not want to shell out the big bucks for the green cleaners that I saw on the shelves at the store either.  I was worried that I would spend a ton of money for products that I hadn’t heard of before and could potentially not work.  I did a little bit of research and found that making my own cleaners would not only be cheaper but safer and effective.  Score! 
You don’t have to be fancy when making your cleaners, in fact you can clean most areas around your home with a mixture of one-part vinegar and one-part water.  Vinegar can do some amazing things and the best part about it is that it is non-toxic and it also works as a disinfectant.  If you don’t like the smell of vinegar you can add citrus peels to the mixture, however once the vinegar dries the smell dissipates.  For more tips on cleaning with vinegar, check out this link
Another great item that you can use to clean with is baking soda.  You can mix baking soda and water until it becomes a paste and use it in the kitchen and bathrooms as a scrub to remove soap scum or buildup.  You can also add baking soda to your laundry to help remove stains and add brightness.  Baking soda can also be combined with vinegar (who didn’t love making volcanoes in science class in middle school?!) to create a paste that can be used in on tough stains around the house.   
The two items above (three if you count citrus fruit, four if you count water) you probably already have in your home already. How easyis this?! Grab a spray bottle from the cleaning section at your local superstore and you are in business.  Want to step it up a bit? While you’re in the cleaning aisle look for liquid castile soap- my personal favorite is Dr. Bronner’s Lavender.  This soap is amazing and can be used for so many different purposes!  I was going to type up my own list but I found this one on their website that covers more than I even realized: “You can use Dr. Bronner’s soaps for washing your face, body, hands and hair, for bathing, shaving, brushing your teeth, rinsing fruit, aromatherapy, washing dishes by hand, doing laundry, mopping floors, all-purpose cleaning, washing windows, scrubbing toilets, washing dogs, controlling dust mites, and killing ants and aphids.”  (Found here.)  We use the lavender scented soap as body wash and hand soap at home (check out this dilution chart for instructions) and it smells lovely!  This is a product that you will want to have on hand all the time because it is so versatile!    
Now that you’ve got your household cleaner made what about the floors?  You certainly can use some of the suggestions above however once a year it is important to have your carpets, rugs, tile, and upholstered furniture professionally cleaned.  Day after day at your home your dead skin cell particles shed from your body and embed into the soft surfaces like couches, carpets, and rugs.  If you have pets their hair (along with your own hair) is left in your carpets along with any spilled food or accidents that your children or animals might have had!  The daily traffic going in and out of your home can also bring in dirt and germs that can leave stains and be potentially harmful to the health and well-being of your family. Vacuuming will help to remove some of that buildup but it will definitely not remove all of it. 
Traditional carpet cleaning uses hot water mixed with soaps containing various chemical agents that leave your carpets heavily saturated with harsh residue.  I am excited to have found Zerorez of Greater Fredericksburg, a carpet cleaning company that is able to clean carpets, upholstery, and tiled surfaces better than traditional carpet cleaning companies but without the use of high-residue soaps, detergents, shampoos or chemicals. “Zerorez cleaning services are based on its unique Empowered Water technology. Empowered Water is enhanced water that is electrolyzed and oxidized to create a powerful cleaning solution without harmful toxins or chemicals.” (Found here.)
When Aaron, the technician, came to  my house he was very friendly and knowledgable.  He took the time to explain how the Zerorez system worked and answered my questions. While he was in my home he was careful to protect the walls and provided great customer service.  The areas of my home that he cleaned had such amazing results that I can’t keep from telling everyone about their services!  Zerorez of Greater Fredericksburg is extending an offer to all of my readers of 10% off any service and one free area!  Be sure to mention “Not So Average Momma” when booking your service!
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This post was sponsored by Zerorez of Greater Fredericksburg, all content and opinons are my own.
This post originally appeared on Not So Average Momma on Fredericksburg