Monday, August 31, 2009

SpiderBoys and The Miracle Of Paint


The finished Spiderman P.J. pants. I just really love matchy for my boys...They were a big hit, too...though it took a few tries to get it right.

See, it was just like Goldilocks (me sewing them) and the three bears. Jackson Bear's pants were too big. Ethan Bears's first pair (yep, had to make a second) were too small. And Brennan Bear's were just right. After a few adjustments and fixes, though, all was well and the three little bears snuggled down for the night.
(Next time I upload pictures to photobucket, I promise not to make them so small)

I also appliqued a Spiderman on an older teeshirt of Jackson's. It was so easy to do and so cute. He loved it and wanted to wear it the next day. (Nope, a firm rule is NO WEARING THE CLOTHES YOU SLEPT started b/c I was not changing my clothes after having Ethan, then the boys wanted to copy, so you see, I had to end the cycle...) I just used common sense, and this tutorial, and was done in about five minutes making a shirt just for Jackson.

When I was buying the Wonder Under, I asked the little old lady at WalMart to please not fold it...I remember my mom getting VERY upset when her Wonder Under would get folded. Well, not only did the little old lady roll it for me (and tape the middle down) she also went through a quick "how to use" tutorial at WalMart...why, oh why does WM think it is okay to close these fabric departments down? Where else will 87 year old grannies work and help the younger generations??? I did learn that the WM on 180/Center will have a fabric department for at least two more, I might be making more trips as they are SOOOO much cheaper then the other shops around.

I will say, time I will use something see through to cut my circle so I can center it better...OR I will use my Creative Memory circle cutters to get a very exact circle. Oh, well...Jackson is three and does not care about perfection.

The next project I did this weekend: Turn the outdated cabinet into a something I will be super proud to display.


My mom stenciled this cabinet for me and Bart's first apartment over ten years ago! It was functional as a food storage unit, then when we moved to our second apartment, it got put in a closet. Stencils aren't the most "IN" thing anymore...not that my home is "hip" but you know, I am trying...

Here in Omaha it has lived in the basement, home of some books and toys.

Not any more.

I needed a place to store my laptop, printer, small cricut, bills, etc. I repainted the cabinet to coordinate with the newly painted dining is the same color the chairs will one day be. It took maybe one hour (sanding, painting, etc.) and sat in the garage over night...I could hardly wait to bring it upstairs to its new home.

What do you think???


(for some reason I forgot to upload just the cabinet, but you will get the idea...PLUS, there are the new basic curtains I made the other day, too!)

I even painted part of the hardware for the cabinet and I am debating on whether or not to be really picky and paint the tiny circle in the middle of the cream knob...would you?

So, what have you done lately? I don't know why I've been in such a domestic mood. I'm sure I will snap out of it soon enough.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Jeni!

Happy Birthday Jeni.
I hope you have a great day, even if life is throwing lemons at you right now.


p.s. how old are you, anyways?

Steroids make a baby HULK up.

When I took Ethan to the pediatrician Monday for his well check less abled breathing aliment (cause we don't want to give him a complex), he was given a steroid shot in each leg to help with his breathing.
That day, naked, he weighed 24 lbs. 8.4 oz.
When we went back to the doctor b/c of difficulty breathing on Wednesday, he weighed 24 lbs. 13 oz...and was prescribed an at home oral steroid.
Now, I know these are not the athletic illegal steroids, but they sure helped my fat baby hulk up. 4 ounces in two days. Ouch. :) When he is all done with the meds, I'd love to go weigh him naked on the same scale and see what it did to the little guy.

I know you all want to see a picture of the adorable p.j. pants I finished sewing last night, but the Incredible Hulk, AKA Ethan, does not come near fitting into his (that's what I get for trying to freehand a pattern with a pair of slightly too small pants) so you have to wait...until Chubs gets a pair that fits his girth.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sew, what did you do today?

Today I finished the "window treatment" (fancy words for sheers that I rolled hemmed the bottom of and valance I didn't even serger) for the dining room. I did the sheers Sunday and the valance this morning.
Total it cost me about $7 to complete. The sheer was on sale for $1 a yard at Hancock's a while back and the valance fabric was found on clearance sale at WalMart for pennies on the dollar. I got enough to make valances for both sets of windows in the living/dining area and coordinating fabric for...pillows? Mattes for frames? a throw blanket? We will see...
I was very excited to find this fabric because it goes so well with our couch and rug. Then, when I painted the dining room a light sea green turquoise-y color, it was the perfect addition.
Tonight I think I will finish painting the storage unit I want to put in the dining room corner to store my sewing machine and cricut and stuff in so it is easily accessible without having to go to the basement and at the same time hidden from tiny hands.

I also (during naptime) made Jackson a pair of SpiderMan p.j. pants. I stole found this fabric in my mom's fabric shop, along with Buzz Lightyear, Bob the Builder, and various prints for other projects for winter. There is enough SpiderMan fabric to make all three boys matching p.j. pants. Won't they be so cute when we go visit Brian and Kyra in Ohio and they are all matchy? I wonder if "matching yellow shirts" falls under the "necessary for now" category? I am trying to save money, so I might make due with NOT matchy tee shirts for sleeping. :( UNLESS someone wants to GIVE me matchy yellow or red shirts...
Once I make B and E's pants, I'll post a picture of the finished product and once I paint the bookcase thingie, I will post pictures of the dining room, though I just don't see me painting the chairs a really nice rich turquoise any time soon. Too many other projects are in front of that one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Adventures in Cloth Diapering, part 5, the smell

I have been cloth diapering exclusively for about four days now (and have been almost exclusive for about a week and a half, not a long time, but remember, I was on vacation right after I started this adventure). This includes Jackson at night (I should really just work on PM potty training, but don't have it in me right now) and Ethan every time I change his diaper. Bart is still not on board, though I think tonight I will show him and encourage him on its ease of usage.

Even with the wetbag, I am still finding something unpleasant. Something deathly. Something haunting.

The smell.

Maybe I am waiting too long between washings, but I am doing the diaper load about every day and a half to two days. I am using special diaper laundry soap and only the recommended amount. They do not start out smelling bad, just when they are full of urine. When you enter Ethan's room, you want to vomit. Bart asked me what died in his room last night.

I need to figure out a better solution to this problem then just the wetbag. Do I need a better wetbag? A pail? What?

Bart told me I needed to think of something fast or the neighbors are going to call the cops about suspicious odors coming from the white trash house.

I don't want to stop CDing b/c of smell. Really. It has been pretty painless thus far and with the help and support of my MOM friends, I have actually started enjoying it. Soon I will be reviewing Bummis flushable inserts and let me tell you...the times I've "tested" them, they really do help with my #2 issue.

So, if any of you have any suggestions, please let me know. My family and neighbors thank you for it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wheezy...Rattling...Croup (and 9 month stats)

Saturday morning I stumble into Ethan's bedroom, still sleepy from a late night scrapbooking with "the girls". Any lingering thoughts of sneaking back into bed after feeding Ethan a bottle are instantly erased from my mind as I am jarred awake by the worst breathing any of my children have ever experienced. He was struggling to get breaths and though it sounded a bit croupy, I felt it was more then that. I woke up Bart..."Ethan needs to go to the ER. Now."
I am not one to overreact. I generally try to keep my children out of the doctors office unless absolutely necessary...I mean, Jackson had pneumonia and I was wondering "Should I take him in? Hmm, it might just be a high fever."
I felt this was necessary. Even after he and I were dressed he could not breath. He could not drink his milk, he could only cry between gasps for breath.

I took him to Children's hospital where he was quickly assessed by a nurse. By the time the doctor wanders in 1/2 an hour later, Ethan's breathing is better, but still very raspy and his voice is very hoarse.
After a less then stellar once over, Dr. J. pronounces Ethan as "fine...barely even a red throat."
So, I leave feeling like an idiot...Dr. J. did not make my concern for what to do in the future if Ethan cannot breath seem necessary, as if I were overreacting and silly for coming. (B/C it was croup he had, of course he was better by the time we were seen at the hospital. It was a cool morning and being in the cool air helped that time)

Luckily, Ethan had a nine month well check scheduled for Monday, so I thought to myself, "Well, I will just bring this up with the doctor and if Ethan is still feeling bad, she will help him. I will NOT just go to the ER and be treated like a fool again."

By the time Monday morning came around, his breathing was worst then it was on Saturday and Sunday and I just sat there, twiddling my thumbs (and doing cold from the freezer and hot from a shower) until 10 came and I could leave to go to Doc. Walters.
I get there and everyone is immediately concerned for this 24 lb. 8.4 oz. baby who could not breath. He was 31 inches of sadness and had the doctor's and nurses full attention.

After receiving breathing treatments and steroid shots at the doctors office, it is decided that Ethan needs to go back to the Children's Hospital ER to be observed and given a different and stronger breathing treatment. He had croup and he was having a hard time with it.

We got there, same nurse. Same doctor. I explained to Dr. J. what was going on (even though Doc. Walter's had already prepped him) and what Ethan needed.
And waited.

Jackson and I were starving, so Bart, who had taken off work when we had to go to the ER, went to get food and as he came back, they finally came in to give the much needed medicines.
My favorite part was when Dr. J. asks, "What treatment did I do for him when he was here Saturday?" My response?
"You said it was not necessary to treat him because there was nothing wrong with him. Lucky for him he had a doctor's appointment today."

Ethan struggled with the mask but settled down after a minute or two. He did great and started feeling much better, though he still had a raspy breath and wheeziness. We were discharged and told to come back if he started to breath that way again because "Only the ER can give you this medicine" about a God complex in Dr. J.

We left and went home, where we all fell asleep until smells of bacon and eggs clouded our dreams and we awoke to Bart cooking a yummy brinner. He's just THE BEST HUSBAND EVER.

Today Ethan is doing better. No fever and no deep wheezing. However, he is still not 100% and that might take a few days.

So for now, we sit. Twiddling our thumbs again. Hoping he continues to get better and praying we don't have to go back to that darn ER where Dr. J might still be...and we are thankful...thankful that it was just croup. Thankful for the medicines to make it better. Thank for the best pediatrician, Dr. Walters. And thankful for brinner.

I know croup is no big deal. Kids get it all the time. I just feel bad that Ethan may have contaminated some of his baby friends at our baby play date on Friday.

Winner of the wetbag giveaway:


Congratulations. And everybody, make sure to check out the online shop for more great items.

Child to Cherish Penny Bank w/ Bug Keeper Review

While in Louisiana, a package arrived at our front door. Bart was there to greet Max the Soccer Ball Penny Bank with it's adorable Bug Keeper. He called the boys, excited to tell them they have a surprise waiting for them when they arrived home.

We were home not even ten minutes before the boys had opened the box and made Max their new friend. They had a few pennies left over from the money Papa Jeff had given them for the trip home and they were quickly feeding Max the SoccerBall Penny Bank his favorite!

We sent them to bed, glad to be home and hopeful the boys would learn how to save money, not just quickly spend every penny found on candy or Dollar Tree treats.

The penny bank also came with a bug keeper...the perfect pairing, in my opinion...see, there are two things my children and bugs. Seriously. They used to use baby food jars to catch bugs until their dresser was covered in jars and I said NO MORE! They were very grateful for this Child to Cherish combo to allow them to collect two of their favorite keepsakes.This bug keeper is great. It's got holes poked into the lid and has a cute scene on the outside. Right now ours is filled with crickets. Lots of crickets. Plus flowers, grass, a bit of water and dirt, etc. The boys are glad to have insects back in their room and not get in trouble for covering their entire dresser with them.

Child to Cherish has more then this sunny soccer ball bank. They also have lady bugs, turtles, butterflies, baseballs and more.

Child to Cherish sells a lot more then just penny banks. They sell unique and functional keepsakes and gifts. The Child to Cherish collection includes timeless treasures designed by Patrice Lowe to capture precious moments in time. Items include their Tower of Time handprint kit, piggy and elephant banks that can be personalized with matching frames, gifts for grandma, welcome baby gifts, gift basket sets, an adorable plush collection, holiday gifts, for the creative toddler an innovative crayon apron and for a special birthday celebration the Happy Birthday tableware set. Child to Cherish offers one stop shopping for innovative gifts for any and every occasion. (that part I copied from the email about the review b/c it is said so well...why reinvent the wheel, you know?)

I think the next time I am invited to a baby shower, Child to Cherish will be the place I go for a cute present...I mean, who wouldn't want those adorable blocks??? Or maybe a set of hand print tins? I know I'd love some to preserve Ethan's fat feet.

And guess what???? Child to Cherish is giving Finding Joy in the Journey readers a 10% discount! That's right, just enter the code tr10 to receive 10% off your purchase. And come back here and let me know what you ordered. I'll be excited to find out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Before being born, Ethan received the nickname "Fat Baby" from a kind and loving daddy. Little did we know how true it would be.
This kid is a chunk and I love ever last ounce of his cutie patootie fat rolls and thick thighs.
Monday he goes for his nine month well check and I thought I'd ask big do you think he is going to be, based on his pictures?
He was 21.5 lbs and 28 1/4 inches at his 6 month appointment, and weighed 22.3 lbs. at the beginning of July.

Leave a comment if you want to guess or scroll down to see my guess.

I guess that he weighs about 25 lbs. b/c I weighed him at my mom's house it registered at 24.8 lbs. Maybe my mom's scale is wrong (yeah, then I didn't gain any weight while on vacation!) but maybe not...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adventures in Cloth Diapering, part 4...wet bag review/giveaway

So, I've mentioned the poopy diaper that was kind of gross but not too bad yet.
What do you do with a diaper once it is dirty? You are supposed to wash the cloth diapers separate from your other laundry, so you can't just throw it in the laundry basket.
You don't want it just hanging out in the baby's room (I starts to reek.)
So, what to do?
You get a wet bag and toss the dirty diaper in, where it can live until it is time to wash all those cloth beauties.
let me review one of her medium wet bags. She's got an etsy shop full of cloth diapers, liners, nursing pads, diaper covers, etc, etc. She is a mom's best friend.
I reviewed a medium one and she gave me a small purple one to give away (more on tha tin a minute)

Bart is the one who got to open the wet bag package...I like to open the packages, because it is like Christmas, but alas, I was in Louisiana and not able to. He tells me, "It's some sort of purple bag thingie." I told him to bring it to LA with him so we could use it on our trip. He told me I had brought enough bags but after some convincing about how we could throw our swim suits in it, he threw it in his suitcase.
We went to Florida as soon as Bart got to LA. While there, Brennan got sick with what the pharmacist at WalGreen's called "Travelers Diarhea" Without going into details (b/c the name says enough), he created some dirty undies before we decided to just get the poor boy a pack of pull ups until he felt better. What to do with the dirty undies?
When on vacation you can't just throw them will run out unless you packed way too many (which for once, i did not). So...I pulled out the wet bag and threw them in, zipped it up and put it away. Once we returned to my sister's house, I just threw the bag, unzipped, into the washer and gave them a hot wash. They were good to go and I didn't have to tear open a stinky grocery sack, spend a lot of money on new undies, or embarrass Brennan even more.

Now that we are back home, I have used it for my cloth diapers and it has worked great. I fit about six in and when it is full, I just shake the bag into the wash and they all come out. No touching of dirty diapers required.

So, I have a small wet bag waiting for one lucky reader to win.
To enter you MUST go to weeonesbyjajoc and tell me one item you'd like to order/try. She's even got training pants for potty training!

Extra entries:

Follow my blog.
Grab my butt-on.
Tell me one thing you could do with a wet bag other then put a diaper in it.

Contest ends August 24th...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Adventures in Cloth Diapering, part 3

We've had #2 two times now.
I am searching to figure out the best way to get the poo off the diaper.
I just "shook it out" (it really does kind of peel off) the first time and it worked okay, though some poo was still on it and made me want to vomit when I put it in the washer.
The second time I shook it out and then left it in the toilet for a minute, shook some more, and it was fine with very little residue and I did not almost throw up breakfast when I put it in the washer.
What I think I want is one of the spray toilet things, BUT with the children around, I don't see this as the best option.
I am going to make a trip to Babies-R-Us and see if they have any of the flushable diaper liners and give them a try.
I'll let you know how it turns out.

In other cloth diapering at the Remington's house...Bart is still refusing to try to use a cloth diaper, even though two of them (BumGenius and GroBaby) have velcro closures, just like a disposable diaper! He is the one who got stuck changing (but not discarding) the #2 poop...on his birthday...while I fried chicken and was very tied up and unable to help. He obviously didn't put another cloth diaper on Ethan, but he did have to unsnap it...I think he is just against change and will adjust...right?

Oh, and there are a zillion sites out there about cloth diapers. Here's the link to the blog I read today. I think I will go back to it another day.

First Grade, Day One

An excitement has been in the air. The feeling that something is about to change...something good.

And does.School starts.
Brennan is no longer the baby of the school, but a big ole first grader.
He did not need a change of clothes or nap mat this year. Nope. This year his supply list called for big kid stuff, like pencil boxes! (He had a really small list this year because OPS actually provides most of the supplies each year so a pencil box is the coolest, big boy item he needed.)Brennan went to sleep last night with no troubles, because the "Back to School" Fairy promised to drop a small treat (LEGO set) into his backpack if he was able to get to sleep without getting out of bed five point two million times. (Too bad Jackson didn't do the same...I heard the fairy had a really cool music set for him!) He got up without arguing, quick to dress and brush his teeth.
He was ready.
Am I?

Brennan with some of last year's kindergarten class. They were so happy to see each other!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bart Turns 32!

Bart...Happy Birthday. We love you and are so glad you are the best dad/friend/dishwasher unloader/financial provider/fried chicken lover/beach bum/funny pants/priesthood leader/good example/eternal companion/laundry toter/spider killer/best kisser/diaper changer/snowball maker EVER.

This is my 11th birthday to share with you...I hope it is a great one, even if I have no clue what the heck kind of cake you keep talking about with oranges and pineapples and whipped cream. Your Aunt Jane's hot milk cake will have to do...though that cake makes me very sad because there is NO WAY to decorate it :( That's okay...I think I got even by sending out that email asking everybody and their mama to send you a birthday's working so far.
Jessica...your wifey of almost ten years, yet we did not take one picture together while we were in Louisiana. That is okay because this winter when it is our ten year anniversary we will have LOTS taken by a professional :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Meet My Family

When does your immediate family become your extended family? I spent three weeks with my family and it was wonderful to have all four kids and my parents at home in one house, even if it was a tiny bit cramped from time to time.

This visit home, my brother, Jason (28), was also able to come home. He has been gone basically since he graduated in 1999, so spending time with him was great. Not sure how much he liked having the noise, confusion, and clutter of children around him, but oh, well...I enjoyed it.Then there is Justin. He's like 26 (I think, right?) and almost done with college...he is home this summer and became Brennan's BFF while Brennan was visiting before we got there. He taught Brennan how to play World of War Craft, though Brennan apparently kept getting killed when he was a level 4 or something. Justin was the "cool" uncle...the one where all the kids were found in his room b/c he let them watch his anime or even better...he let them watch him playing World of War Craft...I mean, what could be better then that :)Jeni (24). She is my sister, a best friend, and a play mate for the kids. She was able to come to my parents twice while we were there, and then we stayed at her house while we were in the Baton Rouge area. She is very dependable and a lot of fun. She has two cute little girls who I loved torturing getting to know better. Her oldest daughter, Brooklyn, got a really mad/pouty/pissed off look on her face every time I got near her, talked to her, etc. I'll forgive her because she's only two, but it was funny to watch.Then there is my parents...I just don't have the time to define and reflect on my relationship with them. They are both fantastic people. They are so kind and generous and goodness...they have built their entire house THEMSELVES (other then the back deck that the hot "work release" prisoners built for them a few summers back...). My mom bakes cakes, my dad teaches school (he just retired from the military)...together they are quite a pair, full of love, humor, and kindness.I don't know when you switch from being immediate family to extended.

Maybe when you move away to college? Get married? Have children?

Whenever it is, immediate or extended, I am grateful to have these five people in my life.

(And, FYI, if they are still my immediate family, then leave a sweet note informing me but don't make me feel stupid...I am NOT in the mood)

Pedipeds New Fall Line up

As you may or may not know, I am a sucker for cute shoes for my kids. Not having a girl throws a small hitch in my plans for world shoe domination, but I have discovered some cute boy brand being Pedipeds. I even got to see a sneak preview of their fall/winter collection.Pedipeds have lots of cute designs, colors, and textures and are adorable. They say they are "The next best thing to bare feet", and after having Ethan's sample arrive, I agree. I couldn't wait to slip Ethan's tiny toes fat feet into them.

Ethan liked them, too...He is learning to stand on his own (unsuccessful for now) and I think the added grip of the sole helped. He got mad when I took them off, but really, what baby needs shoes for naptime? That is going too far, if you ask me.

I like that they make shoes up to size 12...a lot of other cute shoe companies stop around size ten, thus leaving big footed monsters, like my children, to perish in clod hoppers. If any grandparents are reading this and want to get Jackson a pair of Zach (size 11), feel free...they make great Christmas presents, I hear :)

This winter, Pediped is introducing a "Couture Collection"...if Ethan had been an Emily, he would have at least the Nadia if not also the Gabriella. The really neat thing about the Couture Collection is that they are limited in availability and will be replaced with other adorable shoes in the spring...meaning not every baby girl on the block will be sporting the same pair as your kid, but a year later b/c they bought them 90% off on clearance (I heart clearance, don't get me wrong, but the Nadia is so sweet and sassy, I would want them to be mine only!)

So, if you are wondering what shoes you should pick for your little munchkin this fall, head over to Pedipeds and check them out...they are pretty reasonably priced (about $30-60) and appear to be well made...though Ethan hasn't really put them through the wringer just yet. They've got 27 new styles in their Fall/Winter Collection, so if you've had Pedipeds before, there is something new for you!

Just for fun, leave a comment telling me which pair you'd just loooove to own for your little fashionista.