Sunday, February 27, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Julia can't decide. 

She says "sister " better than "brother", but her vibrant personality would probably be better tempered with a little brother.  We're completely on the fence about who this baby will be and are beyond excited to find out tomorrow.  When I was pregnant with Julia, I was convinced that I was having a girl, so when the ultrasound technician confirmed it, I secretly felt like I already knew.  This time around, I'm not so sure.  We will keep you posted...
And speaking of her vibrant personality - the fact that she is wearing 2 different shoes is not a creative way of reflecting our gender debate.  Since she has really taken a keen interest in taking her shoes off at all times, she lost her precious blue shoe at the hair salon.  After a 24 hour period, we finally figured it out, but in the meantime, she was pretty excited about wearing 2 different shoes.  Yes, she will be one of those kids in preschool!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sweet dress

I am a creature of habit.  When I was in college, I wore the same sweatpants and vest as often as I could because I loved the way they fit.  Confession: I even slept in my vest and could only study when I had it on.  I was like this even when I was little.  I only wore certain things that fit a certain way.  I could only wear socks if the lining at the toes was perfectly straight.  
I now see some of these traits in Julia, which makes me laugh.  While I am laughing, my mother is basking in the sheer joy of all of those "just wait until you have kids" comments.  Julia is getting specific about what she wants.  She will only eat a chip if it is dipped in something (guacamole is her favorite).  She refuses to eat her Mickey Mouse pancake if I cut it before she sees it all buttered up.  She must take off her shoes and socks as soon as I strap her in her carseat, which drives me nuts!  She has to have a certain blanket and listen to music at night before bed.  She has to have lotion on her hands when she walks into our bedroom (this started recently when she would see me apply coco butter each morning before work).  Just this week she has a new one: when she wakes up in the morning, she likes to have a sticker on her hand before she can function.   It's like her coffee.
I may not be this specific now, but  I do know what I like.  When I ordered Julia a little pinafore dress about a year ago, she wore it everytime it was clean because it was so easy to put on and she looked adorable in it.  She wore it all summer and into the fall and winter.  When the buttons were bursting at the seams, I knew that she was too big for it, but I couldn't part with it.  As I took a closer look at it, I realized that it would be an easy project.  I scored some adorable bumble bee fabric at Joann Fabric that were on double clearance.  I was able to get a yard of these 2 fabrics for about $4 total.  You can't see the underlayer very well, but it is pink with bees, the front is little hives with bees throughout. 
Adorable!  Her new staple outfit!

I plan on taking pictures of the next one that I make to give a step by step guide.  I almost hate to admit how easy this is, but it is a good one to share.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

happy Valentine's Day

 We made it through a week without any major snow accumulations, but there is still very little that we can do outside.  I did a little research to figure out a Valentine's Day project that was age appropriate for Julia.  After an exhausting search, we came back to the basics: finger painting and pretzels.  I had Julia paint on a large strip of paper with red paint.  We let it dry and then I cut it into hearts. 
We then made little love notes for family and friends, but it needed a little something more...
I wanted to make something that Julia could help with, which led me to the ease (and deliciousness) of chocolate covered pretzels.  We made what seemed like dozens, but as soon as Julia got a hold of one, she was hooked.  And so was I.

 We ended up with a few treat bags for her babysitter and a some others, but it definately took on a much smller scale.  Instead of sending a ton of love notes, I sewed a continuous strand of the painted hearts to make an adorable garland that is now hanging on our window.  That's about as festive as I get.
This left me with plenty of time to work on my gift to Julia.
I didn't really anticipate making this for Julia as a Valentine's Day gift, but when I think of her latest loves, I immediately think of her love for her "banket".  She must go everywhere with a small fleece blanket that my sister bought for her.  I have wanted to make her a blanket to practice some of the techniques needed for a blanket and bumper pad for the nursery.  This was the perfect easy project.  I did have to pull out a few stitches here and there as I figured it out on my own, but Julia was pretty happy with it. 
Yes, pretty much everything I make is personalized somehow.  She won't have to share this one with her new sibling :)
 Happy Valentine's Day from Julia Claire Gray!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowed in until further notice...

I am embarrassed to say that we have been so homebound that I haven't even ventured outside to take pictures of this monsterous snow that hasn't let up for the past month.  Poor Julia would be swallowed up by the drifts, so we watch it from the window (it literally reaches up to our front windows) and dream about the fun things we can do when we finally get outside.  We're all experiencing a little cabin fever, though Julia has consumed much of her time searching for bugs.  She found one the other day and is now convinced that every speck on the floor must be a bug.  She is obsessed in a cute and concerned kind of way. 
 And when this weather coincides with a new onset of second trimester pregnancy cravings, it is the perfect mix for some time in the kitchen.  My mom visited for the weekend and we cooked some lovely feasts.  On the menu?  Rich Mushroom soup, Vanilla Bean Bourbon cake from Bon Apetit magazine, and my new and improved favorite recipe: Baked Egg Rolls from Cooking Light.  I have made these before, but this time I tweaked things a bit to make the recipe easier.  First of all, I didn't have celery, so I just added more cabbage.  Also, I bought the veggies preshredded, which greatly cuts down on time.  And finally, I brushed each egg roll lightly with olive oil so that they weren't so healthy feeling. It was a craving, I had to indulge a little bit :)  Oh, and in the ethnic food section of your grocery store you can find some spicy mustard, which is a great dipping sauce along with the one provided in the recipe above (again, this may just be my own pregnancy related preference). 

Note to future egg roll bakers:  If you make these, take a picture of them once they are neatly wrapped, you will surely feel like Martha Stewart!
So with 20+ inches coming along tonight added onto the 2+ feet that we already have, spring feels a long way off!  More of our homebound adventures to come!