Friday, January 30, 2009

Baby Onsies

I have 2 friends that are pregnant and due in February, so along with a few other friends, we threw a double shower. I got an idea from Life Frosting a few days before the shower and decided we could pull off making the new mommies some cute onsies.

We had an assortment of fabric scraps and templates and let everyone use their creativity and get to work. We even had some buttons to accent. Everyone made one girl and one boy onsie. They turned out very cute. I stitched the edges which ended up being less difficult than I imagined.

Left - For the Boy, Right - For the Girl

Left - The whole gang (minus one). Right - My gift to the girls, I usually do burp cloths with ribbon, but now I might start adding cute shapes to them too.

I have even made a few more for prego sister-in-laws, my BF, and myself. Bet you can't wait to get your packages!

My suggestions if you are going to try this:
1) Use Wonder Under - iron on adhesive with paper backing to trace shapes
2) zig-zag stitch the edges to avoid the fabric fraying
3) wash and dry onsies and fabric beforehand
4) Avoid shapes with narrow sections
5) Use thicker material. Some of the thinner material was harder to stitch close to the edge, especially if it was a narrow section.

Watch a tutorial here from Martha.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Who? (A conversation with Leland)

After picking up Leland from preschool on Tuesday, I headed to a friend's house to watch the Inauguration events. Our conversation went as follows:

Ashley: Today is a very special day. There is a new President of the United States.
Leland: I know, President Obama.
Ashley: Who taught you his name?
Leland: I learned it at preschool today
Ashley: (me being grateful for a wonderful preschool teacher)
Leland: But, I told my teacher that we already have a new President.
Ashley: Oh really, who is that?
Leland: President Monson
Ashley: President Monson is the leader of our church, President Obama is the leader of our country.

Then, that evening, Chuck took Leland and Lucy out to dinner for a little daddy/daughters date. During dinner, there were lots of televisions in the place recapping the inauguration.

Leland: [turning to Chuck] That is President Obama.
Chuck: Wow, that is right. Did you learn that at school today?
Leland: Yes
Chuck: Did you watch it on tv?
Leland: Yes

A little later, they ran into Leland's preschool teacher, Miss Julie.
Chuck: Did you watch the inauguration today at school?
Miss Julie: No
Chuck: Well, Leland was talking about President Obama, so I figured...
Miss Julie: Oh, that is because we talked about President Obama today. But she corrected me and said that we already had a new president named something else. I cannot remember... starts with an M...
Chuck: [laughing] Monson?
Miss Julie: YES!
Chuck: [still laughing] President Monson is the new President and Prophet of our Church.
Miss Julie: Oh, how cute... she was very sure of herself.

Chuck then asked Miss Julie more about how Leland behaves at school. Whenever we ask, Miss Julie raves about Leland, so he pressed for more specifics on what we can work on as her parents.

Miss Julie: She is such a quick learner, I never have any problems with teaching her.
Chuck: [still pressing for more] What is she like socially?
Miss Julie: She is very kind and friendly, but "sometimes she gets a big hip-check thing going on.

Yes, Leland has learned that it is wrong to push or grab people's toys, but she figures if she hip-checks them out of the way while talking nicely, it does not count as being bad. We are working on it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coversation with Leland

Conversation with Leland during a Family Home Evening:

Chuck: Do you remember when we talked about Jesus at Christmastime? Who is Jesus' dad?

Leland: His daddy was Joseph and his mommy was Mary.

Chuck: Yes, Joseph was his adopted daddy here on earth, but his real daddy is Heavenly Father. We all lived with Heavenly Father before we were born and then we came to earth to live with our family. That means Jesus is our brother. You have other brothers and sisters that still live with Heavenly Father that will one day come and live with us.

Leland: (a look of awe on her face)

Chuck: Where do the little babies grow before they are born?

Leland: In their mommy's bellies.

Chuck: Well, your mommy has another baby in her belly!

Leland: My Brother!?!?!

Ashley: Well, it could be a brother or a sister

Leland: I already have a sister, now I need a brother.

Ashley: Well, we don't know if it is a boy or a girl. You might get more than one sister. I have 2 sisters and daddy has 5 sisters.

Leland: No, this baby is a brother. Then after he is born, another baby will come into your belly and it will be another brother, cause I need 2.

Ashley: Whoa, you're getting way ahead of yourself.

We will have to wait until July 4th to see if it is a brother or sister. Yes, we prefer to wait until our baby is born for the biggest and best surprise one can experience.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

To my Dental Friends...

To all my dental wife friends (and I have many, so I expect lots of response!) ....

Ask your dentist husbands their opinion if they think the sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) found in most toothpastes can cause canker sores.

Leland gets canker sores very often. They come and go in different places in her mouth. They are very painful for her. If one is pretty bad, she often won't finish her meal and sometimes eats in tears. It's very sad.

I have been doing research on the possible causes of her recurrent canker sores. I have not been able to find a pattern of any of the typical foods that cause canker sores, citrus fruits and gluten products. Chuck and his mother get canker sores after eating walnuts, but no other nut.

All the information I found listed SLS toothpastes and mouthwashes as a possible cause, so the first thing I am going to try to cut out is toothpaste with SLS. I have yet to look for some, that is my goal for tomorrow. SLS is the foaming agent found in toothpaste, so it might be hard to find a SLS free toothpaste that would be good for a 3 year old.

If anyone has any other ideas for possible causes, let me know. Her doctor has just suggested eliminating things from her diet to try to find a cause.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Good with the Bad

Kids are great, but you definitely take the good with the bad (or really just the not-so-good).

Kids will do the not-so-fun chores. Leland loves to clean the toilets, collect the trash cans from all the rooms to be emptied, and fold clothes. Believe me we will take advantage of it for as LONG as possible. Something tells me that at 13, she will not get really excited about getting to clean the toilets.Kids also like to create messes. Lucy started yelling "Oh No!" from her bedroom. When I came to see what was wrong, I found all the tissues from a new box piled on the floor. She had this look on her face like "I don't know how this happened?" She did help stuff them all back into the box.Now I know that in comparison to things that I have heard from friends and sisters, tissue on the floor is small beans to what a lot of kids do to your homes. But I'm sure you are like me and you are willing to take the bad with the good, because we love our kids so much.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Cumberworth's Come to Visit

Our longtime friends Adam and Shana Cumberworth came to visit us in Lexington this past week. It was so fun to share our small town life with them after visiting them in Chicago in October.

On Wednesday afternoon, we went to walk around the historic parts of W&L and VMI campuses. Unfortunately, the Cumberworth's brought Chicago weather (a very windy cold front) and Lee Chapel was closed because it was New Year's Eve. We still had a good time though. One cool thing was that a huge tree right next to Lee Chapel had fallen in the morning's heavy winds and we got to see the damage. Luckily, it didn't hurt the historic chapel, but it did tear up the iron railing of an outdoor walkway and staircase.

We took them on a short tour of W&L including R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church, the Lee House (for the university president), the Lee-Jackson House, the Colonnade (including the echo), and Lee Chapel (at least the outside). After that, we stopped by VMI but by then it had become extremely windy and cold, so we only quickly ran around the back of the barracks to see the Civil War cannonballs still lodged from the Union attack. Then we showed them Southern Virginia University and took them on our favorite scenic drive circle through Rockbridge County with stops over the James River and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

On Thursday, we went to Natural Bridge for our first time. It was absolutely beautiful and we can thank the previous day's cold front. The wind was completely gone, but the low temperatures had frozen parts of the creek, creating an idyllic setting. What's more, because it was still quite cold, we had the place nearly all to ourselves.

Natural Bridge is a geological formation in which Cedar Creek has carved out a gorge in the mountainous limestone terrain, forming an arch 215 ft high with a span of 90 ft. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A young George Washington surveyed the area and he carved his initials about 20 feet up the wall of the bridge. Thomas Jefferson once owned the Natural Bridge and built a two-room log cabin for use as a retreat.

The Natural Bridge is at the beginning of the Cedar Creek Nature Trail, a mile walk with with various interesting stops along the way that ends at Lace Falls where Cedar Creek sprays 50 feet down over the rocks. It was Lucy's first real encounter with really cold temperatures and she was quite a trouper for the first hour, but just when we hit the end of the trail, she had reached her limit. Ashley and I think her hands were hurting from being too cold (as her gloves were not very thick). She cried most of the way back, but we still had lots of fun.

After Natural Bridge, we stopped by Foamhenge (or try this better website), a full-size replica of Stonehenge made entirely out of styrofoam. Now it sounds really tacky, and it is, but it is also really cool. We got there a little before dusk and the lighting was great for pictures.

It was fun to have them here to visit for a few days. It is great to see that even though our lives have taken us down different paths and separated us by distances, we still get to see each other often.

Monday, January 5, 2009

"I'm a Rock Star!"

Here is Leland enjoying Nick's drum set. She is hilarious!

We decided to return our video camera because, as you will see, the quality was not as good as the videos taken with our Casio camera.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

When cousins come to play

I have to admit that the great thing about deciding to stay at home for the Christmas break is that people came to visit us at our house. It has been a great week of visitors.

Monday started off with both my sisters with their families, my mom, and my aunt all coming to our house for a gift exchange. The cousins enjoyed playing with each other and opening presents. Suzanne and mom came back on Tuesday for a while before heading back to NC.

The highlight was the mini drum set that Nana gave to Nick. They loved taking turns as rock stars and dancers. Leah also enjoyed giving the little girls new hair-dos. Everyone loved taking turns holding baby Sarah. Lucy and Emily love to play with each other, it's so cute to watch them.

We had such a great day. Thanks for coming to visit us.