Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dream Come True

A couple years ago I went to LA to visit one of my dearest friends, Sara. While I was there Sara introduced me to fro yo. That's what they call frozen yogurt in SoCal. And that's what they call Southern California in Southern California. Anyway, I fell in love with fro yo. Like, for realz. We ate it at least once a day while I was out there. A. Mazing. I love the serve-yourself-get-exactly-what-you-want-and-feel-healthy-about-it vibe. When I got home, I told Justin that we need to open a fro yo shop. I gave him this great business-y sell about how there's nothing like it out here, people trying to eat healthier, etc., etc. He knew that I really only wanted to open one so I could have fro yo whenever I wanted. Which is pretty much all the time.

Fast forward to about a week ago. Justin came home from work and told me about a new fro yo place he'd heard about that's about 20 minutes from our house! (That may sound like quite the drive, but EVERYTHING is 20 minutes from our house - Target, the mall, the good grocery store, our church...) It took all of my self-control not to run to the car and go get me some fro yo. Oh man. That was a lot of self-control.

On Tuesday, Justin had the afternoon off and asked what I wanted to do. "Iwannagetfroyo!" was out of my mouth before he even finished his sentence. We ended up stopping at Goodwill (it was a bust) and then heading down to Freeziac. It was amazing. For those of you not familiar with fro yo, here's a play-by-play for you:

Step 1: Grab a cup
Step 2: Fill it up with whatever flavor(s) of fro yo your little heart desires.

Step 3: Load on the toppings. A note to novice fro yo-ers: Go with the lightest toppings (think shredded coconut, marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs) instead of the heavy ones (think candy bar pieces, nuts, pineapple). Since you pay by the ounce, this is the best way to get the most for your money.

Step 4: Take your creation to the cashier, set 'er on the scale and pay up. (My quite-full cup cost less than 5 bucks.)
Step 5: ENJOY!

Just looking at that picture makes me want to go there right now. Too bad the baby's sleeping. I can't leave while he's sleeping, right? Even if he's in his crib and has no way of getting out? Not that I'd ever think of doing that....

As we were walking to the car after our fro yo extravaganza, I stopped, looked at Justin and said, "I really, really love fro yo." He said, "I thought you were going to say you really, really love me." I said, "I do!" He said, "I don't think I've ever heard you say it with as much meaning and passion as you just had for fro yo." :) Ah, the power of fro yo.


We have some pretty intense bushes/shrubs/hedges in the front of our house. We call them our security shrubs - they have these nasty thorns on them that (I like to think) will keep intruders from trying to break in our windows. WAY cheaper than a security system. And probably just as effective....right? Anyway, they've been growing like cra-cra this summer. The hubs had a day off (finally!) last weekend and decided to tackle the shrubs.

Here he is in all of his shrub-trimming glory.

See? Out of control, right? Yeesh!

Half-way done. My husband is on the fairer-skinned side, but he's not nearly as pale as this picture implies. He just fully in the sun while the shrub was fully in the shade.


We have the same shrub on the other side of the front door in front of the living room windows. That clever husband of mine made a little cut out in the shrub so we can open the windows more than two inches. He's a thinker. That's why I love him.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Ah, the good ol' to-do list. I've had a home improvment to-do list running around in my head for the past couple weeks. And no, it (unfortunatley) does not include watching some Home Improvement and swooning over Jonathon Taylor Thomas and Zachary Ty Bryan. Side note - why do they both go by their full name? Weird. And what was the third brother's name in real life? Anyone? Bueller? Poor youngest kid, always forgotten. Remember when he went through his goth stage? (On the show, not real life. Although I often confuse the two...) I digress.

So, the to-do list. I decided that I should put my to-do list on here for a few reasons. One, I'll make sure I don't forget anything, as is oft the case with my mental list. Two, maybe it'll keep me accountable and I'll actually do the things on the list. Three, I really like crossing things off of lists. Like, a lot. I'm one of those people who will write things I've already done on a list just so I can cross them off. And don't even think about crossing off something that I did. My husband did that once. He almost lost a hand.

Here's the list

  • make new curtains for the living room and hang the rod higher - maybe something a la Young House Love

  • make curtains (with black-out fabric on the back) for Drew's room

  • make ottoman(s?) for the living room

  • make and hang shelves for the awkwardly long wall in the living room

  • figure out what to do for a head board in our bedroom

  • make curtains for our room

  • hang art in Drew's room

So there you have it. Let's see how quickly I can get them all crossed off.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Helmet, Baby

I am officially the mom of a "helmet baby". On Tuesday, Drew got his helmet to correct his plagiocephaly. I wasn't too concerned about how he'd react to it. He's been great when it comes to things like life jackets, so I hoped this would be similar. He's doing awesome with the helmet - I'm not sure he even realizes he's wearing it. :)

The wear and care instructions are a little intimidating. He gradually increases his wearing time over the first five days, working up to wearing it 22 hours a day. He can also have it off to do his physical therapy exercises, if it's super hot out, if he's swimming, if we're on a long car ride, etc. Every morning, we will put it in front of a fan for 15 minutes, put the blowdryer on it for a couple minutes, back to the fan, back to the blowdryer, back to the fan. This is to help it dry after being on his sweaty head all night. Every night we wipe it down with 91% rubbing alcohol, let it dry, scrub it with a sudsy washcloth, let it dry. If we don't do this, it will start to smell funky. Even if we do all of this, it still might smell funky. Fingers crossed this is not the case.

Yesterday we had our first public outing with the helmet on and it went really well. No one made any bizarre comments. Granted, we were having lunch with my dad at his office so the people who stopped to talk with us were his co-workers and probably knew better than to say something ridiculous. I'm trying to come up with something clever to say to the people who say weird/inappropriate things to us about it... Any suggestions?

All in all, this helmet business isn't really all that bad. (At least on day 2. Ask me again on day 60. We'll see...). But in all seriousness, if this is the worst thing we have to deal with with him, I feel blessed. Things could be much, much worse. Perspective. (Seems to be a common theme these days.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Do-Rag Baby

Drew's getting a helmet. Not because he's accident prone, but because he has plagiocephaly (a flat spot on his head) and torticollis (tightening of the neck muscles on one side). He's been in physical therapy for almost three months now, going every other week. Our fantastic physical therapist Katie does all sorts of different stretches with him and teaches me what to do at home.

The pediatric physical therapy office also houses speech and occupational therapy. As not wonderful as going through all of this is, I look around at all of the other precious children in the waiting room at the clinic and feel extremely lucky. Things could be much worse. A helmet seems pretty minor. Ah, perspective.

The possibility of Drew needing a helmet has always been there, but at our last PT appointment Katie told to make an appointment with the orthotist (person who does all of the helmets, leg braces, etc, etc) for a consult. So we did.

The process of taking the measurements for the helmet was actually pretty cool. Drew had to put on this fantastic do-rag kind of thing, be in just his diaper and lay still in the scanner for a second and a half. This is a picture of what the scanner was like. The do-rag was my favorite part.

About ten minutes after the scan, the orthotist came back with all of the print outs with measurements and images of Drew's head. It was pretty neat. You could definitely tell he has a flat spot! We also learned that he has some pretty significant "ear shift" (yes, that's the technical term), meaning his ears are not in symmetrical spots. There's a shift of 11.2 mm. The orthotist said that it's not very likely that we'll get improvement of more that 50-60%. Bummer.

We go back on Tuesday to pick up the helmet and learn all about it. I even have to watch a video. So fun. I'll be sure to post some pics of the boy in his brand-spankin' new blue helmet and keep you updated on our adventures in helmet land!

Chillin' in his do-rag in his Exersaucer at home

The picture of the scanner is from here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Can I just tell you how much I appreciate the generously-sized handicapped bathrooms at Target? (I know I'm not handicapped, but sometimes having a baby with you at all times seems like a handicap.)
We live about 20 minutes away from the nearest Target. (Gasp!) How can we live that far away from the life source that is Target? Well, it's not easy and it's taken some getting used to. The bank account seems to like it though....

Anyway, before heading out to Target, I load up the babe and ALL of his supplies, grab a Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper and hit the road. While the soda makes for an enjoyable drive, it also makes a potty a necessity before I can adequately experience Target. So, I park as close to a cart corral as possible, load the babe and all of his supplies into a cart and head on in. In to the bathroom, that is. That's always my first stop. Because carrying a screaming baby and pushing a cart is a lot more manageable with an empty bladder.

Every time I go into a Target bathroom, I am so thankful that the handicap stalls are so large. I can easily fit the cart in there with plenty of room to spare - no shimmying past it to get to the potty or knocking over the diaper bag and spilling the contents onto the nasty public bathroom floor. Can I get an amen? Target, I love you.

Bean Bags

This past weekend we had a birthday party for a fantastic one-year-old boy. What in the stars do you get someone for their first birthday? I knew a lot of people were coming to the party so I figured he'd get a ton of the typical boy birthday presents (trucks, duplos, cars, anything with wheels, etc.), so I wanted to get him something different. And since I'm in this homemade kick, I wanted it to be homemade. Now too bad this boy wasn't a girl. I could have had a hay day making adorable little dresses! But lucky for this guy, I didn't go that route. Instead, I decided to make him some bean bags.

I had this adorable flannel in my fabric dresser that I've been dying to use for something fun and this seemed like a good fit for it. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the process of making them because it really isn't that hard.

I cut out 12 5x5 squares from my fabric then sewed sets of two together with right sides touching. I left a hole on one of the sides to put the filler in.

After I had them all sewn (or is it sewed?) and flipped right-side-out, I filled 'em up. I thought about using beans or rice (cheap!) but thought that they might start to grow something nasty if/when they got wet with one-year-old drool. So I went to Michael's and got Poly Pellets. They're in the doll/stuffed animal making section. They were kind of spendy ($9 for 32 oz) but wouldn't have been too bad if I'd had a 40% off coupon. And I think I can probably get 15-20 bean bags out of the pellets. Super bonus - they are machine washable!

I used a scant 2/3 cup to fill each one. Then I sewed them shut with double seams, just to be safe.

Then I threw some ribbon around them and called it good!

Guess what every other small child in my life is getting for their next birthday? :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oh. Yum.

My sweet tooth was screamin' this afternoon. And I mean SCREAMIN'. It was out of control. Who controls sweet teeth? I need to have a word with them. (Self-control? Never heard of it.) Anyway, I was scanvenging in the kitchen (I'm in a competition with myself to see how long I can go without grocery shopping. Currently at a little over three weeks. Hence the scavenging.) Anyway, I was scavenging and coming up empty. No ice cream. No popsicles. Not even any chocolate chips (that's pretty much a sin in my household).

I started to get anxious. My heart was racing. I was short of breath. My palms were sweaty. OK, not really, but it was a pretty serious moment.

And that's when it happened. I spotted a package of pre-made cookie dough in the back of the freezer that someone had brought over when Drew was born. (Cue choir of angels singing "Hallelujah".)

But I knew I needed to do more than just through those bad boys on a cookie sheet and toss them in the oven. This sweet tooth meant business. So I grabbed my handy-dandy kitchen scissors (quite possibly my favorite kitchen tool - I have three of them) and got to work. I cut each cookie into fourths.
Then I put them on a cookie sheet and baked them.

After they'd cooled a little, I got out the peanut butter and put a schmear on the bottom of a cookie...

and then topped it with another cookie. Voila! A peanut butter chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

Delish. And so easy, thanks to the pre-made cookie dough. The hardest part was making sure they didn't fall through the holes on the cooling rack. That, and not eating them all as I was assembling them. Oh. Yum.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shag pillow? Yes please.

I saw this on pinterest the other day and had to try it. It's official. I'm. in. love.
The tutorial I used called for jersey material from the fabric store. But since the hubs has kind of put the kibosh on spending money on crafty projects (especially since I'm really good at almost finishing them) and I'm kind of on a reuse-old-t-shirts streak, I used some old t-shirts instead. It took me three t-shirts to get enough strips. And I had to get a little creative with my cutting....
To make this pillow, you'll need about 285 1.5"x4" rectangles. You'll also need two 11"x15" pieces of fabric that coordinate to your shag fabric. I used some gray flannel that I had on hand.

On one of the 11"x15" pieces, draw lines every 3/4". You should get 19 lines. If, scratch that, when I make this pillow again, I'll draw a line about 3/4" - 1" from the top and bottom so I know where to start my sewing.

Then comes the fun part! Sewing! This pillow is VERY forgiving, so dive right in. You'll use 14-15 rectangles for each line. Just grab a rectangle, scrunch it up in the middle and sew it on. Easy peesy. Just be careful not to get your shag caught in your next line, as illustrated below. I only did that so you'd know what not to do.....and I'm having a love affair with my seam ripper.

Continue sewing on the rectangles until all of your lines are filled.

Then put the shagged (haha) piece shag-side down on top of the right side of the plain piece of fabric and sew the edges, leaving a hole to stuff it. (How many innuendos are in that sentence?) This took a little bit of time and patience and checking to make sure the shag wasn't getting in the seam.

Then turn it right-side out, stuff with fiber fill and hand sew the hole closed. (I think I might use a pillow form next time for a smoother looking finished product.) Voila! You have successfully made a fantastic shag pillow!

I'm kind of sickly obsessed with this pillow. I'm trying to decide how many shag pillows a girl can have before people start to question her sanity....