Married to the Empire

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Blog

Blogger says I've reached my limit of free posting.  That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for this blog.  I'd wrestled for a while with what to do with it, as the title is no longer relevant to my life.  After much deliberation, I've decided to simply start a new blog.  Fresh start.  Feel free to come read over at The Oklahoma Texan.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hospitality and the New House

Before we moved, we had a wish list of things we wanted in a new house.  Number one, of course, was no foundation problems!  But a few other things were a laundry room (rather than a closet, like I had in Texas), a dining room big enough to hold our oversized table, and a large enough home to be able to host groups.  I'd always been a bit troubled that we rarely had people over, including our youth group, in part because seating people at our table meant rearranging the dining room and the living room.  It was such a major hassle.

We actually prayed for these things, and God gave us what we asked for.  Now it's my turn to follow through.

Our table fits beautifully in our dining room.  It can seat up to 10 people, and wouldn't you know, our small group at our new church has 10 people in it.  We hosted the group last night, and the only furniture I had to move was chairs.  Even better is that we have so much space in this new house that we can set up several card tables, as well, if needed.  God has blessed us abundantly, and I'm thrilled to be able to actually open my home without it causing too much stress or physical labor.

We've let the youth minister know that our home is available if it's ever needed for Disciple Now or whatever.  He mentioned a progressive dinner at Christmas, so I'll be sure to remind him that we're willing to host that if he needs homes.  It's exciting to finally have a home we enjoy opening to others.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

First Birthday Party

Because we're in a new place and don't know very many people, I was determined to make Alex's first birthday something special.  I planned a little party, and we only invited my parents, who had planned to come in from Texas, and the neighbors behind us, as we get together occasionally with the kids. 

Unfortunately, only the neighbors were able to come, as my daddy wound up having unexpected heart surgery the week before Alex's birthday.  (He's recovering just fine, thankfully.)

This may be the only birthday I make a bunch of handmade stuff (of course, I say that, but who knows?), but again, I felt like I really needed to make this special.  And yes, I fully acknowledge that this was for me mostly, as Alex won't remember a thing.  However, he'll be able to look back at pictures someday and know that his mama cared enough to make sure his first birthday was a Big Deal. 

Alex adores our cats.  (The feeling isn't mutual.)  Since that's what he's most into, I decided to throw him a kitty party with a black-and-white color scheme in honor of Ninja's and Doogie's fur colors. 

I used my DeNami Designs cat stamps make the invitations and cupcake toppers.  The jars of black-and-white candy with pumpkins made into cats were inspired by the cover of an All You magazine that I saw.  I made a special little cat shirt for the Birthday Boy to wear at his party. 

The Birthday Boy upon waking up

Doogie cupcakes

Ninja cupcakes

It may have been a small party, but it was a good one.  Happy First Birthday, my sweet boy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Year in Review

Today was Alex's birthday.  It's been a wonderful year with our surprise baby boy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lately... (with a whole lot of rambling)

I feel as if I should have a label at the top of the page that reads, "This blog is nearly abandoned."  Like a warning label or something.  I blame Facebook.  It's so much easier to post a pile of pictures there or use the camera on my iPod to quickly throw up a picture with a funny little one-liner, like the one I did of Ninja recently sitting in the high chair, complaining that the baby gets food when he sits there, while Ninja only gets his picture taken.  Yeah...

Part of it is simply the act of Motherhood.  I'm old and tired and have a very young and active small person to keep alive.  I can't even blame the move anymore.  The house is mostly put together, although there are still pictures hanging out in my hallway upstairs, rather than hanging on walls.  And the baby is almost ready to be moved into a proper nursery.  Truthfully, the baby is ready; it's the room that we're waiting on.  Steven finally has it properly textured and painted, and he even replaced all the outlets and switches.  Fresh and clean.  We're just in the process of putting up some of the things on the walls.  I expect poor Alex will finally get moved in over the weekend.  I say poor Alex because the last time he had a proper nursery, he was 6 months old.  He'll be a year old in 2 weeks.

Wow.  We've lived here 5 months now.  We finally got around to trading in our Texas driver's licenses for Oklahoma ones this week.  While this really needed to be done for a lot of reasons, I'd been dragging my heels as long as possible.  But with a presidential election coming up, and my preference for one buffoon politician over another, I had to finally move on this in order to be able to vote.  But it was a sad day, especially as I didn't even get to keep my Texas license.  And it actually had my one and only good picture ever placed on a driver's license!  (I still cringe when I think of the horrible profile picture on my license when I was 16.  It was taken right before a drill team practice in the Texas summer heat, so I wasn't looking pretty.  I got my license, drove all by myself to practice, then locked my keys in my car.  My mom was not happy when she came and bailed me out of that pickle.) 

Alex is teething again.  Fun times.  (Can you sense my sarcasm?)  One tooth finally busted through, so I'm expecting 3 others to follow soon.  I hope.  Please, God, please.  I have probably the most good-natured baby on the planet, but teething makes him something like the Hulk.  "Don't make me get teeth.  You won't like me when I'm teething."  And with that, I just revealed my age, as I grew up watching Bill Bixby play the Hulk on TV.  This just points back at my previous statement of being old and tired.  (Seriously, God has a strange sense of humor to give a woman who can't get pregnant a baby when she's nearly 40.  No wonder Sarah laughed when God said she'd have a baby!  I have to wonder how tired she was as she ran around after little Isaac!)

Ninja is calming down.  A lot.  All the songs I've made up about him are no longer true, as they're about how naughty he is and how he steals food.  Ever since we started supplementing the renal diet he eats along with Doogie, who is the reason they eat that way, with what we call "treat food" (it's Wellness wet food), he stopped trolling for food.  More or less.  He's still hopeful, but he doesn't lie in wait anymore for the moment you get up and leave your plate (stupidly) unattended.  Now he hangs out under the high chair and hopes for something good.  Alex likes to help him out.  He's discovered that if he drops Cheerios, Ninja sometimes smacks them around the room.  It's great entertainment for the two of them, but it means finding food in strange places for me. 

Doogie is just Doogie.  Sweet, quiet, sleeps a lot these days.  I made a deal with him.  He's okay with the baby living here, but he wants said baby to leave him alone.  So, I promised that I would never make him be touched by Alex.  We use Ninja for all cat-petting practice.  I figure Doogie is old, sick, and he's been through hell and back in the past year-and-a-half with all the change we've brought into his life.  He's earned the privilege of being left alone. 

Speaking of the cats and the baby, we're having a kitty-themed birthday party for Alex.  Everything will be black and white, in honor of Ninja and Doogie.  Alex so adores his cats.  Just wish the feeling was mutual. 

And with that, I'll leave you with a random photo of my child enjoying bubbles (right before I mopped the floors, because there's no other way I'd ever blow soapy bubbles in my house):

Friday, August 17, 2012

Scouting Out the Thrift Stores

I started thrift shopping as an occasional hobby years ago.  I had my favorite stores in Texas.  I've had to look for new places here in Oklahoma.  I've visited the Goodwill in town on the recommendation of my neighbor from housing at The Voice of the Martyrs.  She said they have a great clothing selection.  She wasn't wrong.  However, in all honesty, I don't have the patience to look for clothing.  The Goodwill here seems to be mostly clothing, and maybe if I had time to myself (meaning, without a baby in tow), I'd enjoy looking for some gems for myself.  But with an active baby who doesn't like sitting still in an unmoving stroller while his mama stands and stares at clothing racks, it's a no-go for now. 

There's a store here that's open only on Tuesdays, so I checked it out a couple of months ago.  The room I started in didn't look promising, as it was mostly broken furniture and old junk that I couldn't see anyone having a use for.  It's going to take a lot of imagination for someone to come up with a reason to take a lot of that stuff home.  But I kept going and found a room with housewares, fabric, greeting cards, collectibles, and various other bits and bobs.  I found myself repeatedly going back to look at a pair of sconces.  Finally, I figured that $7 was a small price to pay for something new for my dining room walls, and if I wound up not liking them when I got home, no big loss. 

Turns out, I love them, and so does my husband.

Also, in that store, I found these notecards:

There's a reason I bought notecards from Norway.  Years ago, I lived in Stavanger, Norway.  In fact, the only reason I'd even heard of Bartlesville, OK was because I'd gone to school in Norway with a bunch of kids who were from Bartlesville.  (It's a big oil town, and oil is the reason we were all in Norway.)  At 25 cents for 4 notecards, I considered it a steal. 

I found another store because it had a coupon in one of those around-the-town-type magazines that show up in the mail. When I went in for a look-see, I found the cutest little rocker for $25.  I didn't buy it then, but I took a few days to think about it.  When I was still really wanting it, I went back for it.  Seeing as my coupon was for $5-off $25 or more, I got the chair for $20. 

It definitely needs some TLC.  If Howards's Restore-a-Finish doesn't do the trick, I'll paint the wood.  I have fabric to recover the seat.  Initially, I bought the chair for Alex's room, but once I got it home, I realized it would make a perfect little chair to put by a bookcase for a reading area.  It's fun to have a living room now that's big enough to need a bit more furniture and to have various zones.  I have big plans for my home, but it'll take a few years for everything to come to fruition.  It's a work in progress. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


We have a beautiful new house in Oklahoma.  We're settling in and making our house a happy home.  And yet, in some ways we're still homeless. 

I'm talking about church. 

After being members of the same church for over a decade, it's been hard to pick up and try to find a new church home.  Nothing has been just right.  We want a mix of people passionate for God, active community service and missions emphasis, good music, solid teaching, and friendly, welcoming arms. 

If churches are living out their faith actively, that shouldn't be a tall order.  And yet, we're finding that it is. 

One church would have been perfect for us.  It pretty much fit the bill, except we couldn't come to terms with their style of worship.  The word style isn't quite right here, but I'm not sure what else to use.  We're lifelong Baptists, and this was a pentecostal church.  Long story how we ended up there, but it's really a great church.  We just couldn't get comfortable with people speaking in tongues (without an interpreter, as the bible says there should be) and practically having seizures in the front of the church, then falling over backwards.  I'm sure those folks are quite sincere in their faith, but I just don't understand it. 

Another church had a fantastic Sunday school and friendly people, but the church service was dead.  Absolutely dead.  Even their kids' VBS presentation lacked any energy.  I had the impression that the Spirit wasn't there, and this church would not be a partner to us in cultivating a love for the Lord in our son. 

Yet another church had a friendly, family feel to it.  We liked that.  The pastor obviously shepherds his congregation and has a true heart for the Lord.  But the Sunday school class that best fit our needs was just awful.  The teacher doesn't have the gift of teaching, unfortunately, and the whole class was checked out.  The music was dreadful.  I was passionately involved in the music ministry in our church in Texas, and I just couldn't see getting involved in this one.  I tried to overlook it, but I just can't. 

While I think we've found our church, we're still not certain.  Music is amazing, teaching is not just good, but intellectual (that's becoming more and more unusual these days), the nursery is great for Alex, they're actively involved in the community and missions, but... the only people who talk to us when we go there are Steven's coworkers and our neighbors.  They have no Sunday morning classes to get to know people, so we'll have to join a small group before we really get a feel for whether or not this is the place for us.  Except, small groups shut down for the summer.  *sigh*  I know that churches have trouble keeping stuff staffed when folks are on vacation, and leaders need a break once in a while, but I do wish churches would see what a bind this puts visitors in. 

I've been sick, so I stayed home with Alex on Sunday morning.  When Steven got home, I asked about church.  He said the service was good.  But when I asked if anyone talked to him, he said that only folks he spoke to first talked to him.  Ouch.  There's something very wrong with that picture. 

More and more, I'm realizing that the verses in the bible about hospitality aren't simply referring to offering food or a place to stay or otherwise opening one's home.  Church is also home, so Christians should be welcoming strangers into that house, too.  If you see visitors at your church on Sunday, please talk to them.  Make them feel welcomed.  Chances are, your church isn't the first they've visited, and they're growing weary of the search.  I know that most folks are probably not meaning to be unwelcoming; they're absorbed in their own lives and just not thinking.  I've been guilty of that myself in my own church back home.  But being on the other side has really opened my eyes.  I can't help but wonder how many folks have entered a church seeking God and have turned away simply because they weren't made to feel welcomed. 

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.  Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have show hospitality to angels without knowing it.  (Hebrews 13:1-2)

Friday, July 13, 2012

How To Create a Loyal Customer

I've mentioned before that I'm struggling here in Bartlesville to find a grocery store I really like.  One is too expensive (although I like it a lot), one is kind of yucky and has a poor selection, and one is just too far away to make a regular place. 

And then there's ALDI.

I'd read for years on various blogs that ALDI is great for saving money and has good-quality items, even if it's inexpensive and bare bones.  So when we moved here, I gave it a try.  Truthfully, if I hadn't read so much online about how great the store is, I likely wouldn't have given it a second try.  On first glance, it doesn't look very worth one's while.  But I dove in and started trying things. 

I like it.  I like it a lot, actually.  Here are a couple of reasons:

If you'll notice the little circle to the right in the first picture, you'll see that it says, "No MSG."  The second pic shows candy with all-natural food coloring, meaning no Red 40 dye.  MSG and Red 40 are both migraine triggers.  When shopping cheaper stores, one doesn't expect to find products without chemicals, and yet, ALDI has tons of products that I can eat.  That's huge for me, especially considering I'd often pay twice the price of the above pictured for all-natural licorice at Sprouts or Whole Foods. 

I don't find a huge taste difference in ALDI's products from name brand.  Their corn chips aren't a dead ringer for Fritos, but it's pretty darned close.  Their version of Cheez-its?  No difference in taste whatsoever.  And yes, my husband and I compared. 

Okay, their paper towels are lousy.  Just saying. 

But here's what really made me a loyal customer: they actually respond to complaints and do something about them.  A couple of weeks ago I went to the store, and I was frustrated that I couldn't access any carts with non-broken baby straps.  If you're not aware, ALDI chains their carts together, and you have to pay a quarter to get one out.  You get your quarter back when you return your cart.  I have no problem with that system.  I had a problem with the fact that the few carts I could see with non-broken straps were way back in the cart queue, and I would have had to have a pile of quarters out and no baby in my arms to pull out cart after cart to get to one of them. 

I held onto Alex, who wants to move constantly these days, while I shopped.  But I needed both hands to unload my cart.  I couldn't hold onto him while I did that.  While I unloaded, my kid nearly fell out of the cart twice.  Had I not been watching him closely and been quick to catch him, the result could have been tragic.  I left the store extremely angry. 

As soon as I got home, I sent an email to ALDI about the situation and just let them know that while I like the store, I couldn't continue shopping there as it was unsafe for my baby.  I expected a form letter back, at the most.  Instead, I received a phone call the very next day from someone at corporate.  She apologized for the situation with the straps and assured me that she had straps that she was sending to the Bartlesville store that week, so the next time I went in, I should be able to strap Alex in. 


And you know what?  I went back today, and sure enough, every cart had brand-new baby straps on it.  Alex was safely secured, and we were able to shop without incident. 

That is how you make a loyal customer.  Add me to the legion of bloggers who love ALDI.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feathering the Nest

Things are finally unpacked enough that I can start decorating.  We've still got to put up curtains and paint a bunch of stuff, but that's farther down the road.  (Well, the curtains can be done now, as we finally have curtains and curtain rods, but it's a matter of time and priorities.)  In the meantime, I've had a chance to get a few things on the walls and the built-in shelves in the living room.

These are hanging over the couch.  I've had them for nearly 2 years and never got them up in the old house.  New house, new decor--finally!

Self explanatory

I've never had so many flat surfaces to do stuff with.  I had to go to Hobby Lobby to buy a few tall things to fill the space. I also pulled out the Mod Podge to finish a project I'd started probably a year or more ago.  It's the D monogram in the upper left. 

It's not all done, of course.  There's still the pile of pictures sitting at the top of the stairs:

And Alex is still in his dreary temporary room (the previous owner chose the most unhappy shade of taupe for all the rooms) and sharing space with my craft-room overflow:

But blessedly, we're closer to getting him into his own room.  My parents were here last week, and my dad removed all the painted-over wallpaper and repaired the torn up spots in the walls:

Now we just need to do some sanding, some other minor repairs, then paint.  I'm looking forward to having Alex back in a sunny, happy-looking room. 

And of course, there's still my disaster of a craft room:

In my defense, it hasn't been a priority.  It's also my office space, so I've been having to sort, shred, and file three-months worth of paperwork.  My former shredder died a screeching death before we moved, and I decided to wait to buy a new one until we were in Oklahoma.  So paperwork piled for a few months, in part because I just didn't have time to deal with it.  Nightmare.  But it's slowly being taken care of, and I hope to have this space finished (minus painting) by the end of the week.  

Then there's our newest item for the living room:

The baby cage!  This thing has made my life so much easier!  I can set Alex down and get stuff done, knowing that he's safe and secure.  He enjoys it, too, as no one is pulling him off of things and telling him no.  And the cats adore it, as it means no one is speed-crawling after them!  It's a win-win for every member of this household.

Would you believe he's 9 months old already?!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I'm Starting to Like It Here

I was pretty homesick when we moved here and lived in VOM housing.  But after we moved into our own home with our own things (and our pets!), the feeling passed.  More and more, Oklahoma is becoming home.  I've made peace with the fact that I have to drive an hour to Tulsa to do any real shopping.  I'm still fighting an internal battle when it comes to grocery stores, as I have yet to find one that I love, but I'm learning to be content with the situation.  (And I've learned that just as all the frugal bloggers have been saying, ALDI is a pretty decent grocery store.) 

I'm still not unpacked completely.  We've been in the house just over a month now, but the daily-ness of life (cooking, cleaning, laundry), along with taking care of baby, means I have little time for unpacking and putting things away.  I naively thought this would be the faster part of the process of moving, but I also didn't anticipate my kid crawling the second we moved in.  Everything is harder with a baby.

Alex isn't even in his own room yet.  Well, he's by himself in a room upstairs, but technically, that's going to be the guest room.  His nursery has walls covered in painted wallpaper.  Steven tried to get it all off before we moved in, but there just wasn't time.  And after moving in, his priority has been to clear all the boxes and stuff from the garage.  We live in Tornado Alley, and we'd like to protect our cars from bad weather by being able to park in the garage. 

I've done a lot of driving around town.  Mostly it's been because I was trying to get a baby to go to sleep.  I never had to drive him to get him to sleep until we moved here.  The chaos we've been living in has made it harder on him, although we've done our best to keep to his schedule and make things normal for him.  But in driving around, I've found a lot of stuff, including parks.  Alex sat in a swing for the first time on Memorial Day. 

Last night we went to a park that's just crawling with ducks and geese.  (It was a little gross, as we had to wipe down the wheels of the stroller before putting in the car.  Bird poop.  Ick.)

And I've been enjoying the wildlife in our own backyard.

We even have fireflies here!  Best backyard EVER. 

We also have the most amazing neighbors.  Alex came down with a nasty virus last week, then 3 days later, I caught it.  I was able to get Alex in with a pediatrician who had been recommended to me, but I wasn't as lucky with a doctor for me.  The physician who was recommended wasn't taking new patients.  However, when I went next door to ask my neighbor for a recommendation, she got on the phone and personally called that doctor and got me an appointment.  Turns out, she used to work for her.  (My neighbor is a nurse.)  Amazing!  Our new neighborhood is great.  I think I'll be pretty happy here. 

And on another positive note, we haven't been to the vet in a while! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Poor Ninja Cat

I posted that we weren't having any more problems with Ninja going potty outside his litterbox.  Except, we were.  I just hadn't discovered it yet.  He got our dirty laundry again. 

Even though I was 99% certain this was a behavioral issue, I took him to the vet to be checked for a bladder infection.  Better to err on the side of caution.  The vet even agreed that it sounded behavioral.  We did put these cats through a month of hell, after all. 

Poor Ninja had to stay overnight at the vet's office, as he had nothing in his bladder when I brought him in.  It broke my heart to leave him there, as he was so scared.  But I'm so glad I did because when the vet called the next morning with test results, they were positive for UTI. 

My Ninja was sick and just letting us know he didn't feel well by going potty in the wrong places. 

As weird as this may sound, I was actually very happy to hear he had a bladder infection.  That can be easily treated, which will then stop the behavior.  If he was acting out from stress, well, that would have been a much more difficult thing to fix. 

He's been on an antibiotic for 3 days now, and he's obviously feeling better already. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Last week was a little rough.  Alex was teething, which made him uncharacteristically cranky.  Then, we noticed that Doogie, who has had a lump on his back for a while, had a big sore on that lump.  I made a vet appointment for him and prayed like mad that my baby wouldn't scream through the whole thing. 

The vet examined Doogie and took a little sample of the lump, which she looked at under the microscope.  It was a tumor.  Because he was being so good (which really meant that he was simply frozen in terror), she opted to remove it right then with a local anesthetic.  He was whisked to the back, and Alex and I headed to the front.  Alex did start crying, but he blessedly waited until we were out in the lobby waiting for Doogie's surgery to be done.  I consider that an answered prayer, as I just didn't want him screaming while we were in the exam room.  Doogie was freaked out enough without the baby adding to his stress!

Doogie came back looking like this:

It was a pretty big tumor, so it's going to be a pretty big scar.  It's all stapled together instead of stitched because the vet said that cats don't tend to mess with staples like they do stitches.  Sure enough, Doogie has left it alone.  He doesn't seem bothered by it at all, which is wonderful!  I just wish we could say the same for Ninja...

The day after Doogie's procedure, I was sorting clothes to wash, and Steven's things were all wet.  Soaking wet.  And stinky.  I realized that someone had been going potty in Steven's hamper.  *sigh*  I am so over doing stinky, urine-soaked laundry!  I did more than enough when we had Calvin. 

It got worse.  I could smell poop in the living room.  After 30 minutes of playing hunt-the-poo, I found it in a box.  One of the moving boxes that was opened but not unpacked.  ARG!!! 

We weren't 100% sure of the culprit, but we were pretty certain it was Ninja.  That was confirmed when I caught him doing his business in the aforementioned box.  He was jumpy and skittish all day long, and he wouldn't come when called.  In fact, he'd run away if I tried to pet him.  Apparently, bringing Doogie home sliced and stapled was the final straw in Ninja's month of stress.  It pushed him over the edge, and he finally acted out. 

I guess we can consider ourselves lucky if it took all that (packing the old house, emptying the house, 6-hour car ride, living with strangers, living in an empty house, carpet replaced, appliances delivered, furniture moved in, brother having surgery) before anyone acted out.  We did throw a lot of scary new stuff at those poor cats in a short amount of time!  However, after a week of a cranky baby, a house full of unpacked boxes, a sick pet, and a pet making colossal messes, I cried quite a bit that day.  I'd hit my breaking point, too.

Thankfully, Ninja was back to normal and going potty in his box again the next day.  No problems since.  And in the meantime, we've been calling Doogie FrankenKitty and FrankenDoog.  He does look like a bit like Frankenstein, don't you think?  Poor baby.  He's such a trooper. 

Oh, and that tumor?  Benign!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Settling In

We finally moved into our house on May 4th.  Last night was the first time I'd even opened my computer since moving in.  We've been a tad busy. 

Mere days after moving in, just as the house was a complete minefield of boxes and mess, Alex started crawling.  Really crawling.  He'd taken a few tentative moves before, but he never got far.  Nope, he waited until he was in dangerous territory to start trucking it.  So, instead of getting things unpacked, I've mostly been keeping my baby safe. 

Steven kept pushing for a babysitter for a night out.  That sounded great, as I was starting to get punchy after nearly a month of me and baby 24/7.  I love him, but I need a break once in a while.  However, I said there was no way I was letting a teenager in to watch him while the house wasn't safe (again, those boxes everywhere).  So, Steven started moving some stuff out of the living room that we knew we wouldn't get to for a little while (like all the boxes of pictures for the walls).  Then, when friends came into town for the weekend, they pitched in to get the living room unpacked.  I deemed the room safe enough for me to feel comfortable leaving Alex with someone while we all went out. 

Turns out, Steven was pushing the babysitter idea so hard because that was his Mother's Day gift to me.  He figured I could use some baby-free time.  Oh, the irony!  The gift was perfect, especially as it also meant removing a towering source of stress, which was a living room filled with boxes that I just never seemed to have time to unpack.  Moving with a baby is hard stuff! 

The cats were beside themselves with joy that first night we spent in the house with them.  They were so excited that they kept flying around the bedroom and bouncing on the bed.  I finally kicked them out because we couldn't sleep.  That was pointless because they both cried outside the door, and Ninja kept sticking his paw under, grabbing the bottom of the door, and pulling.  *bam bam bam bam bam*  All... night... long. 

I think they missed us. 

We're just glad to finally have our family back together and to be in our own home with our own stuff.  It no longer feels like we're on a weird vacation.  I'm doing some real cooking again.  I'm doing laundry whenever I want again.  (VOM had very strict rules about the hours residents could do laundry.  Those rules made me nuts!)  And Alex is back in his nice, soft, cotton diapers again. 

Life is mostly back to normal. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baby Crafting

This is all pretty old, but I realized I'd never put it up on the blog.  I had some fun making some onesies for Alex and a special little girl named Mara, who was born to a friend I used to sing with at church. 

For the first two, I used transfer paper that goes through the printer, then you iron it on.  Pretty simple stuff. 

Our little future Stormtrooper

When someone posted on FB a picture of a shirt with this saying, Mara's mommy said she wanted one.  So, I made one for her baby shower.  I hand-stitched a simple little bow to make it look more girly.

For the next onesie, I used my Sizzix.  I ironed some fusible stuff (the name escapes me right now) to the back of the fabric, cut it out with my Sizzix, then ironed it onto the onesie.  Easy peasy.

So nice to get to make pink stuff!

And finally, a card to go with Mara's gift.  (She got some other stuff, too, including a wooden teether in the shape of a bird and some homemade burp cloths.) 

I used DeNami stamps on the card, as well as a Martha Stewart edge punch.  You know I love me some Martha!  And DeNami is my favorite stamp company.  It's a fairly basic card, but I've found that my papercrafting time is minimal with a baby in the house.   I think I made that at 11pm, if that tells you anything.