Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Preparing For Baby | The Nursery

Last week when Darby posted her nursery reveal, it motivated me to get my act together and post mine too. I mean, Caleb is 7 weeks old (?!!) [this was clearly written a few weeks ago]. So it was about time. I went into the nursery while Cruze was "napping" and Caleb was content in his swing, banana bread baking in the oven and all laundry freshly cleaned, folded and put away. It was a "supermom" kind of day. I snapped away with my camera and was SO beyond happy with how the pictures were coming out. The lighting was absolutely perfect and after each snap, the screen of my camera showed exactly what I wanted the picture to look like. I skipped over to my laptop to load the pictures while I was still in my groove when I realized... NO SD CARD. I must've snapped like 200 pictures (or so I thought). And then I remembered. I'm actually not Martha Stewart. Who was I thinking I could have everything go so perfectly? After crying a little bit (kidding - sort of) I took some more pictures to share with you all. So here it is.
The Nursery!!! This is one of the most exciting steps when preparing for baby. The place where you will cuddle your sweet baby love and lay them down to sleep (eventually right?). I wasn't exactly sure of what I wanted at first but I knew that it needed to be soft and dreamy. Gender neutral nurseries are my jam so it was pretty clear early on that it would be a neutral color palette. It also needed to be on a budget but still elegant. I think we accomplished that, but I'm a little biased.
This print was originally in Cruze's nursery. I love that we were able to reuse it.

empty frames above crib

gender neutral nursery
My paper mache moon and stars. I put so much time into that moon!

The perfect soothing spot where I spend many mommy and me moments with sweet Caleb


I love this little sheep and the lace crown I made for Caleb

Speaking of Caleb... :)

 I really love how everything turned out and the fact that so much of the d├ęcor was repurposed from other rooms in our home. This room is our little haven. Often, when Phillip comes home from work, I will take some time to sneak away with Caleb for some one on one time in his room. Such a perfect part of my day.
We still need to hang more pictures. I mean, did you notice the three empty frames behind the rocking chair? But overall, the room is pretty much complete. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bits of Joy | March and April

I think it's so important to take time every now and then to consider all of the things that contribute to our joy. The big things but especially, the little things that often go unnoticed.
Here are some random bits of joy from the last month or so. They're a tad bit out of order but that's okay.
There is this little notebook that I carry around. On the front it says "Awesome ideas to take over the world". In it, I unload all of the thoughts and to-do's that often clog my mind so that I can effectively tackle one thing at a time and not worry about losing the ideas that pop into my head throughout the day (and middle of the night).
Lately, Cruze seems to have made it his mission in life to find my notebook and scribble his own thoughts in it. The other day he was super quiet when I found him doing this...

I can tell he was mimicking the same intensity I have in my eyes while I scribble away. I'll save those pages forever ;)

This table. So many good moments are shared with my family at this table. From Saturday morning pancakes to catching up on our day, I just love sitting at this table and chatting away with the people I love most.

I love the way Cruze watches me in the mirror of the car while I'm doing my make-up etc.

Spending the day outside with my boys. It's such a great feeling.

Witnessing their special connection is an even better feeling.

Cruze has been so into coloring lately. It makes my heart go a little crazy.

Our first time attending our congregation as a family of four. Of course, Cruze is on the move in this picture but it wouldn't be real if he wasn't.

Since Caleb is my second and so much of my energy goes towards my active toddler, I really cherish the moments I get to spend with just Caleb. Even if I'm exhausted by the time Cruze goes down for a nap, I choose staring at my sweet angel baby over "me time" any day. And now that I think about it, relaxing with my newborn is my "me time".

The way Cruze has started using his brother's rock n play as his personal recliner while he watches Mickey Mouse...

After nap story time. Something about reading books with my babes. I just love it.

A squeaky clean baby. Enough said.

I used to have this toy box organized so well. A few weeks ago Cruze started this new thing of climbing into it and tearing through each and every item. And I love how much he loves it.

Monkey see, monkey do. Cruze hard at work with those tiny fingers...

This was initially supposed to be a tiny herb garden. Then a succulent garden. Now? It's a fake plant "garden". That's after I somehow became the only person in the world who is capable of killing succulents. Either way, it adds some green to my home which I LOVE. Also? It's a little DIY I'm proud of :)

Decorated in stickers by my toddler. I looked forward to moments like this and they're finally here.

Clean eating with my fam. It may not look all that appetizing but trust me, it was delish. And healthy.

Baby smiles that are intentional. HEART EXPLOSIONSSSS!

Morning light and a sweet reminder through the form of a mug sent to me by a friend I haven't seen in so long, reminding me to make everyday "the best day ever".

The opposite of clean eating. But if you follow me on instagram then you know, Phillip came home one night with Starbucks for me as a way of saying 'thank you' for working so hard at home. Little did he know, I had baked him cookies as a way of saying 'thank you' for working so hard outside of the home AND in the home after work.

Do you see those teddies under the table? Their name is Floofie. When Cruze was itty bitty, my dad sent Cruze one and he became so attached to him. He went everywhere with Cruze. After my mom attempted to clean the original one, it became not so soft. A few days later, a new floofie showed up in the mail. Now he carries both of them around.

That time I went out with my girlfriends to Panera as a sort of girls night. Except that I dragged my kids and husband along because I didn't want to leave them. Phillip ended up eating next door with Cruze so I could hang out "alone" with them. Of course, I kept Caleb with me. I still had a great time and was able to unwind. So so grateful for sweet friends and a family that I want to be around all the time.

And there's Floofie again enjoying some Frozen with Cruze.


So many moments that may seem insignificant but are a part of our story and truly do add to our joy. They're worth remembering in my opinion.  


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Newborn Diaries | Brotherly Love

Brotherly love

This is a topic that does something to every inch of my being. Brotherly love. When we learned we were pregnant with another boy my mind could only begin to imagine how my heart would feel the first time I watched Cruze display any sort of affection towards his baby brother. Being a baby himself, I could not quite imagine exactly how he would respond to a newbie in his home. Would there be jealousy? Resentment? Or just excitement? When Caleb was born Cruze seemed interested in this tiny little person when he met him at the hospital. But the moment was over the second he spotted the baby's pacifier and then of course, all attention was on how to successfully claim that paci as his own. 

There goes that pacifier again :/ 

 When we brought Caleb home, Cruze definitely noticed a shift in the home. Things were just not "normal" to him and his behavior was evidence of this. Since we had family in town to help us care for Cruze, it seemed like Cruze purposely distanced himself from me. This killed me. I didn't want him to feel abandoned or betrayed. I wanted him to feel safe, secure and confident in the fact that I still loved him the same way I did before. At the same time, I obviously had to give a lot of my energy to Caleb. I had no choice. Since Cruze is a very active and curious child we had to do our best to keep distance between the two boys. He would want to hold him but the moment he got too close, he would grab at him as fast and hard as he could. I realize that he had no intent to hurt him. He just simply did not understand. This was not a new toy that he could tote around and toss in the air. This was a very tiny and fragile little person. His baby brother who was here to stay. So we did what we thought was best. The two boys were barely ever in the same room at the same time. This is something I now know was wrong.

When the time came for me to be home with both of them by myself, Phillip and I started making an effort to let Cruze kiss on baby Caleb and touch his toes, hands and belly. We would tell him to do "nice". When Caleb would cry we started looking to Cruze for help with comforting Caleb. Now? Cruze has become to much more gentle with his baby brother. When Caleb is unhappy Cruze immediately looks at him with the sweetest, love filled eyes and says "is okay baby cay-bub". Yesterday as Caleb was having a complete meltdown in the car, Cruze turned to him and after tilting his head to the side, he said "awww, is okay" and then.. proceeded to sing to him the Barney theme song. Seriously. These are now the moments I live for.

"Hold Baby?" the words I hear all day long

He now puts the boppy on like a pro and SO fast. He just gets so excited to hold his baby

I look forward to watching their love and bond grow. And to think I was once so scared about somehow robbing Cruze's role as the only child. No. I took nothing from him. I simply gave him one of the best gifts he could ever get. That of a sibling and friend for life.

Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY || Lace Crown

easy DIY lace crown

When Phillip surprised me with my "push gift" DSLR I immediately started planning mini photo shoots of my newborn at home. I'm no professional (believe you me) but that didn't stop me from trying to mimic photos I've pinned over the past few years. One thing I've always wanted was a picture of my baby with a little crown on. After all, these boys are our little princes. 
This was a VERY quick and easy DIY project. If you know me at all, then you know that easy diy's are the only diy's I attempt. Mostly because when I have an idea for something, I want to see the finished product asap. I need to work on that whole "patience is a virtue" thing.
What you'll need >>>
Fabric stiffener | I used Aleene's from joann fabrics with a 40% off coupon. You can also use mod podge
Lace | Pick one with the thickness and shape you like
Paint | this is only if you don't want the finished product to be the same color as the lace (most likely white). I wanted a gold crown and, lucky me, I happened to have some gold pain from a previous easy diy. ** paint must be water-based acryclic
Form/mold | I started off with a vase but it wasn't the right size so I switched to a candle jar. Choose a cylinder object that is the approximate size of the crown you would like.
not pictured >>> 
Parchment paper
Steps >>>
Here's where the "bad blogger" in me stepped in... I didn't get pictures of the process but honestly, it was just so easy and quick. Plus my hands were too icky to pick up a camera.
  • Wrap your piece of lace around the mold to see where the two ends would meet
  • Cut to the size you need. I actually recommend going a little past that point so that the lace will overlap a tiny bit
  • Now wrap the mold in parchment paper and tape it so that it stays
  • Pour enough fabric stiffener in the bowl to coat the lace
  • Mix in your paint of choice until it is your desired color
  • Dip the lace into the mixture and coat. I rolled it, smashed it, etc. until it was completely covered. You should really wear gloves for this but impatient Eliza wasn't having any of that.
  • Then pick up the lace from the mixture and slide between two fingers to remove any excess liquid.
  • The entire lace piece should be completely moist but not dripping in stiffener
  • Wrap the lace around your mold as pictured below. The lace should be moist enough to cling onto the cylinder object.
  • Allow to dry. I did mine late at night and left it sitting overnight. In the morning, all I had to do was remove from the mold and peel off the parchment paper and {obviously} marvel at my handy work. It was perfect!
And here it is on my little model :) 

diy lace crown

newborn lace crown diy
He approves


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