Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 comes to and end and Elliott is born!

No longer pregnant!

So, 2009 brought a lot of good things our way including our new addition Mr. Elliott Charles Brown. I haven't a whole lot to say at this point in time most likely due to the lack of sleep that has been going on over here. David finished school on the 16th of December. Elliott was born on the 17th. David walked on the 20th. And we went home from the hospital on the 21st. [Yes, I missed his graduation AND his graduation party but fully plan on throwing him another party as soon as we get to Washington!] Since then we have done a whole lot of nothing. I suppose we should start getting out act together regarding this move across the country we will be attempting in less than two short weeks. [yikes]

This move should be a whole lot smoother this time around. We know which cat needs to be sedated, we have a moving company to worry about moving all our belongings, we have a apartment finding service on the hunt for us so if we can just manage to get to Washington hopefully things will begin to fall into place. All this moving and starting fresh really makes the new year feel new.

Now, on to the good stuff:
2 weeks
2 weeks
Only 2 weeks and already 9lbs!

Friday, November 13, 2009

November Update...

Yesterday I made myself do all the baby laundry including diapers. It only came out to two loads because everything is so tiny but it felt like a big step. A big step I never got to take with Isabella because I a.) was putting it off because having an actually baby is really hard to imagine and b.) was put on bed rest 6 weeks before my due date. Well here we are right around that 6 weeks before due date time and I figured I should learn from my mistakes and just get everything ready. Maybe sometime this weekend I will even put the little bassinet together. That sure seems like an invitation for a baby to come early and I just don't know if I am ready for that. As far as we know everything is going smoothly health wise for mama and baby. I have been to the doctor every week for the past two months and we've been keeping a very close eye on everything from protein spilling, to amniotic fluid levels which can be kind of roller coaster but I know it is all what is best for both of us. If I have learned anything from these last two month is not to get worked up over things too soon. Its funny because I really didn't get the magnitude of what was happening last time until it was all over and I could stop and think about it. Wish me luck on staying sane and healthy these last few weeks of my pregnancy.


While I've been busy getting baby clothes folded and put away Bella is also busy:

This is what else we have been up to:
(this was not staged at all.. doesn't she look happy?)

extra goodness:
both my baby kitties caught in the act of loving on eachother like they really were baby kittens... awwwww....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Getting Ready For Christmas.... Early For Once

So during SewMamaSew's big scrap busters month I favorite-d a bunch of tutorials to get back to, but this one was calling my name loudly!

I used the technique found here to make these stockings. We will see how functional they will be this year. The interfacing leaves almost no stretch at all. This was truly a "scrap buster" project. I wish I would have photographed the insides and backs because they are all different. I think I am falling in love with patch work. Especially wasn't-bought-specifically-to-put-together patchwork, you know, the use-what-you-already-have-and-make-it-work kind of patchwork. It feels so fitting for me! I'm on to matching napkins and possibly place mats, because I wasn't counting and got a little square happy. I think I ended up having close to twice as many as I needed for the stocking. Oops.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two Dollar Sudoku Book For All Ages

Bella likes to color in my sudoku book... whenever I leave it where she can get to it. For the past few weeks she would just make little marks inside the empty boxes. Just like mama. Now she has moved on to drawing lines from the same numbers. Ex. all the 4 are connected with one squiggly two year old line.

Quote of the day[in a very high pitch voice]: "My birthday is not coming up anymore! My Bubby my Zeidy not coming my birthday" and "Your birthday coming up now. Eat cake and ICE CREAM"!

Love this girl. More and more and more and more everyday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Happy Halloween

Bella and I had a great Halloween day. Somehow it started to unravel and by the time we were ready to go trick or treating. She was too tired and cranky by 6:30pm. [I realized later when we got home she was finally cutting one of her two year old molars.] We made it to only one house and didn't even get a picture of her in her cute bumble bee costume. During the DAY we had fun eating roasted pumpkin seeds, watching The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, eating pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, and making the coolest-to-a-2-year-old fort and hung out with our jack-o-lanterns in the dark and read our spooky books.

Ok, so mama didn't exactly fit IN the fort, but I was still there!
This is Mr. Pumpkin, named by Bella. Please note the awesome face Bella drew!

On a side-note-related-to-Halloween I wanted to post a picture of myself at 31 weeks.. you know before I explode. Because thats what it feels like!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall welcoming activity that does not included baking and gaining weight:

Birthday present surprise that may turn into a Christmas gift because my machine can not handle quilting and neither can my hands:
Thank goodness for access to better sewing machines in Washington!

And Lastly, a trick or treat bag for Bella I wiped up using only scraps which is why it is such a funny shape. It looks a little too country cute for me but I will only have to look at it once a year so I think it'll be OK:

[also, thank you for not shunning me and my blog because of the horrible quality photos. At some point, our lives will be pieced back together and my camera, usb cord, and battery will all be together and better quality pictures will once again be shown on this blog..... I can dream can't I?]

Monday, October 12, 2009

bathtime with an almost two year old

We have two more weeks of being only one! [Although, if you ask Isabella she is turning three.] The only time I still feel like she is one is when she is in the bathtub. Something about not seeing her long legs, her entertaining herself [still] with bubbles and water, her not wearing any big girl clothes to give away her real almost age. This mama is a little sad to see her little girl turn two already. I am more than excited to see what this next year will bring. Already she is showing us more and more of herself. Wish me luck on being strong and not overly sentimental on her birthday DAY.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

bringing fall inside

because it still feels like summer outside

our fall table:

  • different kinds of pumpkins

  • acorns

  • acorn squash

  • pumpkin cut outs

  • small pumpkin and spider confetti

  • glue sticks

  • fall colored crayons

  • leaf stickers

  • fall colored yarn

  • scissors

  • pencil

  • paper


  • and one pumpkin chair

Monday, October 5, 2009

Letter From Senetor:

Dear Mrs. Brown:

Thank you for contacting me about efforts to reform our nation's health care system. The American health care system faces a myriad of complex challenges: rising medical and prescription drug costs, a lack of stable insurance coverage, and a medical bureaucracy that is increasingly difficult to navigate. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important issue.

I am well acquainted with the frustration of many Americans struggling to meet their health care needs within the current cumbersome system, and I understand the urgency to implement sound revisions. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), spending on health care will account for nearly 17 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2009—totaling as much as $2.6 trillion. Health care costs have more than doubled over the last ten years and far outpaced wage growth, and I believe that meaningful health care reform is very important. However, I believe reform can be achieved by lowering the cost of health care without spending more money and without giving Washington more control over the decisions of doctors and patients. [this is the end of where we agree on anything]
Health care affects every American and I believe we need to take the time to listen to the patients, providers, families, and small businesses that will be significantly impacted. America has a highly complicated system and it is important to ensure that changes are thoroughly considered and not hastily passed by Congress. It may interest you to learn, that I am helping lead a Senate health reform working group that meets regularly to discuss the most pressing areas for reform in our nation’s healthcare system. It is important that Americans have access to affordable health insurance and therefore, I believe we must reform our health care system, emphasizing individual choice and trusting patients, their families, and their doctors—not lawyers or bureaucrats—to make health maintenance and treatment decisions. I am committed to improving access to quality, affordable health care, and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as I work my congressional colleagues, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, to address this critical issue.

As Congress works to reform our health care system, I will adamantly oppose the creation of a Washington-run government health insurance plan, which I believe is unequivocally a gateway to a single-payer system. I believe that a new government-run health insurance plan will devastate private insurance markets by acting as a competitor, [why is acting as a competitor a bad thing?] regulator, and funder. Independent estimates have found that such a plan could result in 118 million Americans losing their current health benefits, and leave 130 million Americans to rely on a government-run health care plan. [I would love to see the supporting evidence behind this and who funded it] Additionally, I cannot support punitive health benefit taxes on small businesses, which will hurt wages and jobs.

Successful health care reform will put patients in charge,[why is this a good idea?] and improve the insurance system so that providers will compete for their business by delivering high quality care at affordable prices. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856

Please sign up for my monthly newsletter at

Due to the nature of electronic communication, if you did not receive this e-mail directly from my office, I cannot guarantee that the text has not been altered. If you have questions about the validity of this message, or would like to respond to this message, please use the web form available at my website,

Have you contacted your senator about health care reform yet?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Newborns and diapers

How is it that I feel even less prepared and more nervous for baby number two? I think we have the clothing, feeding, bathing, and how to sleep with an infant thing down now. But that still leaves diapering, commuting, packing, preparing to move and eventually moving across the country with an infant. I still have [at least] 6 weeks so I am going to tackle one thing at a time. Right now I've been hard at work on making diapers. I am still at a loss on just how many diaper covers will be needed for a newborn! I don't want to purchase too many knowing this most likely will be the last baby and he will be growing out of them very very quickly. But, on the other hand not enough could be trouble for a tired mama. My mom finally agreed to come visit after the baby is born because I am a little nervous for miss Bella.

During my last diaper shopping trip at Young and Restless they finally convinced me to try wool covers. I've been thinking long and hard about making the switch when we move to Washington anyway for warmth and mostly for the small environmental impact they have. So I bought four covers [don't worry I've purchased a few newborn pockets as well] and have found numerous resources for how to care for them online. Can I just say how freaking cute are these? If they work out I will definitely try to make a few of my own. They look very simple and I've found quite a few patters online not just for knitting but how to use an old wool sweater for diaper cover fabric. It seems like a lot of work but then again so did all cloth diapers when I started out.

A few of the diapers I made from an old t-shirt pile.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October... I welcome you with open arms!

Top 4 things I love about October:
cooler days (I keep checking the weather in Seattle and dreaming of the COLD days to come.)
pumpkins to eat and decorate with
APPLES lots and lots of apples
halloween: candy, costumes, and crafts

I guess I've been missing me some apples. We went to the grocery story and I am embarrassed to say how much we spent on apples. They just looked soo delicious and ripe and fresh and... they were! I think I may need to invest in an apple tree in the somewhat near future!

To celebrate fall's arrival [finally] Bella and I headed over to a little family run farm/park to pick out a pumpkin, play some games and pet some animals. We also have been eating a lot of apple crisp, drinking apple tea and of course eating them fresh. Its really hard to believe you can get apples in Houston almost as good as in Washington. But yet when it comes to finding good peaches or avacados in Washington it is IMPOSSIBLE no matter what season it is.


Have I mentioned I have officially turned into that parent who puts their child in the only halloween outfit they own to go pick out a pumpkin? [disclaimer: I did not buy said outfit]


Also, sad to announce, we just happened to show up at The Woodland's Children's Museum on its last day at their current location and they have no idea when or where they will be reopening! I will really miss that place. The arts and crafts area was worth the five dollars alone. Not to mention it kept my daughter busy and happily entertained for HOURS. I am back to square one with finding affordable non-religious activities for me and Bella!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet Baby Boy


Weekend Good-Morning Muffins

[you want to turn your volume WAY up so you can hear her sweet voice]

Delicious bran muffin recipe found here.
Substitute: all purpose flour with 1/2 whole wheat flour
Substitute: cinnamon chips(not really sure what that even is) for raisins

These muffins were delicious! They freeze well and Bella is still asking for them daily (5 days after we made them).

"Clean Up"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh, Puget Sound, how we miss you!

A friend sent me these from this summer. That's Seattle behind us on a typical overcast Seattle day. I can't wait to get home, where I do not have to worry about cockroaches falling on my face while I sleep.

Also from last week:

Friday, September 18, 2009

blogging without a camera

This is so sad! No pictures! Makes for a boring blog from someone who really is not a good writer! But here it goes:

I've been making diapers for my wee one on the way. I've been working hard at reusing old t-shirts, as suggested in Handmade Home. It has been a challenge and forced to me pick up my newly found sewing machine manual for the first time in three years. It may even be the first time ever. It makes more sense now than it did 3 years ago just starting out sewing with absolutely no context. I can now painlessly sew knits, now that I know which needle I need and how to set my presser foot. Woohoo. If only I had a serger my diaper sewing projects would be too easy.

Last night Isabella started her first embroidery project. She insisted on wanting to work on mine and when even I would ptu it down she would be right behind me picking it up. I decided to make life a little easier and set her up with a project of her own. When I asked her who she was making it for she said baby Elliott. I can't even put into words how this warms my heart. Of course, she was done in less than five minutes but for five whole minutes she was still and peaceful. Oh how beautiful moments like those are. Hopefully we will have a picture or two up soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Things to do before baby arrives:

figure out what to do with bella during delivery
take another birthing class
let go of some of those "what if's"
purchase 8 more diaper covers
ask more vbac questions
go through baby boxes
find [from inside one of our dozens of boxes of baby things]:
recieving blankets
baby socks
baby carrier
inner peace

try to be more prepared than last time
prewash everything 6 weeks early and then again maybe 3 weeks early
make nipple covers and large woman cloths
try to make some trifold diapers from upcycled fabrics
research and practice using/washing wool diaper covers
add to this list because I know there is more

Monday, September 14, 2009

We've been getting a lot of rain lately

"Rain drops, rain drops, where do they fall? They fall on house but thats not all. Rain drops, rain drops, where do they fall? They fall on Noah's house but that's not all".

Seriously, I laugh every time I watch it. so. so. so. soo cute!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

crafts from scraps challange - week three

This weeks projects are kind of minimal. Here they are:

insdie davids goodies
marker bag for sara
practice knit pants from old tshirt
t-shirt wipes
tie one on - sew along - plaid apron

a. Some small projects for David. An iphone cozy and head phones + thumb drive pouch. Those were both his ideas. He picked out the lining fabric and I think they both turned out really cute! I find it hard to make him things because mens clothing is not something I think I'm ready to tackle just yet. I love these because he has been using them every. single. day.
b. My sister asked for something she could hold 3 white board markers in. She specifically asked for nothing too crazy. She knows me too well. [She just started teaching this week. YEY Sara!]
c. Here are some "practice sewing with knits pants" I used the oldest holiest t-shirts I could find. [notice: the patches] We just happened to be going through ALL our clothes this week.
d. From the same shirts I made a few nice sized diaper wipes. Anticipating some nice breast milk poos soon.
e. & f. A Head band for Bella with a flower made from the same shirts.
g. Ok this last one I am going to submit to Tie One On. The latest apron making challenge was to use plaids. I am not really a plaid person and really didn't see myself going out to buy any plaid fabric. After going through our old unwanted clothes I came across a few plaid shirts. I am not in love with this apron but I am thinking it will find a good home with my dear friend Bailey.

Monday, September 7, 2009

crafts from scraps continued.....

[and then some because we all know i can't stick to anyONEthing for very long]

Here we are getting ready for a week of patchwork...... WHAT? Yes. I know. It took me by surprise too. Not only did I start my very first [small] patchwork project and finish it, BUT I started another [smallish] patchwork project and finished that one too. Unfortunately, I think I am all patchworked out and there will be no quilts anytime soon. I imagine that will change when we get up to Washington and find that quilts are needed for more than just sitting on, you know, like to keep us warm.

Ok, on to the completed projects:
It started with a doll quilt. Then I realized my poor girl does not have a doll, just a [mama made] elephant. So we made a doll, and I say we because Bella was very very involved. She helped me pick out what her dress would look like and stopped to hug the doll a often as possible. She even took it to bed with her for nap before she had eyes, mouth and hair. Talk about time well spent! She also loves to go around and tell people "mama made it". Precious.
Dolly also joins us at the table now for at least one meal a day.
Patchwork recovery day - another lunch sack. I LOVE this pattern. I added a little depth to the lunch sack because the original isn't quite big enough to accommodate a pregnant mama's lunch needs. The original pattern is from Linen, Wool, Cotton: 25 Simple Projects to Sew with Natural Fabrics (Make Good: Crafts + Life) by Akiko Mano. I do not own the book, but found a free tutorial from it online months ago. [I can't find the link anymore but do still have the pdf is anyone is interested]. The book looks awesome I've been through it in the book store more times than I care to admit. It really is next on my list. Really.
This bag took me a couple of days. And honestly, I am not in love with the end result. It was really good at getting rid of a bunch of little scraps of fabric in colors I wouldn't normally use. On a more positive note I think the detail in this bag looks really good. I feel like I might be stepping up from beginner seamstress to intermediate. Maybe.

For friends:
I've made over 30 sandwich bags and snack bags in the last few days.
What I've realized: making things in large batches is not fun! It is fun using different fabrics I wouldn't pick out for myself like glittery white spider webs with creepy black spiders. [I can't wait to be a mama of a little boy] I also like helping people get rid of the plastics in their everyday life. Was it worth it? YES! I will make some for you too if you give up plastic bags! I won't go into global warming here even though it is nice and fresh in my mind after watching The Inconvenient Truth.

I'll leave you with this: Best Friends.

p.s. It looks like might have a month of scrap busters in October. woooohoooo!
p.s.s. Dolly and patchwork bag were made from patterns from this magazine. Projects from handmade home are already in progress. Stay Tuned.