Sunday, December 25, 2011

{life} a merry christmas kiss

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and lots of kisses ;) 

XOXO Soph, J & the babe

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

10 things

  1. Jet lagged babies are no fun.
  2. I forgot how cold my parents' house gets during the winter. I get cold easily. Thank God for a nice hot fire every night, hot tea or coffee and yummy cookies :)
  3. Christmas Tree shopping while it snows. Finding the perfect tree, sausages with homemade bread and hot Gluehwein. 
  4. Ok, another one about food... I can't believe how much awesome food we've had since we got here. If we lived here I would probably weigh 20 lbs more ;)
  5. Logan has a mean cold with a nose that won't stop running and a miserable mood. Poor baby. He hates getting his nose wiped and has the hardest time falling asleep. Needless to say, this momma is not getting much of a break either.
  6. After giving the little man his bath last night, I got to soak in the tub for 10 minutes. Heaven! I don't remember the last time I had time for more than a quick shower. Thanks to the hubby for getting the little man ready for bed all on his own.
  7. I forgot how weird Germans can be... Don't you dare make eye contact or say hi to anyone while out on a nice, long walk. They'll just look at you like you're from Mars. I love it here but I sure love the friendly talks I have with total strangers in check out lines back home. 
  8. LOVE watching my brothers with the little man. They are such great uncles and I'm so glad they finally get to spend some time together. 
  9. It's snowing like crazy here :) 
  10. Getting ready to go to the Christmas market now. Can't wait to see the lights and enjoy the snow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

nursery design update pt. 2

So here is part two of the nursery tour. This is the other side of the room where the closet is. Since the room is so small, the closet pretty much takes up the entire wall. We added some shelving from IKEA above the doors and in the corner to hold his books and some toys until he gets his bookshelf. The bookshelf will go on the wall underneath. The little rocking chair is vintage and has a music box on the bottom that plays when it's rocking. The diaper pail also came from IKEA.
The door knobs on the closet look like oversized green buttons and we got them on sale at Anthropologie. They are so cute :) 

The metal organizing bins are from Target and the cute papermache tiger is a children's book character from when I was little. My mom got it for me at a store closeout sale where it used to be for decoration. 
The 3 little black corner cubbies were a Christmas gift we got a few years back and never used. I used the same fabric I made his pillowcase from and backed each cube using a glue gun. Super easy! For now they hold all of the sports related items the hubby wanted to put in the room. Also, the cute wooden sign was made by a family friend and we are still planning to attach it on the outside of his door. 

So that's it so far. This is probably the most cohesively designed room in the entire house. It has been so much fun putting everything together and I think he will be able to enjoy this room for quite a few years. 
I will post step by step instructions on how to make the mobile next week.
Christmas is getting close. Enjoy your weekend :) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

nursery design update pt.1

as you can see he really likes his room :)
I thought I'd give you an update on the little man's nursery. I really love how everything came together and now all we're still waiting for is his bookcase. His grandpa is making it for Christmas. 
I will split this post in two since there are a lot of pictures.
His room is on the north side of our house and even though it has big window it is a small room and doesn't get very much light. The room is about 10'x10' and won't ever be a great play room but we are planning an addition to the house within the next few years, so eventually he will have more than enough room to play. For now it's just the right size. 

We used two different shades of gray for the walls. 3 walls are in a light gray and one wall has a darker more bluish tint to it. One of the first things I bought Logan before he was even born was a blue and white railroad striped teddy bear from Pottery Barn Kids, which was kind of the inspiration for the rest of the room. 
I painted the trees myself and we just recently added the little tree house with the nightlight inside of it. I got it at Michaels for $2.50 on clearance and we got a light kit and bulb and made it ourselves. I still plan on adding some sort of plexi and maybe staining or painting the wood. 
The mobile was also made by me. I will post a DIY on that sometime soon. He loves it so much he always stares and laughs at it after I get him out of bed. 

The wonderful glider is from Babies'R'us and by a company named Newco. We had a hard time finding the right one and it was a huge hassle getting this one but it was so worth it. It swivels, reclines and rocks :) The pillows are from TJ Maxx, the blanket used to be my grandma's. 
The framed prints are by a wonderful artist named Katie Daisy and the crib is very budget friendly from IKEA. The changing table came from Babies'R'us as well. It was a floor model but unfortunately it is way to high for me to change him on anymore. Now that he wiggles, tosses and turns and diaper changes have become a nightmare, I wouldn't dare change him on that thing. It is probably the one item I regret purchasing, not so much for the look but for the actual use that I haven't gotten out of it.  
I also made the patchwork quilt myself and the floor rug came from TJ Maxx. He loves feeling the texture of it and it is super soft. 
The little white table and table lamp are from IKEA and we used to have them in the living room as starter furniture after we first moved in. The ceiling light and blue chambray curtains were also IKEA finds. 
We got an oval galvanized bin at our home improvement store to hold his toys and stuffed animals and keep it underneath the table.

What do you like most about your kid's room? 

Friday, December 9, 2011

{diy} plaid reversible scarfs

This is a great handmade gift idea for the men in your life. There are a lot more guys in my family than girls and I always find it hard to get them original gifts other than the usual socks and underwear type stuff ;) 
These reversible scarfs are super easy to sew and only take a few minutes to make.

You will need:
- 1/2 yard Fleece in the color of your choice (or a heavier fabric like corduroy)
- 1/2 yard Plaid fabric of your choice
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine

I got my fabrics at the fabric store where the fleece was half off and I had a coupon to use on the plaid fabric. Overall the fabric probably cost $7. I bought a few different colors of the plaid so I spent a little bit more. 

Out of both fabrics cut a piece each that is 25" long and 9" tall. That will give you enough space for a 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance all around. 
Since both fabrics are the same on each side it doesn't matter which sides face together. If you're using a fabric with a right and wrong side make sure you line up wrong sides facing each other and sew all the way around leaving a 2" opening to turn the scarf inside out. 

Cut the corners off (be careful not to cut your seam) which will make your corners look nicer.
Iron the whole thing flat and sew the opening closed with a hidden stitch by hand or use your machine if you don't mind the extra seam. 

To create the circle I just overlapped my ends about half an inch and sewed down straight with a decorative stitch. With one I lined up the ends and sewed down with a straight stitch.
Whichever you prefer. 
The scarf can be worn on either side. Super easy and hopefully something my men will enjoy. 

Did those directions make any sense? I am not a seamstress. Sorry if you got confused or I didn't use the right terms. If you have a question just ask and I'll try to clarify :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

{diy} appliqued kids shirts

I've been working on a lot of handmade Christmas gifts the last few weeks and I thought I'd share this easy DIY with you. I apologize for the awful pictures. Most of my sewing now happens at night after the little man goes to bed and the lighting is therefore pretty crappy. I hate using the flash even when the lighting is bad since it makes the pictures even worse, in my opinion. 

So I made this cute appliqued shirt and onesie for Logan. 
I already had a set of long sleeved Carter's onesies I got at TJ Maxx a while ago and the shirt was $1.50 on clearance at Target. I also had all of the felt, fabric and iron-on backing on hand. I use the iron-on backing because it makes it so much easier to sew when it is in place and can't move. It also helps to prevent fraying with cotton fabrics. 

1 - get a shirt in the right size and pre-wash.
2 - get some felt or fabric
3 - cut out shapes you want to apply
4 - iron onto the iron-on backing
5 - remove paper backing and iron onto shirts
6 - sew around the shapes in your favorite stitch, do this slowly if you are a beginner and just move your fabric as you go. it also helps to lift your machine's foot a little while you sew or to lower the needle and lift the foot and adjust your shirt when you go around corners. 
7 - i used one of the many stitches I never get to use for anything else to stitch the rain. a straight stitch works perfectly fine if you want to achieve a more simple look.
8 - you are done. now admire your work :) 

For the onesie I cut out a red fabric heart and used felt for the hook. I zigzag stitched around the heart and straight stitched the hook and fishing line. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

happy baby

We are slowly getting ready for the big trip across the ocean and I am also slowly losing my mind thinking about what all could go wrong on the trip, how I could forget important things at home, will the dogs hold a grudge because we're leaving them with the in-laws?, will the house-sitter work out?...
Yes, my brain is full of craziness, overspilling with last-minute Christmas gift ideas that I need to complete before we leave and 3 long packing/to-do lists (one for the babe, one for us and one for the house). Can't we just already be there? Kind of "beam me up Scotty" style? 
I've been studying all kinds of 'flying with infants' tips and I am sure I will come up with my own after the trip. I am praying he will sleep and that the flight won't be full so we may get an extra seat. 

So why is this post titled happy baby you ask? Well, in the process of getting ready for the big trip and trying to figure out how to feed the little man on a plane, on my lap, in a very restricted area, we came across these food pouches. Since Logan is only 6 months old we wanted to give him some time to practice holding and feeding the pouches to himself. Man does he ever love those things!
I am not sure if it is the fact that he can feed himself or if they just taste so delicious to him (i tried them and they taste way better than regular baby food). 
It only takes him a few minutes to eat a whole pouch and he always wants more. They are organic and the Spinach, Mango & Pear is his favorite. At $1.19 a for a 4.22 oz pouch they are a little on the expensive side but out of all the organic food pouch brands we found they were the cheapest. 
The convenience is great and we will definitely take them on the trip. Now if I can only find coupons somewhere... 

Well, I guess I did have more to say than I thought ;) 
Any recommendations on traveling with a 6 month old? Oh, and this post is NOT a sponsored post, ( although I would totally be ok with that ;) just sharing one of our favorite baby products. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

baby boy gift ideas

This is Logan's Christmas List. If you have a 6 month old you may steal some of my ideas. I provided links to sites where you can purchase the items. Mostly Amazon, cause I'm an Amazon addict. Free 2 day shipping with Prime rocks ;) 

Logan is getting these Minnetonka Moccasins in size 3. They run pretty big so he has time to grow into them. 

I couldn't resist getting him Sophie. She has my name and she's European. What's not to love, right? ;) 

Logan loves all phones and remotes. We saw this phone at Wal Mart, handed it to him and he was absolutely fascinated with it. We will see how long it will keep him entertained... 

Now that he's crawling around all day long I think these leg warmers may come in handy. No more carpet burn. 

This Anatex bead maze activity cube looks like hours of fun. 

It's never too early to start with some Duplos

How about this recycling truck? Cause he needs to learn this early on ;) 

And then of course anything from Zara will do. Here are some of my faves. Can't wait to go shopping in Germany. 

These were on clearance at 77Kids and I had a $10 coupon. We love the soft knit hat on the right. I bought one in a blue tie dye pattern before he was even born and he wears it all the time. It's super soft and stretchy. He's been wearing it for months. 

And then there is the Bobby Car. A toy that probably every German kid of my generation had. I remember ours was the original red but how about that Bobby Benz SLK??? Bet you daddy would be pretty jealous. And are those cup holders or just the speedometer? 

Or how about a Porsche? Ok I'm done ;)

So that's the list. Any other recommendations? Anything my little man has to have? 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

sunday likes

I can't wait for some real snow :) Hoping we'll have a white Christmas with my family in Germany. 


How pretty is this? Gotta keep an eye out for some vintage lace.


So cute. 

We made these last week and they turned out delicious. Just like the real thing, I should know ;) Just in case you are making this, I had to add flour to the original amount in the recipe. The dough was very sticky so I just added more until I could handle it well. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

i made it! market

Our week was busy. Busy not because we had so many places to go but because the little man is becoming crazy active. He just won't slow down. He wants to crawl everywhere and he climbs onto everything. He can only be contained in a pack'n'play or jumper for so long before he starts fussing and wants to roam around the house. He has also started fighting sleep again so that's been a big pain in the behind. It's a lot of fun playing with him but it's also a lot more work now. 
So right now he is taking a nap and I am wasting time on Pinterest ;) 

Last night we went to the "I made it! for the holidays" market at Bakery Square in Pittsburgh. It was a lot of fun. We found some gifts, had chai tea, found some cute knobs for Logan's closet doors at Anthropologie and browsed this amazing toy store. 
Logan loved being around so many people and he loved looking at all the Christmas lights that are popping up everywhere. It was a great family outing. 

Oh and we saw the Milk Truck ;) 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

6 months baby - a birth story

6 months ago we welcomed our little man into the world.

Logan Henry

weighed 7 lbs 5 ounces 

and measured 21 inches

i never shared his birth story mostly because i needed some time to digest everything ;) please be kind if you decide to comment as this is my personal experience and know that i am aware that everyone is different and i am by no means judging anyone else's decisions on how they had or will have their baby :) if you are a first time expecting mom please be warned that even though this birth wasn't by any means horrible, there are some parts to this story that may worry you. again, everyone's experience is different. i had a very easy pregnancy without any kind of complications at all and this is my story...

this being our first child we had of course prepared ourselves for his birth since the day we found out we were expecting. i knew pretty much right from the start that i would do whatever it took to have a natural unmedicated childbirth. of course I was scared of the pain and maybe caving in at the last minute. we watched "the business of being born" which opened my eyes a lot and made my opinion on unmedicated childbirth even stronger. i decided that i wanted to try the bradley method and got a book to read. i would have liked to take the class as well, however it was a little pricey and pretty far away. due to my husband's work he was out of town a lot during the later months of the pregnancy when it would have been time to really crack down on bradley course preparation. so in the end we decided to just take the classes that were offered at our hospital. i think a home birth can be something very special and mostly safe as long as your pregnancy is low risk. having said that, we decided that since this was our first baby and even though we live only 10 minutes from the hospital, we still wanted to deliver at the hospital. i also couldn't really find any midwifes that would have been able to deliver at home here in pennsylvania. 
so we just read the bradley book and tried to practice as much as we could. the bradley method is all about relaxation and letting your body do the work and not working against the contractions. it also includes a lot of visualization of what is happening in your body during labor. 

logan was born at 1.21 in the afternoon. my mom had come in from germany and my mother-in-law ended up being in the room with us the entire time as well. 
i was a week overdue and of course my doctors were already talking about inducing me. there was no way i would let them induce me before 2 weeks overdue but i was definitely ready to have this baby out of me. so the morning of may 26th i went in for my appointment and had the doc sweep my membranes in hopes of helping the little man along a little. worked like a charm. around 8 pm that night i started having contractions. i probably had them earlier than that but since i never had any kind of contractions (not even braxton hicks) during the entire pregnancy, i don't think i knew i was having them until they got stronger. we had planned to stay home as long as we could before going to the hospital. i used a birthing ball (a regular $8 exercise ball), a warm bath and my bed for relaxation and comfort. the hubby was there helping me time contractions and giving back rubs. around 1 am the contractions had gotten a lot stronger and were about 3-4 minutes apart. off to the hospital we went. by the time they had me all situated in a room it was around 2 or 2.30 am. i asked them not to offer me any drugs and that i didn't want an iv. they were trying to convince me to get the iv put in but i insisted. they ended up telling me they had to make sure the doc was ok with it and i never heard another word about it. my contractions were a lot more painful and closer together and i believe i was about 3 or 4 centimeters by then. the next hours are all like a big blur to me. all i remember is that the contractions kept getting stronger and i just couldn't get comfortable. walking around didn't help and standing by the bed didn't either. i ended up spending most of my labor on my sides, in bed, holding onto the rails during contractions. i honestly couldn't focus on the way i was supposed to breathe or let everything go. i remember having the hubby rub and push on my lower back even though i didn't have any back labor at all. the nurses checked my progress a couple of times throughout the night and morning. by late morning i was finally at 10 centimeters. the nurse asked me if i wanted to push. this is where things got a little strange for me. see i had always imagined i would be able to feel the urge to push when i was finally at that point. well, nada, not me. i had no clue what to do. i obviously wanted this baby born more than anything else in the world so of course i told the nurse i wanted to push. they did all kinds of crazy stuff to the bed so that i ended up in a more upright pushing position. and here is when this whole experience became a little more dramatic than i had imagined it. 

i pushed for almost 3 hours. i pushed and pushed for probably close to 2 hours and had no idea what i was doing. i kept telling everyone around me that i couldn't feel it, (by "it" i mean the urge to bear down and push) which is pretty funny since i never got any drugs to numb anything. don't get me wrong, i sure could feel every contraction but i simply didn't know how to push. going back to that stage now i think i may not have been as ready as they told me i was. maybe i should have waited longer before i started to push? i really don't know. all i know is that afterwards i felt like there was something wrong with me, shouldn't my body have told me what to do? shouldn't i instinctively known how to push? i had heard from so many other women about how great the pushing stage was going to be... i guess it just shows how you are not supposed to compare yourself to others' experiences. people in the room kept telling me they could see the head and i kept thinking, hoping and praying that he would finally be here. the nurse tried to show me where to push (i'll spare you the details) and it finally got better. they called for the doc and i thought he was gonna be here any minute now. well, that doctor stood there for an awfully long time with nothing much to do but try to show me how to push. i was so exhausted and ready to give up. i kept seeing my family's faces as they went from smiling and cheerful to worried and unsure. 
my mom told me that nothing was gonna happen to me and thinking about it now, she must have been very worried to say that. i finally caved in and told the doctor that i was going to need some help to get this baby's huge head out ;) we decided to use the vacuum to help him along. this was totally on my request. the doc didn't even seem too worried yet and just kept encouraging me. i think he could tell that i didn't have much more to give though, so he agreed. i will not go into detail on how the vacuum extraction went. i am just praying to god i won't have to do it a second time. when we finally managed to get him out he was perfect. his eyes were wide open as if he wanted to take in all the sights after being in the dark for so long. 

his apgar scores were great, they wouldn't let me hold him right away due to the vacuum extraction. there was nothing wrong with him at all but they wanted to make sure of that first. so i just lay there while they cleaned him up and while they did whatever they still needed to do to me. it seemed like forever before i got to hold him. everyone else was already carrying him around, taking pictures but i was still trying to process what had just happened. when he came out i saw him with his eyes wide open and somehow i just knew he was ok. i never questioned his health at that point. 
i had never read up on vacuum or forceps extractions and the risks associated with them. i just knew they existed, i was almost born that way as well. i guess ignorance is bliss. i don't regret anything about my decision not to have a medicated birth. will i do it again? yes, probably, someday whenever the memories are maybe a little more faded ;)

the day logan was born was the most life-changing and also the most physically and mentally challenging day of my life. it is hard to put into word the things that change inside a woman when she becomes a mother. it is the most precious gift i have and will ever receive. 

today my baby is 6 months old.
he is absolutely terrific and perfect in every way.
he has reached so many milestones already. 
he sits, stands, crawls and climbs all over the place.
his hair is finally starting to grow.
he is so very curious and funny.
he loves to eat.
his poop is stinky ;)
he is 28.5" tall.
he weighs over 20 lbs.
he still has his baby blues.

he is growing up way too fast. 

and he makes us the happiest we've ever been.

happy 6 months mein dicker mann!