Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kitchen Kollage

My newest home decor project is finished and I just love it!!! Our kitchen eat in area was pretty blank and is such a visible area in the house. I wanted something artsy but not too overboard. I might have went overboard though!

I got the idea to feature pictures of our family using the dining area. What's cuter than a messy baby or toddler? I searched my thousands of pictures for the ones of messy Nolan, picked out my favorite, and converted them to black and white. Avoiding the color helps keep the collage looking more like decoration or artwork than just another area I'm hanging pictures of my baby! It almost blends in and until you actually concentrate on the individual pictures you don't even realize it's of our messy little boy.

After finishing the hanging, Tim says "It's kinda creepy having so many pictures of Nolan." Eventually, half of these will be replaced with pictures of messy Carter. None of him eating now though as I figured I'd spare my dining table the view of my little one on my boob! We'll wait until he does solids! Don't worry, color is coming in on the other side once I finish that project!

Now for the how to... this wall is very large so I went with 5" by 7" pictures. I simply ordered them from which was cheapest. I wouldn't normally print photos I wanted to hang from the non photography sites because quality and color calibration is so off but with this it wasn't as important. The frames are wooden and from the dollar store! It couldn't get any cheaper and they are definitely adequate for the job. Thanks to my wonderful hubby for hanging all of these in my exact pattern!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meal Planner!

I've been slowly completing projects in the house. The nursery is 95% done and wall decorating has begun. A few weeks back I made our meal planner/calendar. I wanted something nice but easily accessible. Here is what I came up with.

I found great large frames at a  local church garage sale. This one didn't even need repainting! I then took apart the frame and covered the artwork inside in white paper. This hid the print. My outer layer is burlap and both it and the paper are secured to the back of the artwork. To section out the board into the seven days of the week, I used black ribbon also secured on the back (pinned then glued). JoAnns sells nice vinyl letter stickers so I found a font I liked to label the days of the week. Once all of that was done, the frame backing was put back in place and wah-la!

I now have a write on wipe off meal planner that matches our kitchen nicely! Because everything is behind the glass, it makes it easy to wipe off and clean. Another plus is that it looks like a piece of furniture not just an organization tool.

Monday, September 24, 2012


As you know if you've read my posts before, Nolan is gluten intolerant. He does not have celiac's but he definitely reacts to gluten. Carter is doing great on the weight gain front which is much different than his brother. He was, however, having some issues.

He started projectile vomiting almost daily. No fun for either of us. He was also very gaggy most of the night. You'd hear him grunt and grumble and then choke and wake himself. I quickly thought reflux but was hoping it wouldn't be something he'd need daily medication at such a young age for. We also experienced body and diaper rash and congestion.

After a few days of the projectile vomiting, I took the doctor's suggestion and cut out dairy. Two weeks later though, he had improved a bit but then was starting to decline again. Last Friday we had an impromtu appointment to discuss everything  and get baby some help.

At 5 weeks 1 day C weighed in at 9lbs 6 oz. That was up from 8lbs 3 oz at 2 weeks 5 days. It turns out he likely isn't having reflux from over acidic stomach acid but from positioning and overeating. To combat that, we purchased the Fisher Price Rock n Play sleeper which lets him sleep safely at a 45 degree incline. I'm not sure if it's a fluke but the first night he slept 6 hours straight! Second night he did all 4 hour stretches. That's much better then the two hours he was doing. We are also trying out pacifiers hoping he'll suckle those instead of always me! He would want to suckle then get upset when milk came out and he was already full. Crazy baby!

As for the rashes, our doctor suspects some sort of allergy/intolerance to something I'm eating. Since dairy doesn't seem to be the issue or possibly not the only issue, I'm doing a full elimination diet for him. This means no corn, soy, dairy, nuts, eggs, or gluten for the next three weeks. Then I'll slowly add one in at a time every week or so. I'm keeping a full journal of everything I eat/drink and charting his reactions, symptoms, and sleep habits. Hopefully I'll see improvement at the end of the 3 weeks and be able to figure out what is going on. All I can say is dairy elimination was hard but removing all of this is torture!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to School

Our TotSchool started this week. If you remember, we did this last year and blogged about it a few times. Basically we follow a preschool curriculum at home (this year it's a program a few of us in the group wrote) and meet once a week together for a group class and then every other week or so for a fun field trip event too.

Nolan was so excited to go to school yesterday. As we were driving there and I told him we were going to the park first, he told me over and over again that no he would rather go to school first. He kept asking for his backpack and to ride on a bus. Poor kiddo needs to visit his grandma so he can explore a school bus! Let's hope this enthusiasm continues once he actually gets to school.

This week we are focusing on the letter M, color red, shape circle, and the overall theme of All About Me. Nolan started using scissors and is obsessed with them. He asks to do "cut, cut" constantly. Lots of fun crafts, art projects, and stories being read! Here are a few pictures from our fun today.

"Hmm...which circle should I pick next?"