Saturday, February 25, 2012

4 Months Already!

Today, Charlie turned 4 months old. I seriously can't believe it. He's already 1/3 of the way to one year old! Sniffle...WHAT?! How did this happen!? This month, he really chunked up all over - bigger belly, legs, cheeks - and it's SO cute :D Here's the comparison picture:
This last month has been full of fun and festivities. Unexpectedly, but wonderfully, my parents drove out from NC and I got to see my whole family for a couple days (and my mom stayed a little longer to play and help out yay!). Here are three generations of handsome men:
My mom had this fun idea to put C in his Bumbo seat and let him play with toys while sitting up and he just LOVES it!

On Valentine's Day, my mom helped C and me create a sweet construction paper valentine just for his Daddy. We took pictures and sent them to him while he was still at work :) These two pictures really just crack me up. Oh the drool. And in that second picture... the heart stuck to his head with nothing other than (yep, you guessed it!) DROOL!Some stats about Charlie at four months old:
  • Favorite toys are anything that has a cute smiley face (Mr. Monkey [sock monkey], Mr. Frogs, Mr. Owl, Mr. Buzz Bee, Mr. Moon, etc... you see the theme?)
  • Excellent with his hands. He's very intentional with them now, and really likes to help me try to hold the bottle when I feed him. He pulls the bottle to his mouth when hungry, and pushes it out when he's done!
  • Sleeps through the night consistently! Woo hoo! This is one of my favorite skills that he has. He goes to bed between 8:30 and 9:00pm and wakes up between 7:45 and 8:15am! If he wakes up during the night (which I think happens all the time), he's able to quietly just fall back asleep on his own.
  • Eats 5 (or a bit more) ounces, 5 times a day... usually totals 25-26 ounces per day
  • Sized up to size 3 diapers in mid-February! I can't believe how quickly he keeps sizing up, but I hear he'll be in 3's for quite a while.
  • Rolls over - and LOVES to do it! Learned rolling from back to tummy first, and then just a few days ago, he figured out how to roll from tummy to back! Yay! It's funny because he only knows how to roll to his right... so if I put him on one side of the room, he'll keep rolling until some piece of furniture stops him. And then he gets mad. He LOVES to move around!! We could have an early crawler on our hands, especially because he's getting good at pulling his feet up underneath him... uh oh! ;)
  • Hates when he tries to turn over and can't... it makes him really really whiny, especially when he's getting tired.
  • Sometimes when he coughs, it totally sounds like he is just hamming it up... like he thinks it's fun to cough, so he forces the issue. So funny!
  • Loves to chat (when he's in the mood). No one can make my little boy talk quite like his Daddy. They have little man conversations and it just melts my heart!
  • Such a happy boy - big smiler!! His face lights up when he sees me, and it's the best in the morning when he first wakes up and has sleepy morning eyes ;)
  • Is starting to act a little hesitant when others are around that aren't mom or dad... it takes him just a little while to completely warm up to strangers, but once he does he loves to give big smiles.
  • Loves other kids. Loves to watch them play and talk, and I think he just wants to be a big kid already (don't grow up too fast little cutie!!).
  • It's hit or miss as to whether he'll sleep in his car seat. I've had better success with this since sewing a car seat cover.
  • Not the greatest napper. There's no schedule, really. Sometimes he'll nap for 20 minutes, sometimes it's up to 3 hours... so I can never really plan. Hopefully this evens out over the coming months and it's a bit more predictable. The good news is that sometimes those 20 minute cat naps are all he needs to put him back into a better mood!
  • Over the last week, we've been trying sleep training. It's been totally all over the place. First try: cried for 20 mins with intermittent soothing from me, and then finally fell asleep. Second try: just grunted and fussed a little, then fell asleep (I'm feeling pretty excited at this point). Third try: cried himself into hysterics (even with soothing from me) and I finally had to pick him up and help him calm down, taking probably 15 more mins to finally fall asleep... sooo I give up! Haha ;)
  • Still wears mostly 3 month clothing, but these are definitely getting tight, so we're moving into the 3-6 month and 6 month realm! Big boy!
  • Starting to enjoy his pacifier a lot more. Knows how to keep it in much better, and actually accepts it happily, and it helps him calm down and sleep. I'm so grateful! It's also cute when he grabs for it, takes it out of his mouth, and then tries to put it back in (usually unsuccessfully). I'm sure he'll get much better at this over the next month! I can't WAIT until he can find his paci in his crib when it falls out and put it back in...
  • Bought him a jumperoo today for his new toy to play with. It'll teach him better how to jump and stand... and of course let him get out all of that energy he has! I'm so excited about it!
  • Still waiting for a little laugh to break through......... come on Charlie!! I can't wait ;)
My sweet little man just gets cuter and more fun every single day. It's amazing how much room you have in your heart to love such a little thing. <3

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

This Valentine's Day was #6 (wow!) for us, and #1 (of course) for Charlie. We played it pretty low-key this year, but it was just perfect. My parents also happened to be in town, so that was neat for me since it was probably the first Valentine's day in at least 6 years that I've seen them.

On Monday night (the 13th), T and I celebrated by going to Park City. We ate at Prime Steak House and Piano Bar off Main Street. Although, that night it was a guitar bar with live guitar music. We LOVED the food and I liked the buzz of the atmosphere. Valentine's is the one night of the year where we like to spend way too much time and money just enjoying a fancy dinner. My favorite menu item was probably the crab & lobster bisque. Oh man. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!! Here's a snapshot from their menu. See how good their food looks? And it tastes just as delicious! :)
Thanks so much to both T's parents and my own parents for watching Charlie that night so we could take our time and enjoy ourselves. It was lovely! Also, we were fortunate that the weather was much better this year! It was a little snowy on the way back, but nothing compared to how awful it was last year!

On Valentine's Day itself, my Dad flew back to NC and my hubby had to work, but my Mom, Charlie & I had a fun day hanging out at Costco and the mall. Later, we helped Charlie create a Valentine for his Daddy out of construction paper. What a sweet boy!
After T got home from work and my Mom had left for the night, we exchanged Valentine's gifts. I purchased him a new electric razor since his old one had gone *blah* and always pulled his hairs when he shaved. Ouch! He purchased me a 1 hour "body glow" massage from a studio called "Solase" here in Orem. Apparently you get exfoliated first, then massaged at the end. I'm SO excited to schedule an appointment and get that done! I'll let you know how it is!

I hope your Valentine's Day was fun and made you feel so very loved!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

DIY: Hanging a Quilt the Easy & Cost Effective Way

I spent quite a while brainstorming how to hang the beautiful quilt that my mom made for Charlie. There are many suggested ways of doing so on the internet (including buying nice curtain rods and sewing on a sleeve to the back of the quilt to slide the rod through), but I wanted something a little less expensive and much more temporary. The following steps outline my ingenious (well, I thought so!) idea.

I went to Lowes and spent less than $2 on these little silver screw eye hooks...
...and a 1/2" thick wooden dowel that was just a few inches longer than the quilt (48" in my case). I'm thinking now that I could have even purchased a shorter one and it could have hid totally behind the quilt. But either way it looks good and it works!
Step 1: Screw one eye hook into each of the two ends of the wooden dowel (it was soft wood and I could do this by hand!):
Step 2: Create a temporary "sleeve" of sorts for the dowel to slide through. I created mine using safety pins...
...and scrap ribbon left over from hanging the wooden letters. I just laid the dowel over the back top of the quilt, about an inch or so from the top, and safety pinned the ribbon around it as tight as I could get it. Try to just grab the back layer of the quilt with the pins so you don't see them peeking out on the front of the quilt! I pinned on the ribbon on both ends, and then about 5 more times across the top of the quilt to give it nice support in each spot.
Step 3: Using these same clear sticky hooks that I used to hang the wooden letters (you could easily use nails if you want)...
...just measure the distance between the loops in the screw eye hooks and place the hooks (or nails) in the wall at the height that you wish. You'll just slip the screws right over the hooks and voila! You're done! You can barely see the dowel in the picture below:
I actually also purchased dark brown spray paint and I almost painted the dowel/eye-hook unit to match the dark furniture of the room instead of leaving it the light wooden color. But, I chickened out (or just got lazy) and so I'm going to just return the spray paint because I think it looks fine without it :)

Also, on a side note, in order to make room on my wall for the hanging of the beautiful quilt, I had to replace my tall bookshelf, seen here, with two shorter ones from Ikea. And I LOVE them! One, of course, is just below the quilt in the nursery. The other is showcased in our living room, and I decided to purchase a couple of woven square baskets to put inside for storage. It's so nice to be able to hide the baby toys/diapers/wipes/burp cloths/lotions/etc that I used to just have lying around the room. And it just adds such a nice touch to my living room.
And can I just say this... WHY did I never think of decorating with books before?
They are so artsy! :)
If you like my suggestions for hanging a quilt, let me know. OR! If you think of something else that I could have done that's even easier/better-looking... send ideas my way! <3

Monday, February 6, 2012

DIY: Fabric Covered Wooden Letters

At the beginning of my nursery-creating journey, I was brainstorming how I wanted little man's nursery to look. There were two things I knew: I wanted owls, and I wanted those cute letters on the wall that spelled out his name. Once my mom started to create the beautiful owl quilt of my dreams, the idea came to me: Use leftover fabric scraps to cover wooden letters so the letters match the quilt! But I had my doubts: Will it work? How do you attach fabric to wooden letters? How will I hang them in my apartment where the use of nails in the walls are not allowed? Will it look okay?

Well, with the help of my mom, I decided to just jump in with both feet and go for it! What's the worst that could happen? It turns out awful and I wasted $20 on wooden letters and Elmer's glue? The good news is that it turned out wonderfully, and I'd like to share it with you!
So, anyway, here's the step-by-step on how it all came together. Forgive me for not having pictures of the earlier steps of the process. I forgot to take photos!

PART 1: Apply Fabric to Letters

1. Purchase 9" wooden white wall letters from Michael's. (The hardest part was finding all the letters I needed! Had to go to two different locations). You'll also need a washable fabric marker, fabric scissors, a 1" foam paintbrush, and some Elmer's glue (for homemade Mod Podge!). If you plan to hang the letters with ribbon, you'll need some of that too :)

2. Pick out which fabrics you want to use for each letter. I'm a very visual person, so it took a while for me to be happy with which colors and patters would look good on which letter.

3. Place the fabric face down on the table, then the letter face down on top. Trace around the wooden letter with a washable fabric marker. I then had to wipe the marker off the sides of the white letters with a wet paper towel.

4. Carefully cut out each letter with fabric scissors.

5. Create your homemade Mod Podge by combining one part Elmer's glue with one part water (i.e. 1 cup of glue with 1 cup of water). We ended up making nearly two cups and didn't need too much, so we stored the extra in a glass mason jar.

6. Using the foam paintbrush, brush a layer of your Mod Podge onto the surface of the front of the wooden letters. Carefully place your cut out fabric piece on top and smooth it out. Remember that it's probably not going to fit 100% perfectly because fabric likes to stretch, but do your best! It will look great when you're finished.

7. After about 10 minutes, you'll then want to brush/dab a heavy layer of Mod Podge on top of the fabric to totally seal the fabric to the letters. This was the longest part of the process. It takes patience, but it's doable. The letters will be very wet and will look milky, but it will dry clear.

8. Let the letters dry for a while (we just set them out of the way for a day) to make sure they are finished. You can see one finished letter in the picture below. Notice how the edges of the fabric sort of hang over the edge. At first I was concerned that it wouldn't look good, but it ended up being fine. You can't really tell when the letters are hung.
**Tips: My letters aren't perfect. I learned the hard way that it's probably a good idea to avoid cutting the pieces of the fabric out of any part of the fabric that has been folded up. Find a good, smooth portion to cut from without folds. Also, some of my letters ended up having air bubbles that hardened (so if you get really close you can tell, but it looks fine from far away). I'm not sure if there's a good way to avoid the air bubbles. Perhaps while the letters are initially drying, you can make sure to push them out. Or perhaps sanding down the surface of the letters will help the fabric stick a little more smoothly. You'll have to let me know if you ever try this and figure it out :)

PART 2: Hang Letters on Wall

1. Lay the letters out on the floor in the approximate layout that you want them to be on the wall. Measure the distance between the center of the letters (and, in my case, the distance between the varying heights).
2. Cut the ribbon to the length you want to use to hang the letters. Keep in mind that some letters, like the letter "L" shown above, will require a little extra ribbon. It's not an exact science, though, so don't fret the millimeters ;). The wooden letters at Michael's DO come with holes in the back for hanging directly on the wall with nails, so you're always welcome to do that. Since I can't use nails in my apartment, I decided to hang the letters with ribbon.
3. Hot glue each end of the ribbon to the back of the wooden letters (you can see the nail hole in the below picture). Again, it's not an exact science, but you do need to try to make sure to glue the ribbon on at two points that will help distribute the weight of the letter evenly (so you don't end up with crooked letters).
4. Using a measuring tape, measure out where to put each nail (or, in my case, sticky hook - I used the small clear ones pictured below) in the wall. I started with the last letter and worked my way backwards, doing one letter at a time and seeing how I liked it visually before proceeding. You can do it however you feel works best for you. Each of my hooks was about 9 inches from the next hook, and the lower hooks were 4 inches below the upper ones.
Once you're finished, feel free to stand back and enjoy your hard work, and straighten out a couple letters, if needed.

Happy Crafting! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Nursery Version 2

So last week, I FINALLY finished Charlie's nursery, complete with wall letters, photos, and the amazing quilt made by my mom. It was a long, slow, process, but I LOVE it now that it's done! It's so much cuter compared to Version 1 and I hope you like it!

Tutorials on how I did the letters and how I hung the quilt are coming soon :)

Three Months Old

My sweet Charlie man turned 3 months old on January 25th, 2012. Here is the most recent comparison picture:
Some stats about Charlie at three months old:
  • Favorite toys are the owl and giraffe toys that hang down from his play gym and have lots of things to grab onto.
  • Is very good at grabbing, holding, and bringing toys to his mouth
  • Basically sleeps through the night. For a week he slept from 11:30pm until 9am without a feeding. Over the last few days, he's been going to bed earlier (about 10pm) and waking up to eat around 6am, then sleeping more until about 9:30am.
  • Eats about 5 ounces at a time, and a total of 24-26 oz per day
  • Still wears size 2 diapers, but frequently poops out of them :)
  • Rolls onto his side purposefully and more often - he is getting so close to turning over onto his tummy from his back!
  • Can move around on his playmat or crib - he knows how to rotate now, so I'll often find him in a different place and laying a different direction from where I left him.
  • Coos even more. Has recently discovered more sounds and different pitches in his voice.
  • Still LOVES to smile!
  • Enjoys sitting in his Bumbo while watching Mom make dinner or do other chores.
  • Can stay awake during the day for up to 2 or 2.5 hours at a time without getting cranky for a nap.
  • Wears mostly size "3 month" clothes, but fits in some 3-6 month items.
We sure do love our little man. Every day T and I tell each other how blessed we feel to have such a cute, sweet little boy. He really is the light in our lives :)