Friday, March 29, 2013

Traveling with a small human baby-child

I can't even explain how impressed I am with myself right now. I was literally just playing bejeweled blitz on my iPad while changing the setting on my iPhone. Like, at the same time. Simultaneously. My brother-in-law, Stinson, wondered aloud the other day what people did before the Internet, and I said they just watched TV, and that was enough for them.

If you don't believe in evolution, that's fine. But just think about what you were like before your iPhone. I'm just sayin.

Oh yeah, so anyway, I'm currently blogging from my iPad, and it's difficult to type with any sort of efficiency on this thing. We have been on a Midwest Family Tour this past week, where we got to meet our new niece, Audoo. Her name isn't really Audoo, but that's how C says it, so let the nicknaming commence!

'What's he think of the new baby?' You're probably wondering. I think this picture about sums it up.

Lots of ignoring and confusion, with spurts of curiosity sprinkled throughout. If he was able to form a sentence yet, he would probably wonder, "Can I wrestle with her?" And when we told him not yet, he'd run off to find a dog.

Like this one.

Or this one

Campbell is a seasoned traveler, having experience in locomotion by air, land AND sea. So while I sit here, quarantined to a dark and quiet hotel room at 9 pm, only whispering when necessary and having the brightness on my iPad set dangerously low so the tiny King can sleep soundly, I present to you my tips for traveling with a small human baby-child.

1. Food

Make sure you pack a variety of foods, but not so much of a variety that you are trying new things in transit. No need to test a sensitive digestive system when you're packed in close quarters (like a car or an airplane cabin) and strapped in.

A variety is good to help hold interest and to use as a distraction where necessary. Offer the high-stakes food later rather than sooner. This will be your insurance.

2. Toys and activities

Variety is good. Novelty is better. There is no better time to introduce a new toy or book than while traveling. Also, get creative! Sometimes a crinkly wrapper goes a long way. Sometimes a Skymall magazine is put to good use getting ripped to shreds.

And for some reason, peek-a-boo has yet to get old.

3. Sleep

Sleeping arrangements are of utmost importance.

Traveling schedules are heavily influenced by nap times, and we try to avoid traveling during the witching hour. What's the witching hour? That time before your child goes to bed where you feel like you're walking a tightrope above snakes and lava, and you're just counting the minutes til 8 pm.

If you have a child and can't relate, then you don't have a child at all, my friend. Alert the authorities immediately because some kind of evil is brewing in your household. THAT IS NOT NORMAL.

Pack things that are routine to sleep times. For C-baby-child, that would be his map blanket, his sleep sheep (noise machine), and his "Sleepy Guy" dog lovey. He knows these things only come out when it's time for sleep, which makes the transition into a strange crib a little easier. It has also worked great for keeping him on his schedule when road-tripping.

The key is he never plays with these things outside of sleepy-time, so he has associated them with sleep. It's a Pavlovian/psychological thing. A Jedi mind trick, if you will.

If you are terrible parents like us, who insist on NEVER sleeping in the same room as their child, but are stuck with few options at a hotel, fort-building skills are a must. Tonight, I positioned the pack n play in the darkest corner of the room, furthest from the TV, and build a fort around it using the ironing board, an arm chair, the desk chair and a large blanket from the bed. Just look at this masterpiece.

He's currently sleeping like a little snoring angel.

Do you have any baby-child travel tips? Feel free to share!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easy-to-sew kid's apron

Do you ever notice how lopsided children's products are? It's like 80-20 of girls to boys products. And really it's more like 80-10, because half the boy things out there are just lazy. I mean, just because I have a boy doesn't mean everything in our house has to have cars and dinosaurs and footballs on it. Not that I dislike those things (well, except football) but let's just get a little more creative with the boy things, please?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against gender roles. It's gotten me out of having to do a lot of things I don't want to do, (i.e. take the trash out when it's cold, cut things with a power saw, enlist) but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm a little jealous of all you moms to girls.

LUCKY FOR ME, I have friends with little girls, and a niece! And another niece on the way! So I can get my little girl fix in plenty of places. (BONUS, I haven't gone broke on baby girl products yet.)

A friend's little girl recently turned the big Oh-One, and I knew she was planning on getting her a play kitchen. After the jealousy subsided, for all the play kitchens I've seen are either pink or have girl undertones, I thought she needed an apron for her play kitchen. 

All you need for this is 1 fat quarter of fabric, and some scrap fabric or ribbon for the ties. 

Plus a sewing machine and thread, duh.

After you pre-wash your fat quarter, lay it out so the top and bottom hems will be made up of the shorter sides.

I made the top and bottom hems about 1/2 inch, and I folded them over twice so there wouldn't be any frayed edge showing on the back. Iron them down for easy sewing.

Fold the fabric in half long-ways. Match the two un-hemmed edges together (see photo above.)

Use a straight edge to cut from the corner of the bottom hem to the middle of the top hem.

Unfold the fabric and it should be this shape now.

Iron down the edges to hem on the sides. This is what it will look like on the back. Sew a straight line on each edge.
Sew a ribbon across the front for one tie, and two more ribbons to the top for the neck tie. I used fabric and made the ties, but ribbon would've been MUCH easer. I just didn't have any ribbon that I liked for this apron.

After making this, I decided that Campbell needs an apron. He may not have a pink play kitchen, but I think I found juuuuust the thing for him:

Franklin says: "I don't want no part of yo' tight-ass gender roles, ya freak b****!"

I don't know what he had to do with anything, but I whole-heartedly agree, Franklin!

That's why I made Campbell try it on. Mostly because I needed to make sure it would fit, but also because I don't have a little girl to dress up, and sometimes you just gotta use what/who you got.

He was humiliated. He wouldn't even sit up long enough for me to take a picture. He just kept curling up into a ball. Poor thing.

This is the picture I want displayed when I receive my 'Mom of the Year' award.

The good news is: it fits!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Whisk It Real Good: Free Printable!

Guess what guys? My car is still in pieces out in the garage. The part that was ordered was apparently lost at the hands of the U.S. Postal Service. USPS, you've done it again, you sly minx. You never fail to disappoint me. Never.

So, I'm currently suffering from cabin fever, and it's a wonder I even brushed my teeth today, (but I did!) I have this weird combination of wanting to jump out of my skin with so much energy and having absolutely no motivation. Although, I'm not sure that can be credited to my cabin fever. That could just be the way I am? I should investigate that further...

OK children, I have made another chalkboard drawing, which was fun and quick, which is how it even got done. And so I have made it into a free printable for your enjoyment, should you choose to download it. And if you do, a little Facebook like would be nice! Plus you can get updates about when I add more free chalkboard (or other) printables. Like this one and this one.

I'm thinking of doing a series of kitchen prints, because I think it's cute to draw pictures of kitchen items. Also, because I have 3 baskets worth of laundry to fold and put away, as well as many other items on my to-do list that are time sensitive. And that's what you do when you procrastinate. You find more and more things to add to your to-do list so you have more options of things to do other than the thing you really need to be doing. Like working out. Or showering.

I just remembered I have a Dr Pepper in the fridge, so that saves me from bundling Campbell up in the stroller and walking 1 mile to the nearest place that sells fountain sodas. Hi. My name is Sara, and I am addicted to in love with Dr Pepper.

Do you have an idea of something for me to draw for my (currently non-existent) kitchen chalkboard series? If so, leave a comment below, or on Facebook!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Skyfall 2

And the hits just keep on coming! A couple of weeks ago, I decided that the sky was falling. My bad - it still is!

Which, I'm kind of worried, because I wasn't hoping to make this a regular series on my blog.

It all started this weekend, when we were driving to the grocery store in my car, when the driver's side window fell off its track. WTFrenchToast? I've had this car since my senior year of college and that's never happened before. Why now?

The good news! Kennedy loves a new DIY, so he promptly took the panel off the door and realized that he would have to special-order the part that was broken. AND IT WOULDN'T BE HERE TIL WEDNESDAY. (That was Saturday night.) It's Thursday now and it's still NOT here.

Do you know what that means? It means my car is in the garage, all taken apart and basically undriveable.

But then! Kennedy was supposed to go out of town Monday & Tuesday for work, meaning he could just take a cab to the airport and I wouldn't be without a car. Phew!

Saturday night, I awoke to Kennedy barfing his brains and guts and lungs and endocrine system out. That's how bad it was. So there was no way he was traveling, seeing as how he couldn't even get out of bed until Monday (poor guy.)

I did everything possible to avoid getting what he had. Slept in another room. Used a different bathroom. Forced him to wash his hands constantly. Washed my hands constantly.

I think I have avoided it for the most part, but yesterday/last night I felt like I had gotten hit by a truck. I went to bed at 7:30 and didn't get up til 10 this morning. Luckily, there was no puking on my part. I finally feel better, but have some residual stomach cramps if I eat anything. (Oh, joy!)

Kennedy had to go in to work late to help a sister out. He's the best husband EVERRRRRRRRRRR. He even cleaned the kitchen and living room while I was holed up in bed (which, by the way, wasn't dirty because I was sick. It was dirty because I'm a terrible house keeper.)

Something crazy happens when you come back from the brink of death like I did today. You start getting big ideas. Ideas like, chalkboards are fun, I should paint the whole kitchen with chalkboard paint!!!! Luckily, I still have very little energy to follow through with this.

The thing I am most thankful for is that Campbell has remained unscathed in the 2013 stomach bug-stravaganza. I am praying he avoids it completely, because as bad as stomach cramps feel, I think it would be even worse to see that cute little guy go through it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Things From This Weekend

My current state: Sweet potatoes on my shirt and hands (from Campbell's lunch.) Wearing my pajamas. Watching Wreck It Ralph. Blogging (obviously).

What is it about painting my nails that I am doing wrong? I can't seem to give myself a decent manicure. It always ends up looking like an orange peel rolled over them. Not to mention all the extra paint that gets on my cuticles.

My current manicure - no joke. I took this picture like 30 seconds ago. Someone tell me what I'm doing wrong!

It's hard to find time to paint my nails ever. It's the drying time that kills me, so I just don't do it. I finally found time to do it last night while we were catching up on Scandal in our newly painted cave room. Wouldn'tcha know it? It was a little too dark to see what I was doing. Hence (yeah, hence!) the textured nails.

What else...Oh, we have the stomach flu over here!
Dean boys snuggling on the couch. Oooh, look at my new rug!

I don't really mean "we" so much as I mean Kennedy. And I intend to keep it to just a single case in this house. After getting woken up 5 times Saturday night to the sound of "HOOO-AGGGGHHHH" (sound of violent vomiting), I know that it is my job to make sure C-baby and myself avoid that. 

Poor Kennedy was quarantined to the cave room all day yesterday, and I finally let him come out today on the condition that he washes his hands religiously and promises not to kiss anyone. Luckily, he's starting to feel a little better.

What did people do before Google and WebMD? I bet they just kept giving each other the stomach flu over and over again. Not me (fingers crossed). I am armed with a half gallon of bleach.

I know, I know. Bleach is sooo bad for you and has so many harsh chemicals. But I just don't think vinegar is gonna disinfect everything the way I need to to be disinfected. I promise to use it sparingly.

Our local Kroger has THE BEST clearance aisle ever. I do not go in that store without checking the clearance aisle before I leave. A lot of times I don't find anything I want, but sometimes I score some great deals! I got several John Freida hair products for $1.00 each one time. And Burt's Beeswax products. I'm obsessed with clearance items.

The other day I found these Window Crayons and some Window Markers on sale and thought they'd be fun to use on our sliding glass doors.

Campbell loved them. He loved them so much he ate one. And then had a blue-filled diaper today. So those are going into the drawer for a while.

And FINALLY, I have a project brewing in my brain right now. It involves these brown wooden vases that are from Wal-mart (like, 8 years ago) and something I pinned to Pinterest.

I saw these painted sticks, which I thought were neat-o. Now if I can just figure out where I want the final product to go... Maybe Campbell's room?

But seriously...Someone tell me how to paint my nails.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Master Bedroom Progress & Plans

Warning! This is a photo-heavy post!

A couple of weekends ago, I talked Kennedy in to helping me paint our bedroom. Originally, we were going to wait a while to do it so we could get some other rooms done first. But I got tired of waiting! I wanted to sleep in a room that didn't make me gag. Is that too much to ask? (Yeah, yeah. First world problems.)

These are the listing photos from when the house was on the market. The old owner's realtor must've had a professional photographer, because I couldn't get that much room on camera at once. Plus, the carpets look a lot cleaner in this photo than they actually were/are.
I am just now realizing there is no TV in their room. How sad. How did they watch all those hours of DVR'd TV in bed like everyone else in America?

We decided to go with a color similar to our old master bedroom, because it coordinated with everything else we already had.

So, even though we painted, we are not exactly done with this room. It needs to be decorated still. I thought it would be fun to Photoshop some ideas onto the new paint and share them. Let's face it. This might be as decorated as it gets. But at least it's alive in Photoshop!

Plus, once you go dark, you never go back. (I know that's not the original saying, but I couldn't bring myself to paint the walls black just so I could have a clever blog title.) But seriously, I don't see myself using a light color in my bedroom any time soon.

After I uploaded these pictures, I realized I had a camera flare! I like to think it's my old cat, Sylvia, watching over me as I sleep, like she used to when I was a young girl.

And here are some plans. I think my superior Photoshop skills are pretty self explanatory.

Kennedy wants to take that shelf out and hang a gallery wall of pictures with white frames. And no joke, I accidentally just typed "shit" where I meant to type "white." I don't know why? But I felt that it needed to be shared.

I also want a chair and ottoman in that corner simply because that area is HUGE and empty. I don't necessarily want a grey chair, but I liked the scale and shape of that one, so there it is.

These angled ceilings are ridiculous to decorate. It's just a bunch of blank space. Maybe we should wall mount the TV and then hang some other pictures around it to make it blend in.

Maybe I should paint a bunch of question marks on the wall behind the TV to fill up space.

Here's another angle with some more wall space....

Maybe I can hang those DIY Mirrors I made on this random space? It's kind of small when all the doors are open.

And what's behind those double doors, you ask?

Ha ha. Our room is never that clean.


One of these days, I'm going to be rocking Campbell before his nap and Elvis is going to come in and throw up a bright green vomit with chunks of banana in it, and I am just going to drop dead from my skyrocketing blood pressure. Today I survived. But I might not next time.

Having a baby + 2 dogs + wet snow on the ground outside is a bad combination. These dumb dogs need exercise, and I can't really provide that at this time. So it usually ends in frustration on my part. This too shall pass...

The other thing that snow does is kill my motivation. I am currently still in my pajamas. I haven't worked out in weeks. And I want to but I just don't want to.

So instead, I made a to-do list today and feel like I accomplished enough to not feel completely worthless.

Along with my to-do list, I also chased this almost 14-month-old around as he got in to everything and generally tested limits and boundaries. It's a wonderfully trying time for both of us, but still overall fun!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@saramdean) may have noticed an influx of pics today! How can I not capture things like this:

I finally figured out how he has been taking his own pants off. Stepping on the cuffs over and over til they get dragged down...

He had especially perfect bed head today. I hope he has bed head forever and ever.

Most pictures of Campbell are blurry these days. He is always moving. 

I decided to start teaching him to put things away today. NOT EASY. I figured I better suck it up and do it now while I have some energy left. Basically, I handed him something he took out and guided his hand to the place I wanted him to put it. Then I yelled "Yayyyy!!!!!" and we clapped. Lather/Rinse/Repeat. He did it a few times, and then got distracted by something.

For anyone with children: Is this the best method? Is he too young to understand this concept? I will continue to force him to clean up unless someone (preferably a child psychologist) convinces me there is a reason to cease and desist. 

PS: This guest room is still pink. I intend to change that soon.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Does anyone else have Adele's Oscar-winning song stuck in their head? I have been singing it since last Sunday night when she won.

We spent part of the day traveling home from Texas on Saturday, and every time I looked at the seat in front of me, I would sing the song but replace the words with 'Skymall". (Disclaimer: I did not make that joke up. I saw it on Twitter, and now the Skymall song is actually the one stuck in my head.)

The flight directly coincided with Campbell's afternoon nap, and after a small delay on our flight, homeboy was NOT havin' it. There is a "point of no return" when it comes to nap schedules, in which the child is too tired to sleep. Sounds ridiculous, but it happens. And it's the worst. And then we got on the plane. 

So there was a little screaming on his part, but I recently discovered that I can stroke his forehead and cheeks with the back of my hand and it has a similar effect to if you touch a Great White Shark on the nose. (In case you don't partake in Shark Week, that means it puts him right to sleep.)

So this child sprawled out on top of me and slept for about 45minutes - 1 hour while I had the arm rest jammed in my back, and bounced my leg the entire time so he wouldn't wake up. Plus my other leg/foot was completely asleep. Oh, Motherhood. It was worth it for him to get some sleep.

He woke up happy and ready to go. Kennedy grabbed Campbell and got his sippy cup full of milk out to give him a little snack. We use these Nuby flip top straw cups. They are advertised as no-spill, and for the most part, they spill very little.


UNLESS YOU ARE 30,000 FEET IN THE AIR. Then, the pressure will create a vacuum inside the straw cup, and when you flip the top up, it's like Old Faithful up in there!

So from where I sat (by the window), Kennedy is holding Campbell in his lap, and the cup is spewing milk ALL OVER THE CABIN. I literally saw him look at his hand and follow the milk geyser up like Tom does when Jerry hands a stick of dynamite to him with a really long fuse that has already been lit.

For some reason, Kennedy thought turning the cup sideways would stop the madness. Nope. Sprayed a sleeping man in khaki shirt/pants/shoes in the face. 

He finally shut the flip top and I looked at poor Campbell's face. He was crying. And milk was dripping down his face. It was literally the only time I have ever laughed when he was crying. I mean, HE HAD MILK ALL OVER HIS FACE AND HE WAS CRYING.

I don't think the milk-soaked people around us thought it was funny, so it got awkward for a minute while we got our giggles out.

Then, on the way home from the airport, we ran out of gas on the interstate. No joke. It was like 20 degrees outside, and I was planning what we would get for dinner, and we ran out of gas. Then I rode in a cop car to the gas station in a shady part of town, and the cops had to help me fill a gas tank because I had never done it before. (These officers were so helpful and kind. I was thankful they didn't make fun of us to my face for running out of gas. Who does that??? We do, apparently.)

Then when we got back, the car battery died. So we had 1 gallon of gas in the tank and had to wait 20 more minutes for a wrecker to jump us. 

I was wearing TOMS. My feet were freezing. Poor Campbell was bundled up in a blanket in his car seat. And it was 1.5 hours past his bedtime.

We finally got home at like 10 pm. I had a sandwich and ice cream for dinner.

Yesterday, I started a mini-project painting a mirror frame for our powder room. I hung it up and hated it. When we were getting ready for bed, the mirror fell off the wall and all the paint got chipped. At least I didn't like it.

Today I was showering and a piece of trim on the window fell down.

Oh yeah, and last week, a piece of siding was RIPPED off our house by wind. And birds started building a nest in the eave where it came off.

The sky is falling.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pop-out pictures: an inexpensive and thoughtful gift

We celebrated my Dad's birthday a little early this year since we all just happened to be in town the same week. Am I the only one who has a hard time shopping for their Dad? If he wants something, he just buys it. I've completely run out of ideas when it comes to holidays where I give my Dad a gift. So I think the new trend is to start giving him pictures of his grandson, C-baby.

I thought I was going to go the whole week without doing a craft, but alas, I can't stay away! I'm addicted!

I have been making these pop-out pictures for years (for myself and as gifts,) and I always love the look of them. They make a photo really stand out from the bevy of other framed pictures of him and Campbell that he will be getting from now on.

It's a simple project that doesn't take long to put together. All you'll need is:
  • 2-3 copies of the photo you want to use
  • A sheet of black craft foam
  • Really sharp scissors
  • Glue
  • A shadow box-ish frame (Hobby Lobby or Michael's has a few good selections
The time it takes to make this project is directly related to how sharp your scissors are. 

A little close-up for you nosey folks.
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