Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review

Wow- another year gone. This year was crazy, as it brought us Grayson Boy.  Here's a quick look back at 2011 favorites month by month.

January- This month is always a favorite- its the birth month where I once again turn 21. This is also the month we found out we were expecting a little baby.  We kept it our own little secret for awhile, then we shared the news with family. January was also the month that I started blogging, and In This Crazy Life was born.

February- why hello morning sickness that NEVER WENT AWAY. Wow, that stuff was evil. They had to give me meds to be able to go to work, and some days I was the first one out of the room when the bell rang so I could get sick in between classes. February also brought the Superbowl, and my only food aversion of the pregnancy.  The hubs brought out his Superbowl Salsa and Chips, and I immediately told him he needed to get rid of them. If you ask him, that is the sole reason the Steelers lost the Superbowl.

I also learned how to make my own Laundry Soap, and that first batch lasted us until October. LOVE that.

We had our first sonogram to see our bean and to confirm dates and they said the little bugger (who really did look like a kidney bean at that point) was looking perfect and was due to arrive September 20th.

March- I think I spent this entire month getting sick.  The kiddos had started to ask if I was having a baby (not to me, but to other teachers) because they had noticed me getting a little porky in the middle.  Of course the constant shade of green I was wearing and the running to the bathroom like there was no tomorrow may have been a hint as well. So I decided to share the news with them, and my all time favorite line was said in my classroom.
"YEAHHH Mrs. K! I knew you wasn't just getting fat! Right on!"
Love those kiddos sometimes.

April- We started to clean the baby's room out, and in the process had the biggest yard sale I had ever seen.  We also started to talk baby names, and the hubs decided to tell me he wouldn't agree on a final name until the baby was born. WTH. He did agree however, to find out if it was going to be a boy or a girl. Little did he know I was finding out regardless- I have zero patience.

May- We found out we were having a boy, and nothing could have made my husband more thrilled. Everything was perfect and the baby was healthy, and I was designing a nursery fit for our little prince.

June- Yay for Summer Break! I love my job and I love my kids, but I was thrilled to get off of my feet. I announced to the blog world we were having a baby, and we picked the bedding and the paint colors. Progress, people, progress.

July- I debuted my first two DIY projects on the blog, the vinyl calender and the closet dividers for the beans room.  As of today the closet dividers are still one of the favorite posts here on the blog.

August- We took our last no-baby trip to Tennessee to visit the in-laws.  It was ridiculously hot and I fell off of a boat face first, and I was also peeing every 45 minutes. We had our All-Star Baby Shower, and had more than we could ever need for the Bean.
(Me and Best Friend Since Birth- three weeks apart, like always.)

September- Back to work and on baby watch.  My students asked if I was going to pop, and I felt that I very well could. I refused to buy my hubs a birthday present, because I was dead set determined to have the baby on his birthday. Well, that crashed and burned. I ended up scrambling and buying tickets to go see Ralphie May in December because the baby just refused to come early.  He came in his own sweet time, three days late, with the best labor and delivery I could have ever asked for. Grayson Michael is by far the best project I have debuted on this blog, and in life in general. (Okay, I guess Patrick helped a little bit haha)

October- With maternity leave I really got into the groove of blogging and shared Grayson's Birth Story, as well as my DIY Subway Art for his room. I also started sharing his Monthly Posts and Monthly Must Haves so that I can look back and know what was happening with our little guy each month, as well as to share some advice with other Mommy's out there. Grayson had his first holiday with Halloween and made the cutest Monster Ive ever seen.  Hubs and I also celebrated one year of being married with our one month old baby boy.

November- I learned how to make a grabbable blog button all on my own (to the shock and awe of the hubs) as well as made lots of yummy food with the help of Pinterest. You also got to laugh as I shared the epic fail of cloth diapering in our house- which by the way, Grayson still hates. Grayson was baptized and got to spend a week with his Grammy and Grandpa from Tennessee, which always makes him a happy boy.

December- We stuffed this month with traditions. We cut down our own Christmas tree, decorated the house, went to visit Santa, gave to charity, found Santa's footprints and his letter, and dressed the baby in a Santa suit. Overall, I'd say Grayson had a wonderful first Christmas- and the toys r us that sprung up in our dining room will take a good half of 2012 to organize.  Oh and the Ralphie May tickets I got the hubs for his birthday? The show got canceled. Sorry dude, your birthday this year was an epic fail.

Well that's it lovelies- 2011 is here and gone. I can't wait to see what 2012 brings to my crazy life. I know with Grayson and the hubs it certainly wont have a dull moment!

Happy New Year, Lovelies!

Friday, December 30, 2011

DIY Letter Art on the Cheap!

I totally love the art where objects spell out letters.

You know, this stuff

But with an average price of $7 a letter unframed- it gets a little pricey when your last name has 9 letters (thanks hubs!).

We have one that I received as a present for our wedding in our entryway, and the hub's grandparents admire it every time they come over. So for Christmas this year I knew that is what I wanted to get them- but I wasn't about to pay $70. I was determined to DIY it.

Well first I thought I could go out and take pictures myself, but with being massively preggers, then a newborn and dicey weather that was out.

This man is awweesomee! He has thousands of pictures of letters and numbers and allows you to use them for free.

So using that and Microsoft Publisher I came up with this:
If you go under Page Design in Publisher and click on Margins then Custom Margins at the bottom. Once the window pops up, click on the Grid Guidelines tab and add as many rows and columns as you need. This gives you nice even squares to fit your images in. Once you find the letter you want, right click and change the size to Medium 640. Then make the window smaller, and leave it open over the blank Publisher document. Then you can click and drag the letter and drop it into your Publisher page and re size it to fit the blue grid lines.

Once you get your art the way you like it, you need to save it as a jpeg.  To do this click Save As, then at the bottom it says Save As a. Click the drop down menu and choose JPEG File Interchange Format.  Then change the resolution from standard to High Quality (300 dpi).  Then all you have to do is upload it to your favorite photo printing website and have it printed. Buy yourself a frame (bonus points if you have a coupon!) and you're good to go.

Total cost- $4.99 for the 11x13 Print at Ritz on Sale and $9.99 for the frame (50% off at Michaels) makes this custom gift less than $15.  Much better than the $70 without a frame (and I'm sure a 9 opening photo frame would cost an arm and a leg as well!)

So have fun playing around, lovelies, and show me what you made!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Month Three Must Haves

I suspect that next month this list will have a lot more on it, as the little bean is finally starting to reach for toys and play. Plus it doesn't help that we just had Christmas, and Grayson cleaned up like no other in the toy department.

I'm so glad Grayson finally decided he likes this sucker. He doesn't fall asleep in it often, but he loves to hang out and talk to the balls above his head. Really, he could spend a good hour in there just babbling to himself and kicking his feet.  I have no idea how else would I have gotten my Christmas presents wrapped if it wasn't for this wonderful thing. Ours is the second generation with a plush lining, but toys r us sells a canvas lined one for about $40 cheaper.

This adorable night light shines the stars on the ceiling in either blue, green, or amber light. Its just enough light to see when you have to go in there an pop a bink back in and Grayson loves to lay in his crib and look up at the stars before he falls asleep.

This play mat has tons of toys and spaces to add more toys, and it comes with a music box that lights up as it plays. Grayson loves music, and if it lights up as well hes pretty much mesmerized. The octopus on this mat was the first toy he ever reached for, then once he got ahold of the plastic ring he left out a yell because he was so proud of himself. haha.

These are just lightweight plastic rings that link together in chains, but Grayson loves them. He shakes them, grabs for them and puts them in his mouth. You can hang them off of the car seat, the bouncer, the stroller- anything goes!

This bouncer is actually at my Mom's house (Grayson spends 4 days a week with Grammy) and he spends hours in it. He plays and naps in it because he is in love with the snow that moves around the cute little polar bear. If hes cranky, all we have to do is plop him down and turn this on and hes instantly smiling and cooing at his cute little animal friends.  Meanwhile, we have a lovely bouncer at home that doesn't have snow- and he wont set foot in the thing for more than 20 seconds. Eh, kids.

Check out Months 1 and 2 Must Haves Here!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Three Months Old

Dear Grayson Boy-

Three months old? Really? Please stop growing, you're getting so big too fast!

  • You have become so animated this month, I love that all Daddy or I have to do is look at you and you break out the big baby grins.
  • You are the most adorable baby narcissist- you will stare at yourself in the mirror for hours and if we really want to see those dimples all we have to say is "Where is that handsome guy?" and you squeal with delight.
  • This month you laughed out loud for the first time with Daddy, then for Grammy, then Pappy...then when we were taking these pictures you FINALLY giggled for Mommy! Kiddo, don't you know that I am the one you're supposed to do things for first? We've got a bond!
  • You rolled over for the first time at 3 am on December 20th- you woke us up yelling because you had flipped yourself in your crib and were not happy about it. Daddy stumbled over to me asking, "when did we put him on his belly?" and before I could respond he was yelling "HE ROLLED OVER!" Daddy was super excited.
  • We left you for the first time with someone who wasn't family, Miss Gail next door. Grammy had to work and Daddy got called in. She said you were amazing and will have you come back any time.  Mommy cried the whole way to work, even though I knew she would take super good care of you.
  • This month you celebrated Thanksgiving, had our Christmas pictures taken, went and cut down our family Christmas tree, did all of our Christmas shopping, went and visited Santa- so much fun stuff for a little guy. Daddy and I love creating traditions for you and filling your days with fun and love.
  • Grammy has been working with you, and you now reach for your toys and play with your links and loveys. You hugged so hard on your monkey that his head started to fall off, but Grammy fixed that for you.
  • You're still a kick-bum sleeper. You go to bed around 9 or 10 and sleep until I wake you up at 6 and load you into the car and you sleep in your car seat until 7. Then you eat, and back out you go until at least 10am. Thank you for this little boy- please continue to sleep like a champ.
  • We got your reflux under control, and since we have you have become the most pleasant baby.  You just kinda hang out and go with the flow. You still love to be held on your belly, and that's always the best way to calm you down if you're fussy.
  • You are such a talker little man. You tell the best stories- Daddy and I could listen to you babble on for hours. One of my favorite things is to hear you telling stories to your loveys in the car- it melts my heart every time.

That's all for this month my baby pickle. Daddy and I were just saying we cant remember life three and a half months ago, and we never want to- because you make our lives so much better by being here.  We love you more and more each day baby boy!

XOXO, Mommy

Holiday Wrap Up 2011

Merry Christmas!

Grayson's first Christmas was a success- even if that maid I specifically asked Santa for did not appear any where under my tree this year (and I just double checked when I crawled under there to clean up pine needles-bupkis).

The in-laws made it up from Tennessee for three jam packed days of family celebrations, and were super excited to spend some time with the bean.

Were a family of horrible picture takers for sure.

Our holiday schedule is insane- we celebrate 5 different Christmases, complete with 3 meals, over the span of two days. That's pretty hard on a little dude- not to mention the little dude's Mama! We did manage to squeeze in some Christmas traditions for our little guy though-

We decorated the tree as a family, and wrapped a TON of presents to put under the tree

Turned out pretty darn nice- even if the one side is a little Dr Seuss-ish :)

I toned down the usual amount of Christmas decor, but we still managed to make the house look Christmasy

We set out cookies and milk for Santa and a bowl of Sugar for the Reindeer

We posed for pictures in front of the tree in our Santa hats (it was Steelers Saturday- so we wore our Steelers Santa hats, football is taken way serious in this house!)

In the morning we woke up to a letter from Santa and Grayson found Santa's footprints by his stocking

Daddy and Grayson opened his stocking before we broke into the pile of presents

 Then after a morning nap, we got into our Santa suit and after a few photos we headed off on our Christmas marathon. 

Grammy and her favorite guy ever. 

 After opening more than enough presents and playing in the paper for awhile, both Daddy and Grayson needed a nap.

After my Mom's we hit my Dad's then my Grandma's and ended our night at Patrick's Grandmas.
 Telling Gram and Aunt Christine all about his presents.
Its tradition in the family that we open presents starting with the youngest child- so this year Grayson boy was first. Even at three months he didn't disappoint. He watched everything we opened, and hugged his soft toys for everyone to see how much he liked them.

Our last picture of the night- four generations of good looking guys- one of whom was way tired and ready for bed.

Overall his haul this year included a bunch of clothes, diapers, formula, baby food, rice cereal, puffs, a jumparoo (Santa), a walker, links, Elf on a Shelf (Santa), a Little Tykes Nativity Set (Santa), books, stuffed animals, teethers, rattles shaped like tools, Scout the Puppy and tons of other toys that Im forgetting. Our families and Santa were way generous this year.

Overall Grayson's first Christmas was amazing, and I can't wait to continue our traditions next year :)