Monday, April 30, 2012

Make Something Monday: Sports Fan Gear for Girls

OK, confession time. I made this a lllloooonnnnggg time ago and just never posted it. Of course, you didn't know that until I told you, but for the sake of being honest, I had to share.

A friend of mine is a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan. She has a little girl who unfortunately has spent most of her almost two years without much hair. It doesn't help that the hair she does have is white-blond, so most of her wisps went unnoticed for far too long. All this say, wearing sports fan gear didn't help her look any more girly. So, I wanted to help a girl out. Plus, it gave me an excuse to try a couple new crafty things.

First I freezer paper stenciled the Cowboys star onto the front of a onesie. I know it's not official sanctioned team clothing, but this wasn't for sale. It turned out really cute, so I made one for my boy too. I love freezer paper stenciling. It's really simple and fast (well, depending on how intricate my design is). It would be a lot easier if I had a fancy machine that cut everything out for me, but where's the challenge in that, right?

Next I attempted ruffles on the back. Since I had never made ruffles before, I was in new territory. I decided to use ribbon instead of fabric since I thought that might be easier. I followed some instructions I found online (sorry, I can't remember where) and it wasn't too difficult actually. They turned out pretty well. The hardest part was keeping the ribbon gathered as I stitched them onto the shirt. They certainly aren't perfect, but no one will notice since they'll be more focused on the cutie sporting the ruffles anyway. Don't look too closely, but now that I've done them once, I'm not so freaked out to try them again.

Sadly, I don't have a picture of Little Miss in her cute football watching outfit, but you can imagine how adorable she looked. Maybe I'll make another for our Baby Girl Miller. I know her daddy would love to see his little girl in Cowboys gear. I'll probably have to make her a Broncos one too, just to keep things even.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Preparing Myself

Sweet baby girl is coming soon. Summer seems far away, but when I stop and think about the number of weeks left until her arrival, all I can say is "EEEKKK!" I'm ready and not at the same time. On one hand I'm excited to meet her and kiss her soft skin. I am looking forward to the new baby smell and warm snuggles. Tiny clothes and gentle coos and wrinkly feet. Who can resist all the sweet, miniature newborn stuff?

On the other hand, though, I am not ready. I live in toddler-land now. Not just any toddler-land, but BOY toddler-land. We play "throw," "shoot," and "kick." We have dance parties that end in a dizzy collapse. We sometimes use our outside voices in the house. We periodically battle over meals (although I try really hard not to let him know I'm frustrated that he won't eat non-pureed veggies despite the fact that his mouth is full of teeth). We, and I use this term very lightly, play with noisy, battery-operated toys. We, which really just means he, sometimes throw blocks. There is wrestling and sports and the occasional angry tantrum at my house.

How do I bring a newborn into this environment? How do I switch gears from toddler-land to baby-land? How do I go from boy stuff to girl stuff?

I am so NOT prepared for my new life.

I have reached the point in pregnancy where things have become uncomfortable. Sleeping is a chore that involves moving pillows throughout the night. Heartburn has returned to haunt my post-meal hours. Giving baths, reaching into the crib, and picking up toys is more challenging than it has been up to now. I'm at the stage where I can't really remember what it's like not to be pregnant. My body is always going to look like this, right? I'll never wear normal clothes again, right?

It dawned on my this morning that I won't sleep fully through the night again for months. My heart sank. Is this really happening? It's true. All the wonderful, sweet, snuggly parts of having a newborn are balanced out by sleep deprivation, the postpartum emotional rollercoaster, feeling depleted after nursing again for what seems like the millionth time in a day (seriously, how do those tiny things eat all. the. time.), and the dread of inadequacy to meet the needs of this dependent life.

But really, how do you prepare? You can read books and blogs and articles. You can talk to other parents and ask millions of questions, but it doesn't prepare you fully. You just have to dive in and paddle for the surface.

I'm less scared than I was the last time. Round two is less intimidating. Sure I have forgotten the routine of late night feedings and spit-up and hating the car seat, but I survived it once and I know I can survive it again. I feel more empowered this time. I'm not a wide-eyed freshman; I'm a sophomore who knows her way around campus. I'm a veteran instead of a rookie. I like that. It gives me confidence that although I don't feel prepared, I am. I am a mother.

Of course, ask me that again when girly girl arrives and I may have a different story.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Boy and His Hoop

My son loves sports.

Loves is actually an understatement. He is obsessed with sports. This was destined to happen. I had no say in the matter. And it all began in the hospital the day he was born. While I took a much needed nap, Adam and his little G watched an OU baseball game. But that's not the only sports little G got that day. The record breaking tennis match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut ended on the day Graham was born. It was the longest match in tennis history lasting more than 11 hours over the course of three days.

See, he was destined to love sports. And love them he does. With passion and zeal and vigor.

Since he's been seeing a lot of basketball lately with March Madness just wrapping up, G has been wanting to play a lot of "shoot." This game entails one of the parents (usually Dad) standing on his knees with his arms out to create the hoop while Graham shoots, dunks, and airballs to his heart's content. If the "hoop" gets tired and sits down, moves to the couch, etc., our bossy little boy says, "no, no, no" while pointing to the floor where the "hoop" must resume his/her position. Mom gets tired of this game much faster than Dad does, mainly because G's choice in balls is not always soft and Mom's "backboard" is a little more delicate. Plus, little sister doesn't like it when the ball hits her.

The game of "shoot" gets more tricky when we go outside. Our backyard came with a basketball goal that G is totally enthralled with. Gone are the days when he would wander around the yard picking up sticks and playing a game of chase with the puppy next door. Now, he just makes a bee-line for the hoop and tries his best to throw his ball high enough. When that doesn't work very well, he enlists a parent to hold him up so he can shoot. Lifting a 20+ pound kid above your head when you are seven months pregnant is not easy. Or recommended. It doesn't help that he likes to use your chest as a springboard to reach even higher. Really fun for the little boy; really unpleasant for the Mom.

We had decided to get the G-man a basketball goal that is his size. We desperately wanted to wait until his birthday, but we folded and got it for Easter. G doesn't really know about Easter baskets or presents, but we knew he would be thrilled.

And thrilled he was.

Beyond thrilled.

He woke up at 7:15 and we brought him into the living room to see his surprise. When he saw the hoop he was giddy and knew exactly what to do. We had a meltdown when it was time to eat breakfast. We had a meltdown when it was time to get dressed for church. We had a meltdown when we had to leave the house. For two hours straight, he did nothing but "shoot." When we pulled into the garage from church, G started talking about his "new hoop." Hoping to avoid yet another meltdown, we put him immediately into his highchair and bypassed even looking at the hoop. After just a couple bites he handed me his plate and said, "Done. Shoot. New hoop." He shot around for another hour until naptime.

Cue meltdown.

G has started talking in his bed for a while before he falls asleep. As he lay there in the dark, we heard him saying, "Ah meese (ah miss)," over and over.

We put the hoop away during naptime since we knew it might make heading to our friend's house for Easter dinner a challenge. Not surprisingly, Graham searched the house for the "new hoop" as soon as he woke up. Thankfully going to his buddy Jordan's house was exciting enough to get him in the car without any tears.

He asked about the hoop when he woke up this morning and looked everywhere for it, but I wanted him to actually eat, so we waited until after breakfast to bring it out of hiding. Suffice it to say, G was happy to see his hoop again.

I was kind of nervous about how day number two would go since we had three hoop related meltdowns before 10am on day number one, but G seems to have reached some balance with his basketball goal. Don't get me wrong, he's played "shoot" for a majority of the day, but he did take a 20 minute break to play in his room. He sat in my lap to read several books before he took a nap and hasn't had any hoop related meltdowns so far.

Yay for Mom and Dad picking out the perfect toy! It so much fun to see the joy on your kid's face when you give him a gift that you know he'll love. And as much as we wanted to wait until his birthday, hearing him say, "ah meese" or "bick (brick)" when he misses a shot, or "dunk" and "nice shot" when he makes one has been totally worth it. Plus, he's getting a little sister for his birthday. That's the present every little boy wants, right?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Adventures of Horse and Cow

Papa picked out a set of farm animals for G's birthday last summer. There is Horse, Cow, Sheep, Pig, Goat, Rooster, and Duck (which I think is actually a goose, but we've been calling it a duck for almost a year now so that's what it's going to be). Lately G has been really interested in playing with his animals. He takes them out of the box and lines them up. Sometimes they tackle each other in a dog pile. Other times they take turns going down the slide.

The days can get long for a toddler when Mom is washing dishes and switching laundry and paying bills. What's a boy to do?

This is exactly the predicament the G-man found himself in yesterday. Enter Horse and Cow.

While Mom was busy getting things done, G took Horse and Cow for a walk, or in G's words, a "wok." Horse and Cow walked all around the living room. They took a little wrestle break before they got to the dining room. After their wrestling match complete with commentary provided by the G-man, they continued their walk. The hardwood floor in the dining room proved to be a difficult surface for Horse and Cow. Every now and then one of them would fall down and promptly be tackled by the other. Finally they made it to the kitchen. Horse was so exhausted, he lay right down and took a nap. Cow, on the other hand, was thirsty. G was kind enough to give Cow some drinks of his milk. He's so thoughtful. Apparently the kitchen was their final destination because the G-man left them there and moved on to something new.

After wiping the milk drips off the floor and returning Horse and Cow to their home with the other animals, Mom reflected on G's new found imagination. Then she chuckled to herself about G sharing his milk with Cow. Cow is a holstein. Holsteins are dairy cows. Somehow it seemed a little funny for a dairy cow to drink milk. Kind of like a chicken eating scrambled eggs. Or a goat snacking on some feta cheese.