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Candle in the Night

Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby H's Birth Story

Thinking about how soon I'm going to be sharing M's birth story, I realized I have yet to share H's birth story.  I pray that my birth story with M is very different from what I experienced with H, but I do want the end result to be the same, a happy, healthy baby.  I hope you enjoy H's story.  Oh, and an advance warning, some of this might be a little more detailed than you want to hear, but I'm going to share it for the sake of other moms who do.

At the end of the summer of 2009, we began trying to have a baby and were so excited.  It took us very little time to become pregnant and we found that our due date was somewhere around May 3rd or 5th.  Because we didn’t know the exact date of conception, the doctor did an ultrasound at 14 weeks.  This ultrasound gave us a new due date of April 27th.  It also said we had a healthy baby.  We could see heart, head, arms, legs, and body. 

Time seemed to go SO slowly, but at the same time, it flew by.  At 20 weeks, our ultrasound showed us a little baby girl.  We decided on the name H which means “favored of God” or “Grace”. 

H looked great at every appointment and never caused anyone any concern.  We began taking Bradley classes to prepare for a natural childbirth.  We learned the pros and cons of different drugs and interventions used during labor, but also learned that the most important thing is to have a healthy mommy and a healthy baby.  I changed my diet and did all the exercises recommended.  I wanted so badly to give my best to the little one inside of me. 

I had chosen a doctors group based on a recommendation of a friend.  She’d had a good experience with them and I needed to have a doctor between home and school to be able to make it to appointments without taking the whole day off.  When I talked to them about natural childbirth, they seemed to be supportive.  I’d told them what I wanted and they were okay with all of it “as long as the baby wasn’t in danger. 

Well, as April 27th came and went, the doctors began talking about induction.  This was my first clue that they might not have been as supportive of natural childbirth as I would have hoped.  I was insistent that I wanted her to come when she was ready.  I was prepared to have a daily ultrasound to check the placenta and amniotic fluid if that was what they needed to feel comfortable with waiting.  It had gotten to where I was going to have some kind of appt. every day when I woke up Tuesday, May 4th at 1:30 am having contractions. 

I knew that sometimes people have false labor, so I got up, walked around and tried to go back to sleep.  Around 4:00 I woke up Brian and had him start timing them.  They were coming every 2-3 minutes, but weren’t too strong.  He got up, took a shower, and packed while I continued to walk while I packed the last minute things I needed.  I continued to walk as he packed the car, but it did finally get to the point where I needed to lay down. 

I tried resting…we slept on and off, and at about 6:00 am, we called the family.  I had a few contractions one right after another.  We decided it was probably time to go to the hospital.  We showed up at about 7:00.  We signed in and found out that (unfortunately) the doctor I liked the least of the group was the one on call.  He came in, checked me and I was dilated to a 2.  He said, “I think we’re going to have a baby today!  Let’s break your water and get things moving.”  At that point, I should have told him I was going home and would come back later. 

I was really upset.  I told him we did not want to break my water, but wanted labor to progress normally.  He said okay, but that the nurse would be back to check in an hour and if I “wasn’t progressing”, he would recommend breaking my bag of waters again.  When he left the room, the nurse told me that even if I hadn’t dilated further, she’d just tell him I didn’t want to have my water broken.  I walked and was checked every so often.  I wasn’t making a lot of progress, but was okay with that because I knew I was progressing naturally and H would come when she was good and ready.  After a few hours, there was a nursing change.  I was disappointed because I had really liked our nurse. 

The new nurse we had was cold and not very friendly.  She not only wasn’t friendly, but she would hook me up to the monitor and forget about me.  I was only supposed to be hooked up for 15 minutes every hour according to our birth plan, but she’d come in after 15 or sometimes even 20 minutes, say the monitor had slipped and they had to do it again.  She wasn’t good about making sure it didn’t slip during the 15 minutes.  Granted, they were very busy during the day I was there, but it was frustrating just the same. 

At about 8:00 pm, after the doctor had suggested breaking my water several more times during the day, we were told I wasn’t progressing and they needed to break my water.  I’d been at a six for about three hours.  We thought I’d probably reached a natural alignment plateau, and the doctor said it was possible, but not probable.  I don’t think he’d ever heard of an NAP.  We were told there was more than a 50% chance I’d have a C-section because of H's heart rate dropping during contractions.  This was a struggle for us because although we know it can be dangerous for the baby’s heart rate to drop too much, we also knew that it is very common for the heart rate to decrease during contractions.  By this time, we also knew that our doctor wanted to do whatever he could to get us moving so he could go home. 

We asked the doctor to explain our options.  The two choices we were given were these.  #1: Continue to labor naturally, have H's heart rate continue to drop, and most likely have an emergency c-section.  #2: Break my water, maybe have H naturally.  If contractions didn’t strengthen, have pitocin administered, and have H naturally, or possibly still have a c-section.  We told the doctor we wanted three more hours and that after that, if I wasn’t any more dilated, we would take his recommendation. 

We called the elders of our church and I was administered to.  They asked God for safety for H and for me and for things to go as naturally as possible.  After an hour, the nurse came in and checked me.  We were excited to hear that I was dilated to a 7!  The doctor came back and wanted to check me himself.  He decided that I was still only at a 6.  This was so frustrating, but we didn’t argue with him anymore. We went ahead and gave them permission to break my water. 

As soon as my water was broken, labor became almost unbearable.  As my Bradley instructor says, I wouldn’t associate pain with labor…until they mess with it.  It almost instantly became very painful.  Things were so intense.  Relaxation was nearly impossible and in fact, so was breathing at all.  I went into what I believe was the transition stage of labor, but since I arrived there unnaturally, it lasted much longer than normal transition labor should.  I labored HARD for an hour.  That was the time that I literally though I was going to die and thought death would probably be preferable. 

The doctor came back in and checked me again.  I’d barely progressed and he said he highly suspected that even if I did continue naturally, my contractions weren’t strong enough to keep me from hemorrhaging if I didn’t have Pitocin administered. 

He told me it was time to administer Pitocin.  Now, to say a word in his defense, not once had he offered, or tried to convince me to take pain medication.  I’d said I didn’t want it offered, and he didn’t.  At this point though, he reminded me that I knew my options for pain meds.  Being too proud, I waited until he left the room before turning to Brian and saying, “I want an epidural!  Don’t let them give me Pitocin before the epidural.”  I knew that I couldn’t stand any more pain than I was already having without something for the pain.  My mom went and told the doctor. 

The anesthesiologist came in a few minutes and administered the epidural.  Almost immediately, the pain was gone.  I barely felt the next contraction.  They administered the Pitocin and I slept on and off for the next hour.  I could feel the contractions, but not nearly as intense as they had been. 

After an hour, a nurse came in to check the monitors.  She told me that if I felt like I needed to be checked to let her know.  Now awake, I thought about it and I really felt like H was about to fall out.  She checked me and I had dilated to a 10 and was 100% effaced.  She told the doctor who asked if I could continue to relax for about half an hour.  I thought I could, but we woke up Brian just in case. 

The doctor came in at 1:00 and I started pushing.  I remember looking at the clock and thinking, “If I push for 30 minutes, I’ll have been in labor for a full 24 hours!  Pushing went great!  Using the Bradley techniques I had learned made things go smoothly.  I ended up tearing pretty good which I think was due to the epidural and not being able to feel completely what was going on and push with total control.  After 20 minutes, H was born.  It was wonderful!  She was bright eyed and alert and the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen!  I was unaware of the people around me and the doctor stitching me up and delivering the placenta while I spent time bonding with H.  They placed her immediately on my chest and we were able to spend time bonding for quite a while before they took her to weigh her and everything.  It was really wonderful. 

Looking back, I am not angry with myself about the decisions I made during labor and delivery.  I know I did what I had to do.  I let H receive the benefits of natural labor as long as I could and I put off drugs for long enough that she was only exposed to them for a very short time.  I used everything I had learned to make good, informed decisions. 

Things got very stressful during labor because of the doctors pressing us to break my waters early on.  He pressed for augmented labor early on which made it very hard to trust him later when things really did need to be helped along.  If I could go back, there are several things I would do differently. 
     1.       I would choose a doctor (or midwife) who I knew supported natural childbirth.  I would want someone I could trust to help me make decisions based on what I learned to be the best thing for my baby. 
     2.       If I went to the hospital too early, I would leave.  There is nothing they can do to keep you there.  Looking back, I can’t believe I stayed when I was only dilated to a 2. 
     3.       If they were monitoring me too often or for too long, I’d tell them the baby was fine, take the monitor off and do what I needed to do.  The monitors made things stressful and more painful. 
     4.       If I had a nurse who wasn’t being kind and helping me relax, I’d ask for a different nurse. 
     5.       I wouldn’t let anyone tell me what to do.  I know my body and I know that doctors are trained to deal with emergencies.  Having a baby is not an emergency.  Having a baby is a natural, beautiful thing. 

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

10 Thing to do While Waiting for Baby to Come

As my due date was yesterday, I've been prepared to have this baby for about a week!  Now, I'm on to that "waiting stage" where it could be any time.  Today, I decided to put together a list of fun (or necessary) things to do while waiting for your baby to arrive.  This list is in no particular order of importance.  It's just in the order that I thought of things.  I hope you enjoy them!  

1.  Watch a Movie: Watching a movie is a great way to make time pass quickly.  I don't watch a lot of movies because I usually end up having to stop them halfway through for one reason or another and that gets annoying, but today, I watched Parent Trap and really enjoyed it!  Made me forget about waiting for the baby for a while.  

The Parent Trap (Special Edition)

2.  Crochet: I've been working on a baby blanket for a friend for a while now.  I really should have it finished before the baby comes, so that's one other great thing to do while waiting!  You could crochet (or knit) something for your baby, yourself, or someone else.  Unfortunately, H doesn't let me crochet because she LOVES crocheted blankets and things and wants to hug whatever I'm working on.  This is something I can do while she's napping or in bed for the night though.
Positively Crochet!: 50 Fashionable Projects and Inspirational Tips

3.  Walk!  We all know that walking is great for preparing your body for labor and not only that, it's just great for you in general!  If you're bored and looking for something to do, take a walk.  Walk at a park, around the block, or if it is too cold or rainy, walk at the mall or even just at Walmart.  I've been trying to walk at least once a week since being pregnant and more like twice a week here at the end.  Find someone to walk with who you can talk to and enjoy being around.  Then, make it a point to walk on a regular basis with them.  Another perk to walking is that if you get in the habit now and continue after the baby is born (after a few weeks of recovery), you'll lose that baby weight a lot quicker!

4.  Read a Book: The Scriptures, a novel, a devotional, a classic, a parenting guide...these are all great options for things to read while you're waiting.  My best advice is to find something you can get lost in.  Especially if you're so close to the end it's driving you crazy!  Right now, I'm reading Emma on my Kindle.  It was recommended my my sister-in-law and I can't say I was crazy about it at first, but I'm really enjoying it now.  Another great book I'd recommend (although you won't need the information until about six months in) is Super Baby Food.  It's a great book about making your own baby foods and the benefits that come from it.  I'd recommend buying a copy so you can mark it, tab the pages, make copies to hang on your refridgerator, and have for reference.  I didn't buy a copy with H, but ended up keeping the library's copy until it was long overdue.  I'll be buying a copy this time around.
Super Baby Food, (2nd) Second Edition

5.  Clean Something: This is probably coming naturally along with the nesting that you experience at the end.  But make sure you're not just rearranging furniture, but actually making an impact on your house.  When baby arrives, there won't be much time for cleaning so make sure your kitchen is clean and organized.  Clean your bathtub if you plan to labor at home and sit in the tub.  Clean your room because you should plan to stay there for a good deal of the time when you first get home.  (It's a comfortable, quiet place to sit and nurse your baby and you should be resting!)  And vacuum.  The motion could help bring on labor!  Just make sure you're using cleaners that are safe for both you and baby.

6.  Decorate the Baby's Room: If you haven't done this already, do it now.  You want baby's room to be ready when you bring her home.  My favorite decorations for H's room are the ones I made myself.  I haven't been so diligent in making M's decorations (mostly because I have a one year old running me ragged), but she's got a few things.  I love the name on the wall made of wooden letters.  I bought them for both girls at Hobby Lobby and painted them.  I think it just adds a nice personalized touch.  They're pretty inexpensive (especially if you can get them on sale) and you can decorate them to match the other decor in the room.  Even if you decide to just do initials instead of the whole name, it can be just as beautiful.
New Arrivals Wooden Letter A with Solid Brown Ribbon, Cream

7.  Pamper Yourself: Get a pedicure.  Get your hair cut and styled.  Color your hair.  Do your nails.  Take a long bath.  You're about to go through the hardest thing you've done in your whole life.  I believe you should prepare not only through exercise, but also through mental relaxation and a great way to relax is through pampering.  Plus, you won't have time for pampering for quite a while after the baby comes.  So, if this is your first, take a day (or just half) of work (housework or otherwise) and do some pampering.  If you already have kids, leave them with grandma or dad and spend some time on your own.  A good nap may be just the pampering you need!  The picture below is of a foot spa.  I'd love to have one of these, but will just have to settle for the bathtub for now.
Conair FB52 Cord Reel Massaging Jet Footbath, Purple and White

8.  Bake: I've been telling Brian I would make him an apple pie for several weeks now.  I even bought the apples!  Now, I just need to do it.  I plan to make two.  One to eat now and one to freeze for later.  I love the apple pies I've made in the past and baking of any kind can be a good thing to keep you busy and help stock your freezer and fridge for when the baby arrives.  Another thing I've been meaning to bake are lactation cookies.  These are supposed to help your milk supply and be really good for you along with being very tasty!  I would like to have a big batch of these to munch on while nursing.  And an added bonus: if I call them lactation cookies, maybe Brian will stay out of them!

9.  Blog!  If you're an avid blogger, now is the time to write several blog posts and set them up to post while you're on "maternity leave".  I'm not quite that big of a blogger, but as you can see, I do enjoy blogging.  This is a great way to take up some time and help me keep my mind off of self-induction techniques!   

10. Brush up on your Camera Skills: You're going to be taking lots of pictures of your little newborn soon and you don't want to have forgotten how to use your camera.  Get out the manual, look up some sites online, or even just make sure the battery is charged!  Whatever you need to do to prepare, do it now.  You don't want to be searching for the perfect setting while your baby is happy only to find that by the time your settings are right, your baby is ready to eat or sleep or poop.  If your camera has a programmable mode, it might even be a good idea to turn down the lights in your house, set up a doll, and take some pictures until you've got it just right.  Then program that into your camera so you're ready at a moment's notice!  If you don't have a nice camera, I'd recommend getting one.  Yes, the photographer has to be well informed to take good pictures, but a good camera can make a world of difference.  I love my Canon 40D and would recommend it to anyone.  There are cheaper cameras out there and there are more expensive cameras out there.  I'd say if you're just taking pictures of your kids, you don't need to go more expensive and could even go cheaper.  I just don't know what to recommend that is cheaper.  :)
Canon EOS 40D 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens

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Well, yesterday was M's official "due date".  In the morning, H and I "mall walked" with my sister and nephew.  I'm not sure how far we walked, but it was at a good pace until I couldn't walk anymore.  Then I put H down for a nap at my mom's, ate some lunch, and ran some errands.  I went to the bread outlet and did some bread shopping.  If you haven't been there, you've got to go.  It's amazing.  I got four loaves of whole wheat bread, one loaf of honey wheat bread, a bag of chips, a bag of mini donuts, a bag of cinnamon bagels and a bag of plain mini bagels for about $10.50.  That's about $1.16 per item!  Granted, I really like making my own bread, but at 40 weeks pregnant, I'm not feeling much like doing that right now.  Anyway, I love that store.

After the bread store, I had to go to Lowe's to get some air conditioning filters.  We'd needed to change ours for quite a while and I actually bought some a while back, but got the wrong size.  I returned the wrong ones and went back to get the correct ones where I found that the price had DECREASED by a dollar!  That was a nice surprise!  My favorite part of the day was checking out at Lowe's.  I'd been waiting all day for someone to ask me when I was due because I just love to see people's reactions when I say "today."  Well, the cashier asked me and I told her.  She had this shocked look on her face and asked if I was just walking around trying to get things going.  I kind of laughed and said yes.  It seems that the general population thinks that when you're due or past due, you should either be at the hospital, having your baby, or on bed rest!

Yesterday evening, we went out and bought a new laptop.  Our old one crashed on Tuesday and although we think my dad is going to be able to fix it, we decided to get a new one anyway.  We know ours is eventually going to go kaput, and we decided we'd like to have a backup all ready.  Plus, we want one we can take to the hospital if I go into labor anytime soon.  So, we went to Best Buy and did some shopping.  We ended up with a Toshiba that we like pretty well.  I don't know much about it except that it has twice the memory we had on our old computer and it's a pretty silver color.  Oh, and it has a number keypad.  LOVE that!
2833778 Alternate View 2
Isn't it pretty?  I love the silver color.  :)

After shopping, we went back to Mom and Dad's, had some dinner, and came home to put H to bed.  We went to sleep hoping to be woke up in the middle of the night by Miss M deciding she wanted to come.  When Brian woke up at 6:00 to his alarm, he rolled over and asked if he had to go to work.  Unfortunately, I had to answer yes.  

So, it's another day of waiting and hoping.  We're ready for this baby to come!  

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strawberries on Sale!

I always struggle with the price of produce...especially berries.  Right now, Driscoll's strawberries are on sale at Price Chopper for $1.49/lb.  If you sign up at the Driscoll's Facebook Page, you can get a $0.50 off coupon.  You are allowed to print two per household.  So I'm getting two pounds of strawberries today for $1 per pound!  Hopefully by next year, my garden will be producing enough for me to freeze some and not have to pay for any!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

(HOPEFULLY) My Last Couponing Trips Before Baby #2

I've been really bad lately with my couponing! I've been getting papers, but not going to the stores. Bad, bad, bad. Total waste of money. So, last week, I decided to do a Target run since I knew they had Zantac on sale (I could use two coupons)and I need Zantac on a daily basis right now. So, I rounded up all the great Target deals and went to the store! Here's what I got.  The prices are after coupons are applied.

Ritz Crackerfuls: 0.40
KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce: FREE
Yoplait Original Yogurt: FREE
Tums: 0.69

Zantac: 0.59
Silver Sharpies: 2 pk 0.54 per pack
Pens: 0.02 per pack
Total with tax: $3.79

I was pretty proud of this trip!  :)  

Then, this week, I decided to make the CVS and Walgreens trip.  I needed diapers and the best diaper deal was at CVS, so I rounded up my coupons and went there.  This trip total doesn't look quite so impressive, but that's mainly because of the diapers and snack bars.  The snack bars are for the "Daddy Bag" we're taking to the hospital with us.  So, here's what today's trip brought.  Prices are after coupons and Extra Care Bucks.  I did two transactions, so I used all the ECB's and had none remaining.  Oh, and when I scanned my CVS card, it printed off $1 ECB!  

Huggies: $15.99
Fiber One Bars: $1.90
Fiber One Bars: $2.00
Milk and Cereal Bars: $2.00
Milk and Cereal Bars: $2.10
Oral B Toothbrushes: 2 for FREE
Zantac: $0.99
Crest Toothpaste: $0.25
Gillette Fusion: $1.81 Money Maker!
Carefree Liners: $0.49 each
Laffy Taffy: $0.15
Milka Chocolate Bars: 2 for FREE
Total with Tax: $25.14

Although that total doesn't look all that impressive, I'm pretty proud of this trip too.  Like I said, I needed diapers and now I have them!  And when the price of that sized box of diapers is usually about $21, I think getting ALL that for just $25 is pretty darn good!  Oh, and I got more Zantac too!!  


Things to Do While Waiting for Labor

Okay, this is a list of things I HAVE to do.  I would much rather be making a list of fun things to do.  Unfortunately, I've behind on the things I need to do, so I'll make this list first.  Then, if labor hasn't set in by the time they're done, maybe I'll make a list of more enjoyable things to do while waiting for labor.

1.  Clean the kitchen:  My kitchen is a mess.  Again.  I've basically figured out that I just don't have the energy to clean up after big meals.  I make them, but then I'm too tired to clean them up.  So then at the next meal, I clean up just enough so that I can cook again and then the same thing happens.  I have dishes in my sink dating back to last Monday.  When I get it all cleaned up, I'm not going to make any more big meals until after the baby comes and we're all settled.  I'm also going to buy some paper plates and we're just going to eat off of them.  Now, some super-mom out there might be roller her eyes at me, but I figure all you normal moms understand!

2.  Wash the newborn clothes:  This isn't a big deal...I just need to do it.  I sorted them last week, now they just need thrown in the washer.

3.  Get caught up on other laundry:  H's laundry is pretty much caught up.  Brian's and mine...not so much.  I need to get it caught up before my hands are too full.

4.  Pack:  I have yet to pack for the hospital.  Not only do I need to pack my bag (and some clothes for Brian), but I also need to pack the "Daddy Cooler" for snacks for Brian and I in the hospital and H's bag for staying with Grandma for two or three days.

5.  Get the living room and kitchen picked up:  These two rooms are pretty much clean, I just need to pick up and vacuum and keep them clean.  The wonderful people from my church will be bringing meals to us after M arrives and I'd prefer it to be somewhat clean.  I think I'll put some of Ellie's toys away because between hers and H's the floor can get really cluttered.  I also need to keep the diaper bag out of reach because when H empties that, it makes the house look like much more of a mess than it actually is.

So, there's the list.  Not a huge deal, but not necessarily a bunch of easy tasks either.  Guess I'd better get busy!


Monday, July 18, 2011

101 Things to Do Update!

#17 Get Life Insurance
Brian and I completed this goal over the past month.  It's less expensive than we thought it would be and EVERYONE should have life insurance...especially if you have children!  It's no fun to think about dying and it's even less fun to think about your spouse dying, but it's a necessary thing to do to take care of your family.  We learned from Dave Ramsey that term life insurance is the best way to go.  Don't wait.  Do it.

#87 Finish E's Paintings
Being the wonderful aunt that I am, it took me until my nephew, E was six months old to finish the paintings for his room.  I did this for H, am planning on doing it for M, and now E's are finished!  I take ideas from the bedding, borrow ideas from whatever wall hangings are available from Babies R Us (for a ridiculously high price), and make three wall hangings that match the room.  Here is E's bedding set.

Here are the paintings I made for baby E.  :)

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Friday, July 15, 2011

26 Creative Ideas I Would Love to Try

I've been in the mood to blog today, but have been incredibly tired and unable to come up with many good ideas.  I did get a little nap and that's helped a bit.  What I've decided to do is share some of the creative ideas I have found on the internet while searching for various things.  These are things I'd like to do and hope to have time for someday.

The Right @ Home website with all kinds of great ideas!  Here are just a few that I love.
Frozen Floral Centerpieces
This is just a frozen floral centerpiece.  Put in the daisies and freeze.
So simple, yet so cute!!
This picture came with an awesome idea.
Give yourself a $10 challenge.
Take $10 and  use it to spruce up something in your house.
You could buy new pillows for your couch (as shown), paint
a piece of drab furniture, get something nice at a garage sale,
anything!  Just limit it to $10 and go!  
If I had a sunny windowsill, I'd totally be on this one!
Use an old or cracked teacup to grow a teacup garden.
Adorable and so sunshiny!  
There are lots of other neat ideas on that website, so be sure to check it out!  

The next idea comes from the Little Birdie Secrets blog.  She's got lots of great ideas and what I'd love to do with these organza flowers is dress up an ordinary dress with them.  I think they're gorgeous and so fun!  They'd look great on a homemade dress or pinned to the hip on a plain jean skirt or something like that.  They'd even look fun on a plain t-shirt!


The headband found over at Skip to my Lou is also darling!  When my girls are a little older and have sufficient hair for a headband, I'd love to make a few of these for them!

Ruffles and Roses is a blog that I really enjoy browsing.  This girl is SO creative and I love that she makes clothes without patterns.  I don't especially enjoy following patterns or sewing, so this kind of thing intrigues me.  I love that she makes all kinds of stuff without having to start from scratch.  Her t-shirt remakes are tons of fun!  Here's one I'd love to try.  
Can you believe this started out as a t-shirt??
She also does remakes of men's button down shirts.  Check this one out!
For this next project, you MUST go look at all the pictures on the blog.  It's over at I Heart My Glue Gun and you'll get so much more out of it if you can see all the pictures.  I'd love to do this with my photos down my hallway.  I think it's beautiful!  

I love these candle holders over at Two Twenty One.  They're beautiful, unique, and so cheap to make!  

Here's another one where you just have to go see all the pictures!  If I ever have a boy, this is what I would LOVE to do for his room.  SO fun!!  Check out all the pictures over at Casa de Berry.
These next few projects are all from Paisley Passions.  Her blog has tons of great ideas and I really enjoy reading it!  

Here is a project that would be super simple and so much fun for a homeschool room!  I don't think I'd do it for our dining room, but it'd be great for the kids.  A chalkboard table

Here's another chalkboard project that would be really fun and simple.  Very cute!
I am in love with this breadbox!  I had a breadbox from my sister that I was going to do this to, but I ended up giving the breadbox back to her.  I'll need a bigger kitchen before I have room on a counter for a breadbox.  I do hope to do this someday though!  

Okay, just one more from Paisley Passions, I promise.  This shelf makeover is SO cool!  You can get these shelves at virtually every garage sale you go to.  They're totally out of date and thus in great need of a makeover.  I love this project!  
Okay, I thought I could finish this blog in one day, but obviously I have WAY too many things I would love to do!  So here it is day two.  We'll see if I get the rest of them posted today or not!

I just thought this ruffle bag from Sew Chatty was so stinkin' cute!  It would be a great use for fabric or ribbon scraps and a great way to dress up an old, shabby bag or even those free totes you get everywhere!
Watch out engaged friends!  I've found a homemade gift over at One in the SAHM that you're likely to receive from me!  This "Established" plaque is beautiful!  I think it's the perfect way to mark the occasion and would look special in any home.  
Okay, with all the baby food jars I have laying around, I had to do a search for crafty things I could use them for.  I found TONS of ideas, but my favorite is from The Little Apartment.  Introducing: The magnetic baby food jar spice rack!  DARLING!  And oh, so off my counter!  
I found this project on Etsy.  I was looking for something to hold all of H's bows and headbands that I've made for her over the past year.  This is what I found!  You could order this one online, but I'm thinking I could probably make one that coordinated with H's room just as easily.  
Headband Organizer....Black and Creamy White Headband Holder....Clip your clippies on the leaves for double duty storage...holds both soft and hard headbands
This project over at Made by Bronwyn would probably take a lot more work than some of the others, but in the end, I think it would be worth it.  This pettiskirt is DARLING!  I can just imagine H (and someday M) dancing around in one!  Adorable!  
I found these next few ideas at the Midwest Living website.  I just love ideas of how to brighten things up!  
Floral and egg centerpiece
Wouldn't this be great for a spring brunch? 
 Okay, like I serve brunches.  But if I was doing a 
baby shower in the spring or even having a special 
dinner at my house, I would love to use this!  
Seasonal joy
I LOVE this door hanging!  So cute!  So vintage!
Showers and flowers
And here is another door hanging that I love! 
 This would be so easy to put together and 
would just look so unique.  
This next idea from Better Homes and Gardens is not only cute, but also very useful!  It's a bookshelf with labeled buckets for each member of the family's shoes.  Of course, it's painted up so cheery and cute, it's hard to resist!  I don't know that it would work in this house since we really don't have a lot of space by our front door, but I'm definitely keeping it in mind for the future.  
Storage, shelf, bucket, label, organize, declutter
At some point, I really want to order this pattern and use it to make, not a coupon organizer like it's designed for, but the envelope system!  We use Dave Ramsey's system and the envelopes I keep in my wallet are constantly getting torn up and stuck in the zipper.  Can't wait to try this instead!  
PDF SEWING PATTERN - Coupon / Expense Organizer
I love these cute hanging baskets that I found on the Better Homes and Gardens site.  I'd probably just do two (one for me and one for Brian) since we're the ones with keys, wallets, and other miscellaneous items, but I think even two hanging by the door would be cute!  

Entry Organizer
I love how there is already a J and a B! 
 Like they're just for us!
This last idea, also from Better Homes and Gardens would be more of a big project than a crafty thing.  I really like it anyway though.  We bought a Select Comfort bed and don't have a headboard for it.  This would be my dream headboard!  
bed with shelves behind it

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about the crafty side of me trying to come out.  Now, if only I had the time...

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