So Here's My Life

The things we make,
the food we eat and
the shenanigans in between.

A blog about making things by
MICHELLE SEXTON

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alone Time

Here I am! Did you miss me? Well, if you actually did miss me, you probably still will, because I still lack motivation due to pregnancy brain and exhaustion. So it's pretty likely that I won't post too often for a couple more months. My mom took The Toddler to "Old McDonald's" (aka McDonald's) for lunch, and so I have a little more time to myself today and a little more energy, which is why I've decided blog. So here's what you've missed:
  • We found out that we are having another BOY.  The Spouse and I are completely content with this, but we would have been happy either way. This little one is due to make an appearance in Mid-October, but I'm hoping we don't don't go all the way to 40 weeks, especially since I only went to 37 weeks with The Toddler. (He wasn't a toddler back then, though)
 I think it's possible that this picture may not be appropriate. ;)
  • Pregnancy during the summer is THE WORST! I knew it would be and it is just as unpleasant as I thought it would be. (The things you do for your kids!) Oh well. 
  • I am not a nice pregnant person. In fact, I'm like the polar opposite of my normal self. My husband and I joke about that pregnancy is my alter-ego. It's not that I want to be mean, or try, but it just sneaks out before I realize what's happening. I feel like I am on one giant stretch of PMS. (I want you guys to know that I really am still trying to be nice...I just fail frequently) Sad and unfortunate, but true. So I just want to thank all my friends for putting up with me for all this time. I really do like all of you guys, and I still want to be friends!!!!
  • I am the most comfortable when sitting in the recliner with my feet up. Therefore, I've read a lot of books lately. Plus, my brother recently bought me the new Nook Glow and I have just discovered the wonderful world of ebooks from the library. It really can't get any better than this. (just kidding). Btw - I am always up for a good book recommendation. Tell me what you've read! 
 Pretend like you don't see that pile of unfolded laundry in the backgroud.
  • I've recently noticed a change in The Toddler's social development. I've started to notice that he has become a little more lonely lately. But at the same time, he doesn't even realize that he's lonely since at the moment he is an only child and doesn't know any different. So my husband and I decided to sign him up for a couple of activities this summer - a tumbling class, soccer, and horse back riding. I've also made more of an effort to schedule at least one play date a week. I've seen a huge difference in him too. 

video
Sorry about the sideways video! The Toddler is in the yellow shirt and his teacher is trying to show him how to do a somersault.
  • I've mentioned it before, but I have blood sugar issues during pregnancy (which basically requires me to eat every 1.5 hours and avoid ALL sweets and starches). There are two blogs that I frequently check for awesome food ideas - Kath Eats Real Food and Sugar Free Mom. Check them out!!! 
  • I am now on Instagram, thanks to my awesome friend, Sarah. You can follow me @MusicianAtHeart. Wait...did that count as a shameless plug? If you answered yes, I apologize. ;)
  • The spouse and I recently went on a mini-vacation/business trip together to Colorado Springs - without The Toddler! We visited the Olympic Training Center, Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, ate great food, turned down a hippie begging for ice cream and cigarettes (no joke), and I did a serious amount of lounging.







I hope to blog a little more often, but don't hold your breath for that one. :) I'm at the point to where I refuse to commit to things while I am smack in the middle of pregnancy...honestly I probably won't be ready for extra commitments until after the baby is born and I'm not sleep deprived. Maybe January? Until then, I'll try to update when I can. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Truthful Tuesday Confessions

It's been a while since I've done one of these. I've found that I don't always have as many ridiculous or light-hearted confessions as I thought I would. But here's what I want to tell you about today.

  • Sometimes I am really proud of an outfit that I put together. I really want to show you guys what I'm wearing, because I like it so much. But I can never manage to take a picture that doesn't look like those cheesy-first-day-of-school pictures...except I haven't been in school for many years. So I've decided that Outfit posts on my blog is a bad idea. 
 Signs that your Toddler has been in your bathroom. Btw, the straightener wasn't hot
  • I get papers in the mail addressing me as, "Reverend Michelle Sexton"...because I am a licensed minister. I'm not a pastor though, but I used to be the Worship Pastor at a church. After that position ended, I still maintained my credentials. 
 Nothing hits the spot like a rich chocolate cupcake :)
  • Despite the fact that I've tried many types of sushi, my favorite sushi roll is still the California Roll.  So unoriginal, right?
 Ketchup art at Johnny Rockets
  • My house has been in a continuous state of disaster since about Mid-February, which was a little after I found out I was pregnant and began to experience an extreme amount of fatigue. It's been cleaned several times since then, but I can't seem to KEEP it that way. Blah. 
 A failed attempt at a cookie cake, fortunately my family still thought it tasted good.
  • My husband bought a Jeep in February. It wasn't until last week, almost a month after the temporary tags expired, that he finally got it registered and got a real license plate. We had a complicated series of events that prevented us from registering it sooner - failed inspections, a couple of unknown repairs to get done, even some paperwork. During that time, The Spouse and I were sweating bullets, hoping that he didn't get pulled over for an expired tag. Ha ha. 
 A birthday present from his uncle, it's too large for his head, way too fun.
  • Blogging makes me feel normal. I like having to have a chance to tell you about the ridiculous stuff I go through, looking back, and laughing about it. And I've found that I'm not alone. 
 The Toddler finished our Chocolate Molten cake from Chili's. All. By. Himself.
  • As I am typing this, The Toddler is up in his room, whining and fussing, because he didn't have a good nap. I told him that he could come out as soon as he stops crying, but apparently he wants to stay up there to whine. His choice. ;)
Now it's your turn. What do you have on your mind. Tell me something ridiculous about yourself!

Friday, April 6, 2012

2 Recipes for kids to try.

I've told you this before, but my kid is a picky eater! I find it annoying. I'm always on the lookout for fun recipes and food ideas that will peak The Toddler's interest in eating. Here are two that we've done recently.


These are Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes. They really aren't cupcakes at all, but since they take a similar form, the name suits them. I had a page open on the blog where I found these cute little cupcakes for about a week. Every time The Toddler saw the photo, he would ask me to make them, and tell me he wanted to eat them. Every. Single. Time. So when The Toddler actually asks to eat food, I definitely take notice. So I made them. You can find the recipe here.

Because I have trouble with my blood sugar levels (and consequently avoid sugar, and simple carbs), I modified the recipe slightly. Instead of frozen meatballs, I made my own and cooked them before I baked them in the spaghetti cups (btw - I added purred veggies into the meatballs - ha ha). I also used a sugar free spaghetti sauce (Hunts) and whole wheat spaghetti noodles. Since the meatballs were fully cooked before I baked them, the meatballs ended up drying out a little on the outside. I compensated by pouring additional warm spaghetti sauce and cheddar cheese over the meatballs once they finished baking (And they tasted fine).

I think my son actually thought these were cupcakes, so when I put it on his plate and he realized they weren't, he seemed disappointed. He tends to be wary of food with several ingredients. But once we encouraged him to separate the meatball, cheese, sauce, and noodles, he liked them. My husband and I loved these! They were fun to eat (yes, we are adults), and my husband loved the meat to spaghetti ratio. AND they are the perfect entree to pack in your lunch. I would say these are definitely worth a shot. :)

The other recipe isn't really a recipe. Well, sort of. It's just your classic, tried and true Little Smoky Sausage Wrapped in Crescent rolls. My son loves these. LOVES them. The problem is, they're kind of lacking in the nutrition department. So I changed it up, ever so slightly.

I used a tube of refrigerated crescent dough, like always. But after rolling it out, I sprinkled Wheat Germ (ok maybe doused, piled, covered, whatever) on top of the crescent dough and pressed it into the dough. Then I proceeded to cut each pre-cut triangle into 3 or 4 additional smaller triangles, and wrapped up the Little Smoky Sausages in the dough, starting with the flat edge of the dough and ending with the tip. Then I baked them using the baking time and temperature listed on the dough's can.


If you look closely at the picture below, you can see little grains of wheat germ sprinkled around the Little Smokies. This didn't seem to bother The Toddler. But if this does bother your kiddo, you can easily hide the wheat germ. I was too lazy to bother with this task. (Meticulous activities annoy me)


This was definitely a quick and easy way to make a not-so-nutritious food a little bit healthier. A little. And the family liked them. And ate them. Score.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Sick Toddler & A Pointless Visit to the ER

Can I just say that parenting can be so exhausting sometimes? It is. Remember how I recently mentioned that I was sick last week? Well, I also managed to get The Spouse sick, and then two nights ago, we were up with The Toddler who also managed to get sick and acquire a pretty high fever. Blah. Dealing with a sick kid in the middle of the night is pretty much my least favorite thing about parenting. But who really likes dealing with sick kids in the middle of the night? I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.

My day yesterday consisted of The Toddler laying on the couch for most of the day watching a serious amount of the Disney Chanel while I worked on stuff around the house, and also had a nap or two on the couch with the Toddler (still feeling the fatigue from first trimester). Although I had checked The Toddler's temperature often, it shot up while I was fixing dinner. The Spouse noticed it when he got home. It was ohhh....105! Not that I was panicked, but I was definitely alarmed since, this is the temp where you go to the hospital to avoid cooking organs and seizures. So we gave The Toddler a nice cold bath while he screamed like we were murdering him. (I was really hoping that a neighbor wouldn't come to the door while this was going on, because I'm pretty sure that you could hear my son's screams from outside our house. Pretty sure).


However, after the cold bath and a new dose of Ibuprofen, his temp was right back at 105, he was laying on the couch, and was completely listless. At that point, we decided that he needed medical attention, and since Urgent Care had already closed for the day, to the ER we went. Oh yay. I hate the ER. (And Urgent Care for that matter).

Before going any further, I would just like to add, that I was completely exhausted at this point in the evening, and The Spouse was still sick with the flu, despite the fact that he went to work that day. We were exhausted.


After LOTS of waiting at the ER we finally got admitted into an exam room, where we wait for an hour, and The Toddler's temp drops all the way down to 101. Nice. Suddenly he was all over the exam room, exploring and playing. By the time the doctor examined him, he was just a kid with the flu with a mild temp. So after several hours and a handful of tests that came back negative, we were released. But not without paying an expensive ER co-pay...for nothing since The Toddler had magically recovered once we got to the exam room.

This is the second time this has happened with The Toddler. We also took The Toddler into the ER around New Years for a head injury after he started vomiting. By the time that the doctor saw him in the exam room, The Toddler was fine - walking around playing, no longer pale, and only a slightly elevated temp. I'm pretty sure the exam rooms in the ER have magical powers that will suddenly make your child better. 


Today The Toddler is still sick, but well enough to get into trouble. I just caught him trying to roll a basketball down the stairs.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Photo Session FAIL

Have you ever thought that you've just had the worst photo session ever? Unfortunately as a photographer, I have had a couple, all but two happened when I worked a children's photography studio. But this time not only did I have this experience as the photographer, but also as the parent.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my sister and her kids came for a visit. Her son and mine are only 5 days apart. Those boys are the best of friends, and the worst of enemies. On this particular day, the boys got into several continuous fights (and got in trouble) about 30 minutes before I took the pictures. Plus, my nephew was recovering from croup. Obviously this was not the best time to take pictures, but it was the only time we had. Literally.

Here are the results - aka the most uncooperative trio of toddlers you could possibly imagine:



 




 



Can you tell they weren't in a good mood? Lets just say that these photos won't be going into my portfolio.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Leave of Absence.

It's been almost a month since my last post. Honestly, I don't even feel bad about it. I've missed blogging, but last month was so busy for me, blogging was not an option I could manage to put any energy into.

So here's a couple things that took place during last month:
-My sister and her two little ones came to visit (her husband was traveling), before her family moved to overseas last week. This photo was a failed attempt to take photos of our little ones. More on that soon.


-The Toddler turned 3 and my sister, who is a cake decorator, taught me how to work with fondant frosting. She helped me make his birthday cake.


-I found out a week before The Toddler's birthday party, that he told the nursery workers that he was having a tractor birthday party. This was news to me. He got a tractor cake.
-Last week I had the flu. And then a sinus infection. It was amazing.


-I have been overwhelmingly tired. It seems that all I have the energy to do is eat, sleep, and take care of The Toddler. And even that has been difficult. Because I am pregnant. 12 weeks, in fact.


I have a handful of blogs that I started writing, but lacked the energy to finish. Fortunately the first trimester is almost over, so hopefully the pregnancy fatigue will diminish soon...and I will have more energy to put into blogging. :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Denim Inspiration

This by far, was my favorite DIY clothing project, as well as my favorite pair of jeans. Unfortunately, they are a size 2 and I haven't worn a size for at least 5 years. I'm pretty sure that my size 2 days have come and gone, especially after pregnancy. 

I actually decorated these jeans about 5 years ago, before The Toddler was even a thought in our minds and my hips were a size 2. (And no, I did not look like I was anorexic or unhealthy as a size 2 either...just in case you were wondering...I'm just sayin')  ;)

I really have a thing for buttons. Honestly, my favorite way to decorate apparel is with buttons. I love to place random colored buttons all over an article of clothing. Several years ago I bought a large bag of buttons at an antique store. I had no idea what I would use them for, but I found the various shapes and brilliant colors completely inspiring. After I bought them, I would empty them all out and admire their uniqueness...wait...why am I telling you guys about this? Pretend you didn't read that last sentence. ANYWAY, all that to say, I LOVE buttons. You can check out a couple of my other button projects here and here.



Here's a couple of close-up shots to give you an idea of how I decorated them.



It was an easy and fun project, but a little more on the time consuming side. I think I remember spending close to 8 hours hand-stitching the buttons and embroidering patterns on this project. The thing that made it so time consuming, was that I changed thread colors so often. But it was definitely time well spent. :)


I miss wearing these jeans, not being a size 2, just wearing these jeans. I think I need to up-cycle these jeans into something else. Any suggestions?

By the way, I have at least one more button project up my sleeve...at least for now.
But I am making the effort to keep my button obsession at bay. ;)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Creative Parenting

The past week or so has been busy, and I've been...well, tired. I haven't had the energy to do much writing lately. Part of the reason was that my son has been on a I-refuse-to-eat-dinner phase. It's been great. Not really. At one point, we visited with the Feeding Clinic, to discuss different approaches for getting him to be willing to eat dinner.


After some time contemplating my son's decision to avoid dinner, I came to 3 conclusion:

1. He definitely has issues with food presentation - somehow if his food doesn't look how he thinks it should look, he refuses to eat it. Case in point - last night we went to a pizza, sub, and salad place for dinner. We go there at least once a month, and The Toddler always eats a slice of cheese pizza. I ordered the same slice of cheese pizza that he always gets, but last night, he took one look at the pizza, and said, "I don't like that." Yeah, right. Whatever. There was nothing wrong with it, but apparently in his mind there was.
2. He is still a picky eater. He's always been a picky eater. Since birth. Unfortunately.
3. He is definitely going through an autonomous phase. I've noticed a rise in his desire to do things himself, and make his own decisions.

I was pretty confident that the autonomy issue was the most influential part of his decision to skip dinner on a regular basis. Apparently I needed to come up with a couple of inconsequential areas where The Toddler could express his autonomy. So I decided to let him pick his clothes when he gets dressed. Within reason though. Sometimes we give him a couple of options, if we are going somewhere where he needs to dress appropriately - like Sundays. On Sundays we let him choose which dress clothes to wear. So he doesn't look completely like a wild child. :)

You know what though? It worked. After a couple of days, we started to notice a difference in The Toddler's attitude towards eating. He even took a couple of bites of meat! Amazing.

One thing that has really surprised me about parenting is the need for creativity when working with your kids through their issues. I've found that often times the normal approaches to overcoming conflict rarely work with my son. So I've had to get creative - like allowing him to pick out his clothes.

Just a thought for today. :) More creative posts coming soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

DIY T-shirt Headband

Headbands are pretty much the most useful accessory for moms. You can wear one just for fun, but they are also great for those days when you have to run out of the house without a shower. (I hate those days) Since you have on such a cute headband, no one will even notice that your hair is unwashed!


In my previous blog post, I talked about a blogger's gift exchange I participated in. If you clicked over to Megan's page, the blogger I got matched up with, you saw that I made her a headband. I made this headband from a T-shirt sleeve, and took less than an hour. Here's how I did it:

I found this t-shirt at a flea market in the fall. A vendor was selling a bunch of t-shirts for $1 each. So I snagged an XXL sized one, with the intention to use it for an undetermined future project.


Start by cutting off the sleeve of the T-shirt.

Determine the desired width of the headband, and trim off the excess fabric. But keep in mind that you want to leave a little extra for sewing and hemming the raw side. I wanted mine to be about an inch wide, so I gave myself an additional inch of fabric to work with.

Next, serge the raw edge of the T-shirt. (Actually in retrospect, you can probably skip this step, because t-shirt material typically doesn't unravel...didn't think about that until now. Duh)


Next turn the sleeve inside out, fold over the trimmed side, pin it, and sew it.

Then, to hide the unfinished edge, while the sleeve is still inside out, fold over the sewn edge, pin it, and sew it one more time to give it a more finished look.

Your headband should look something like the one pictured above. Then stitch a decorative line down the opposite side of the headband (The side that you didn't sew yet).


Once you have finished, add some cute accessories, like buttons. (it just so happens that I LOVE buttons. It's my secret obsession) I hand stitched these on, but if you are feeling super lazy, you could always use hot glue!

Done! Quick & Easy.
:)
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