Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Your Baby Can Read: 5 Weeks In

Eden loves the second video! And by loves, I mean she gets upset when I try to sneak in the first video instead, but she still gets very distracted throughout and really only pays attention during the songs.
I AM concerned about two things she's being exposed to through these videos: a girl who sthpeaksth with a listhp, and really bad poetry. Dr. Titzer, the creator of the YBCR program used his daughter Aleeka for many of the voice-overs and video demonstrations. That's all good and well, except that "The seal is sleeping." becomes "The stheal isth sthleeping." The second version is not really how I would like Eden to say it.
There are both songs and poems on the videos. Songs are fine (Eensy, Weensy Spider, If You're Happy and You Know it, and the like), but the poems... ew. Why didn't they just do some nursery rhymes or something actually written by a poet. Instead it's "Lauren is reaching for a toy, and Brendan drinks from his bottle with joy." With joy? Ok. i understand they want to incorporate the words they are learning into the poem, but I would think they could have done better. I could have done better. There, I said it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Business Venture

I'm proud to announce the beginning of Creative Co-Motion: Movement Classes for Kids!
Check out the blog here and tell me what you think.

The Craft Bug Bites Again

Here's a close-up of the belt I made this morning. I nominated a little-used belt from my closet to donate it's rings for this belt. At least the rings can have a better life now and I may be able to find a use for the previous belt as trim of some kind. The fabric I used is extra from my laptop sleeve project. Yes, I'm attempting to make a laptop sleeve for my MacBook. I don't guarantee I will actually succeed, but I'm going to try. Hopefully, i will think that project out a little better than this one. You'd think a belt would be simple, but noooooo, not for Miss Ultra-Novice Sewer here.
I knew enough to know that I needed to sew the right sides of the fabric together in a tube and then turn the tube right-side out, but I found out that it's a little difficult to turn it right-side out when you've sewn both ends shut.
There was another mishap that would be too hard to explain without pictures (I should probably document with pictures next time, so that everyone can share in the painful process with me). After I remedied that issue, I discovered that, because of my idea to use the two rings as my closure method, when I tried the belt, the wrong side of the belt showed on the end I pulled through the rings. So, I had the seam showing that I had so cleverly hidden. *sigh* I'm sure it's not that big of a deal and no one will notice, but I was just reminded of the fact that I shouldn't aspire to sell my work any time soon. Man, that would be way too much pressure. I can live with all my little mistakes, but I would want others to have to.

Next, I have for your viewing pleasure an almost completed project for baby Arielle. Once again, this is actually an attempt at a slightly different project gone wrong, but I'm a good salvager.

I was trying to make pants for Eden from the other fabric also leftover from my laptop sleeve. I made them plenty long enough, but the waist and hips are so tiny, I couldn't even pull them up past her thighs. Suddenly, they became Arielle's instead of Eden's and since I had to cut off the bottom of each leg to make it shorter, I thought I would just complicate things and try to add a little accent fabric at the bottom. There was only one issue with adding the fabric at the bottom, but I fixed it so you can't tell from the outside of the pants. (Once again, totally unsellable.) The only thing left to do is add the butterfly fabric as an applique to a 3 month onesie I pulled from Eden's stash. The question is; do I attempt the applique myself, or pay one of my friends who has done it before $5 to do it?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Easy as Pie

A random gift to my husband. He loves peanut butter flavored desserts. I never bake... and still didn't to produce this. It was so easy, I had to share. (Although, I realize I've probably stumbled on this recipe long after everyone else has already seen it, but just in case...)
Here it is.


I didn't re-gift a clothing item at a baby shower yesterday. I never re-gift anything. Not me.

I don't forget or almost forget my own mother's birthday every year. I didn't forget to send her a card this year and I most certainly didn't forget to call her until it was past my parent's bedtime on the night of her birthday because Chuck happened to remind me what day it was. No sirree, that's not like me at all.

AND I also didn't forget my parents' anniversary this year (which was last month) and only find out when I called my mom to wish her a belated happy birthday. sigh. Not me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spend Thrift

Chuck mentioned today that although we didn't eat out this week as much as we did last week, I may have spent the money we saved on crafts.
But crafting things SAVES you money right? Because everything I'm making, or plan to make are necessities and we would have had to buy them anyway... well, not exactly. It's more like I'm making things that I want to buy, but are frivolous costs and I can do them cheaply myself. Things like a new dress for Eden. ($3 shirt from Goodwill + 50 cent bit of trim) Or a new purse for myself. ($1.50 fat quarter + $2 pack of buttons + embellishment using leftover fabric from Goodwill shirt) Or another hairbow. (using another scrap of leftover fabric from the same Goodwill shirt + glue and hairclip I already had) I just saved, like $50! and gained sewing knowledge and pride for my handmade items. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The New Do

I've been really frustrated with my hair ever since the last cut I got.  The hairdresser used the thinning shears all over and the razor on parts and I ended up with damaged looking thin hair (in my opinion).  I was flirting with the idea of cutting it shoulder length to re-grow it thicker, but put it off because I didn't want to do anything on a whim, especially while pregnant.  Well, it's been several weeks now and I was due for a trim.  I'm still frustrated almost every day at how thin the ends are and it bothers me that it doesn't look thick and full.  It just disappears to nothingness when I run my fingers through it.  I've made do by letting it go wavy/curly, but that means I have to put a curling product in it and that makes it ineligible for my husband to play with.  Although it is very easy to do it that way, and I do like the way it looks, I'd grown used to the option of straightening it and I felt I didn't have that option any more.
Without further ado, here is what my NEW hairdresser and I decided to try today.  Chuck was shocked and feigned a faint when I got home, but it'll always grow and I know whenever it does get long again that I'll be happy with it.  As for now, I can enjoy my fun, sassy summer cut and have the option to go straight or curly.

Your Baby Can Read: 3 Weeks In

Has it really only been three weeks that we've been watching this DVD twice a day?  I'm delirious from the repetition of putting my arms up, singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and opening my mouth to say "ahhhh."  Eden was really enjoying it all at the beginning, and there are still some parts of the video that she perks up for every time.  She mostly seems bored, though.  She rolls around on the couch, climbs on me and gives me hugs, walks around and around the coffee table or asks to leave the room. I put all her toys up, gate her in the living room, put her where she can see me participate, try to do my best interested face as I watch, say all the words out loud and encourage her to do the same.  All to no avail at this point.  You are supposed to repeat the same video twice daily for a month, then move to the next one, and although I have no indications from her that she's learned the words, I decided to introduce the next video at the afternoon time slot, just to catch her interest again.  I'm considering switching solely to that video for a couple weeks and then reverting back to the first for another week to really mix it up.  I don't want to mix it up so much that she won't learn the words the way it's been designed, but I can't help but wonder if she's learning anything at all if she's not watching.  I don't want the money or the time we're spending to go to waste.  I guess it can't hurt to switch up the schedule a bit, right?  We'll see in time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Crafts

I got a strip of the fabric that is going to be what Eden's "Big Sister" top is made from.   I wanted to try this rolled rose tutorial to make Eden a vintage inspired hair clip.  I used a pearl from my grandma's costume jewelry collection for the center anchor.  Eden somehow got ahold of the necklace that it belonged to and broke it.  Ever since, I've been looking for a way to repurpose the pearls (living in a ziploc baggie for the time being) and this was a perfect opportunity.  I think I'll try to come up with a way to use another pearl or two for Arielle's complimenting infant clip.

Family Name Photo Project

Here's how my very own Upshaw photo letter challenge is coming along. What do you think?

You'll notice I'm missing the "P."  That will be the head of a golf club, I think.  And the clubs are in the storage room.  That'll have to wait for Chuck to drag them out.

It would be neat to find architectural things around Jackson to take pictures of, but I can't tool around to find them with a baby in tow.  So I'm stuck with things in close proximity.  It's kind-of a cool idea though.  Gives you a different way to look at the things you see every day and it certainly makes it personal.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I just got a great idea.  A stolen one of course, but a great one that I can personalize.  I was looking through some photos of a friend of mine on Facebook and came across this great framed set of photos.  The photos were abstract looking at first.  I looked a bit longer and realized that each picture was a letter and the letters spelled the last name of the couple.  Ingenious!  And my next use for my camera.


A little while back, I bought a few yards of korker ribbon in a few colors, 50 clippies, 50 no-slip grips and some craft glue. I made 3 or 4 korkers and then put it all away until the bow-making urge hit me again. Well, it has hit. I am in the midst of designing and comissioning a big sister/little sister set for Eden and Arielle from the amazing Amy Norris at Brownie Goose.  She is creating an a-line top with some ruffle pants for Eden and collaborating with another Alliance mom who has an embroidery machine to make a coordinating onesie that says "lil' sis."  I had to go to Hancock Fabrics to search for some green embroidery thread to match the green on the fabric of Eden's outfit and just happen to hit the store during a 50% off sale.  I took the opportunity to pick out some more ribbon colors since I currently have a very limited color selection in Eden's bow wardrobe.  I've decided recently that it's time for her to learn to not only keep them in her hair, but to love them.  I love seeing her wear them too much to let the possibility for precious cuteness go to waste just because she's always wanting to take them out and play with them.  I probably should be focusing on potty training or something ranking higher in importance, but what the hey?  We've already made good progress.  She kept a bow in for the whole time she was in nursery today at church.  :)

Anyway.  I've made two new bows so far with my new ribbon and may make another today.  I took a picture of my latest creation being modeled by my cutie for all to admire.  I really love it. And it probably cost me all of 50 cents.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rain Drops on Roses...

and naming little girls! My favorite thing for today is names, names, names. Did you know I've been playing around with baby naming books since I was little? I remember before 10 years of age, checking out a couple of baby name books from the library and lying in my bed late at night with my lamp on, notebook and pen in hand, writing lists of names I liked. Sometimes i would write a list of first name choices and a list of middle name choices and then match them in all the different combinations I liked. Sometimes I would just reverse the list of first name choices and write them in a new column and see what I came up with when they were paired. As a parent, I would think this could be a bit disturbing. I guess they could discern the difference between "baby crazy" and "baby name crazy." Looking back, I really didn't even think about wanting a baby. I didn't carry around a doll or obsess over babies. I just knew I would have at least one to name one day and I looked forward to it.
Well, that time came once and has come again. We named our first girl Eden Abigail Upshaw (both names that I'm positive were never on my lists) and we have just named our second girl...
Arielle Genevieve Upshaw.
I can say for sure that Arielle made it to that list quite a few times and has probably been a top name choice for me for years. I don't think I ever thought my husband would go for it, but he LIKES it! Hallelujah!
We both really like the name of our new blessing and are very much looking forward to meeting the personality that goes with it.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Witching Hour

I mostly get this face from Eden around 5 -6 pm.  Whether or not she's had her afternoon nap.   She quiets down eventually.  I can't even tell you what she was upset about.  She was actually on my lap while I took these photos. What else can a Mama do?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sharing My Home

I've seen so many creative things pictured on other blogs and I think, even though many of my ideas are just reproductions of others' work, I would like to begin sharing some of my work.  Now that I have a better camera to share with, there's no reason I shouldn't use it.

Exhibit A
hand drawn wallpaper to make the end of a very bland, beige hallway more interesting.

I had the gold paint pen ever since I shared with you all the blog of the creative mama who did this in her entire hallway.  I chose a different design, one that I wouldn't need to measure or level.  I don't like the preparation involved with most crafts, so this one was appealing.  Instant gratification.  That's me.
Here's a close-up of my design:

I think it turned out well, and I'm certainly not opposed to trying something similar elsewhere in the house... maybe in the master bath next?   There's a big blank wall in there.


I've been so enjoying creative crafting blogs lately.  I've got so many wonderful inspirations and no place to use them all, yet.  I'm bookmarking and saving like crazy so that, when the opportunity arises, I will be right there to take advantage of it.  I've already done two things that I never thought I would try and I'm glad I tried them.  I want my home to be personal... and without much money to spend on personal design consultants, the way to go is crafting things myself and not being afraid of an imperfect result.  Imperfections = Personality.
I want to feature a really sweet, super sappy project that just tugged on my mommy heartstrings as well as being really unique and just plain fun.  Check out the Currently Crafting blog entry here to read the full story.
This inventive mom makes reasons to use cute things she finds.  And it's not just for clutter.  She makes useful things.. like mailboxes for her kids.  I know when I was a kid I always got soooo excited to receive mail.  It didn't happen very often until I was 10 and we moved far from my childhood best friend.  We sent letters and traded stickers and had a blast.  How much fun would it be to have your own mailbox in your room where family members can send and receive notes and fun bits of whatever you like?  So fun.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

For The Record

This is not a brag post.  Really, it isn't.   I know a lot of other kids Eden's age that can say many more words than she.  But, we had our 18 month check-up today and the doc asked if she was talking yet.  I told her she was finally beginning to say some words and knew about 7-10.  When I got home, I started thinking about what those words were and realized that I might want a point of reference for the second child, or just a way to look back and see how far Eden has come from this time.
So here goes...  Words Eden says (some frequently, some only once at this point):

Mama (sometimes Mommy, sometimes Mamow ?)
Dada (sometimes Daddy)
Baba (aka. Grandpa)
Didi (aka. Eden)
Nana (aka. banana)
Nano (aka. piano)
But-Bo (aka. Bee-Bo, aka. belly button)
Shhhhh (does that count?)

Monday, July 06, 2009


I'm going to try to add this to my Pick-of-the-week Wednesdays and Favorite Fridays... although I haven't been stellar at keeping those up.  I was drawn to this idea because it's pretty similar to my "I Confess" box in my sidebar and it aligns with one of the reasons I began to blog: to practice openness about the realities of my life and to let others who read about it get to know me better.

So here goes...

I do not hide all our Rock Band gear whenever we have relatives come into town.  I'm certainly not especially concerned that my parents not see it.  And I wouldn't care at all if they knew we let Eden watch while we played and even let her play with us sometimes.  Nuh uh. Not me.

I did not feed Eden only Cheerios, a banana and applesauce for dinner last night.  I always prepare well-balanced, nutritious meals for her.  I would never just scrape something together.  Not me.

Lastly, I am not putting off teaching Eden to eat with utensils because of the possible mess.  I would never care if she made a mess.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

A Packed 4th

Here are a few pictures from our day.
Chuck ran his 13th Peachtree Road Race today. His grandparents and I waited with the cheering crowd on the sidewalks of Peachtree Street just to see him pass and to cheer him on. While we waited and watched, I took out the camera. Here's some of what I saw...

After Chuck got home, cleaned up and changed, we headed to his dad's parents house where we had ribs, rolls, salad, fruit, brunswick stew and more. Many of the Upshaw cousins, aunts and uncles were in attendance and a good time was had by all.

Eden enjoyed climbing up and down the stairs while a couple of the aunts and cousins reminisced about a painting of Noah's ark the cousins did for Grandmommy and Granddaddy when they were little.

Around mid-afternoon, we headed up to Dawsonville to be with Chuck's mom and her parents. Eden rode a horse for the first time! I was pretty petrified by the whole idea, but it helped me to be behind the camera lense for the experience. I worried less about her safety and more about getting the shot.

Decorating the Girls' Room

I've mostly finished the painting in Eden's room. I took a couple of pictures before we left for our weekend in Atlanta. I worked fast and furiously to get the tree done before we left because I was afraid i wouldn't have the drive to finish it when we got back (although, surely I wouldn't leave a bare space on the wall with just hearts and a bird!). I think it turned out pretty nicely. I didn't have to spend the same amount for supplies as I would have spent on the vinyl decal and I got to use different colors... and, of course, now I have bragging rights. I think it's worth it to have a few imperfections.