Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crafty Crafty!

I am so excited to show everyone my most recent project.  I know it's really cute because even hubby likes it.  As in, he actually likes it.  He doesn't just say "Yeah... nice..." because that's the response I get sometimes.  I know he actually likes this one because he was just as excited as I was to get it on the wall.  That, my friends, is what I consider a successful craft.

So it started off with an idea I found on Pinterest.  It was a link to this blog where she had some really cute giraffe art.  She said that she had painted it herself.  (Apparently she had found her inspiration from this artist on Etsy.)  I'm not a painter, but by golly I have a lot of fabric and I can fashion some cool things out of it.  While I like the idea of ordering a finished product from Etsy and supporting someone who is obviously talented, I really wanted this to be made out of fabric.  I also had a spare canvas just taking up closet space that I have been waiting to use for the perfect project.  It was obviously meant to be.

Off I went to draw some giraffes.  I used waxed paper for my template.  I would've used freezer paper so I could've just ironed them onto the fabric, but we were out.  I don't know how that is possible because I swear the last time I looked, we had two full boxes of the stuff.  Waxed paper ended up working fine and since I couldn't iron it onto the fabric, I still have the templates.  Win.

For some reason when I upload this photo, it changes size.  My giraffes are not this scrunched in real life.  It really bothers me, but I hope that it will just fix itself.  I cut out each giraffe to use for a pattern. 

The next step was to pick out the fabric.  I went through lots of options (all blues?  all orange?  some of each?)  Finally, I decided on these.    


I cut out my fabric giraffes and attached them to the canvas using mod podge.  I used two coats of mod podge and let it dry.  

And this is what the finished product looks like!  I really love how it turned out.  I am really excited to use the giraffes in other projects.  I have a jungle quilt that I'm planning to sew that would look really cute with a little giraffe family appliqued on it.  :)  My to-do list just keeps growing!

Here it is on the wall!    

The nursery is looking so adorable I just had to share a snippet.  Clearly I have a theme of giraffes happening.  Giraffes and owls.  Other than being incredibly cute, the aren't really in the same theme (jungle and woodsy?) but I don't think that Baby will care if my theme is a little mixed up.  On a side note, I haven't put the crib sheet on the mattress yet because I'm using the crib as a stashing place for "things that need to come to the hospital with us."  Also, the rug we found is amazing.  It's like a cloud under your feet.  I'm sure it will be the first thing Baby pees on.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Week 36!

My weekend started off a little less wonderful than I had hoped... On Friday I woke up with a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose.  Being pregnant and sick is not very much fun.  However, I was determined to be super productive.  Thank goodness I have my stash (and my mom's stash) of Young Living oils!  I swear they are probably the only reason I didn't just sleep the whole weekend away.  Armed with the recommended rosemary, oregano, lavender, peppermint, and purification, I was able to accomplish some of the things on my list.... and some things that weren't on my list.

Here are some photos of the highlights....

On Saturday morning hubby and I took Auntie Steph to the bakery for breakfast and we stopped at a few rummage sales to find some goodies for Baby.  Auntie found some great CD's with lullabies and kid songs that she is very excited to sing to Baby.  She also found an Elmo toy that sings and sucks on a pacifier.  She's pretty excited for Baby to make his appearance so she can play with him.  :)

One day we woke up to a strange dog sleeping outside in Pepper's kennel.  I had seen the missing dog post on facebook and knew it had to be the dog they were looking for.  I called the owners but they weren't able to come until the dog was long gone.  Pepper was on edge all weekend and I'm sure she was looking for that dog.  (Luckily the owners did call me and tell me that their sweet German Shepherd had been found and was home safe!)  Pepper says it's really hard work to be a guard dog.  She was exhausted.  

We had a visit from our sweet nephew and his mommy.  We did some six month pictures!  I have the cutest nephew ever.  I can't wait to be able to put up some of the non-phone pictures we took! :)

We even took a family trip to DQ so hubby and I could try out their blizzards in a waffle cone.  The verdict?  I guess they were ok... but I think a blizzard in a cup would've been just as good.  Pepper got a dog treat.  She loves ice cream.  

Hubby and I found BattleShip in the garage so we obviously had to play a game.  We didn't have matching pieces, so that was interesting.  Each of us only had four (I think we were each supposed to have five!) and the ones we had weren't the same.  It was still fun.  And I won both games.  Battleship champion.   

Belly photo!  This is not a maternity shirt, but it is one of the few shirts I have that is both cool enough and long enough.  I am not sure how people survive a whole summer of pregnancy.  It hasn't even been very warm yet but I can hardly stand to be without a fan on or window open!  

I know it's already Wednesday, but that was the weekend in a nutshell.  Today I finished a craft project for Baby's room that I can hardly wait to post.  It should be ready for a reveal tomorrow!    

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Toy

Hubby got a new toy this week.

Apparently he's been hearing from other dads that if he wanted something for himself, he had better get it before baby comes otherwise I wouldn't let him.  I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with this, because I'm excited about our recent purchase, too!  It is crazy how my mindset has changed though.  I can go into Target without looking at anything for myself but I could spend all day looking at things for Baby!  I'm sure I'll snap out of it once baby is here... :)  Baby is fun to shop for though.

So a couple nights ago it had finally stopped raining and we were able to test out our new purchase!

After our honeymoon in Voyager's View National Park, we realized that we would need something a bit bigger to tackle the big waves up there!  We both fell in love with that area and plan to go back as much as we can.  Even if we can't make it back this summer, we will be ready to go for next year!  So exciting! 

Pepper likes the new boat, too!


Pepper wanted to bring a friend along for the ride, too... so Ginger got to go for her first boat ride!  Ginger loves the boat!  Although I'm a bit concerned that she might be more excited to be in the water than on the water; there were a couple of times it looked like she was ready to jump right in.  She might not be the best fishing partner if she's going to be jumping out of the boat, but we'll work on that.

In other news, yesterday we were exactly one month away from due date!  Which translates into about 4.5 weeks remaining in pregnancy.  The weeks are just flying by now!  We still have a few things on the to-do list that actually need to be done before baby arrives.

1) Paint and Recover Glider (We've started the recovering process and are about half way done!  So exciting, I love the fabric we picked out for it!  I picked up the paint for it, too, so we will have to get that started this weekend.)

2) Make Mobile (I've seen some really cute ones in stores and on Etsy, but the one that Auntie Lu made for the twins was one of my favorites.  I plan to make one very similar!)

3) Prep Diapers (We have decided to plunge right into cloth diapering, and they take a bit of work to get ready before baby comes.  This will probably be a whole entry in itself!)

4) Hang Shelves and Banner (Ok, so I'm sure Baby won't care if this isn't finished.  But I care.  And the shelves we found are SO CUTE so they need to be up so I can at least take a picture of the decorated nursery)

5) Paint Bookshelf (I have a shelf that my dad made for me when I was in college that will work as a night stand/bookshelf, it just needs a fresh coat of paint.)

6) Pack Hospital Bag (I'm guessing that I will do a better job packing if I do it in advance instead of when I am in labor.)

7) Install Carseat Base in Vehicles (They recommend we do this in advance.  Probably smart so hubby isn't running out of the hospital as I'm being discharged to put it in.  This way we can practice and make sure it's in right!  I'm not sure Pepper is going to like sharing the back seat with a carseat, but she will have to learn, too.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home Improvement!

We've been busy around here lately!  This is one of the most recent projects we've been working on...

This is what the front of our house looked like before.

And then the next side...


While it breaks my heart to tear down two trees, it is really nice knowing that our basement will have a chance of survival!  The tree roots had not been very nice to the foundation of our house.  Another bonus?  We can see out of our windows now!!  It's great!  

Auntie Lu was nice enough to pass some peony plants and day lilies my way so I think in one of the corners I'll plant a little garden.  I love peonies and the ones we had in our back yard seem to have gotten mowed over.  :(   I think they will be safer here!   

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Pregnancy Dilemma

I haven't had many cravings so far in pregnancy.  Hubby is quick to remind me that I would never say "No" to a raspberry bismarck, but who are we kidding... that has nothing to do with pregnancy.  I've always liked those.  I really miss eating cold lunch meat.  A sub with avacado and sprouts from Erbert and Gerbert is something that I can't wait to eat again, but I'm not sure I would say that I crave it.  The idea that I would come down with some crazy sickness (listeria, although many people think that this is not true) from eating it is enough to make me stay away.  Sometimes I crave baked goods.  I've had to stop baking at my own house and move the baking to my parent's house where there are more people to share with.  :)  But I can't say that has anything to do with pregnancy either.  Cookies are delicious.

Aversions, however, are a different story.  I've struggled to find a way to explain this because hubby doesn't quite understand.  The closest thing I can think of that would be similar is the way some people feel about an alcohol they've had too much of.  I know I have friends that will absolutely not drink the flavored Bicardi's.  I know a few people that feel this way about Captain Morgan.  For other people it is anything that smells like coconut or peach.  Hubby says he won't touch peppermint schnapps.  For me you would guess that it would be chardonnay after a specific wedding dance, but that is surprisingly not the case.  I went through a small streak of not being able to drink anything with sour mix after playing a really stupid game of beer pong in college with southern comfort and sour instead of beer.  I'm probably over that now, though.  Anyway, alcohol aversion could be a whole blog in itself....   :)

Throughout my whole pregnancy I've pretty much gone through aversions to everything.  I had big plans on how I was going to ween myself off of coffee or switch to decaff.  One morning I woke up to make myself a cup and just opening the can was enough to just give it up completely.  So that was easy.  Kind of sad, especially now that it has been nice out.  Last summer I would wake up and have my coffee outside and walk around the yard with Pepper.  People have told me that maybe now I can just be done with coffee completely.  Absolutely not.  I'm sure my love of coffee will come back.  :)

For the first part of my pregnancy, I generally felt like nothing I ate tasted good.  One day I had a cheeseburger from Dairy Queen and it was the best food I had tasted in months.  I was excited to find something that I didn't mind eating and ended up eating cheeseburgers any time I could.  This came to a screeching halt when I was served a raw hamburger patty at the local bowling alley.  I was devastated.  From that point on, I haven't been able to eat hamburgers.  Even really good ones that have been made by hubby or my mom.  The thought of eating a hamburger could honestly make me sick.  Another food I really have an issue with is iceberg lettuce.  Specifically the kind that has been pre-shredded and packaged in a plastic bag.  Sadly this is what seems to be the normal thing for restaurants to serve.  I can even smell how bad it is going to taste.  A third thing is bananas.  They are a little different though, because I love bananas.  I think they taste really good and I want to eat them every day.  Baby is the one that doesn't like bananas.  They just don't stay down so I've had to give them up.

Most of my aversions have faded, but hamburgers, bananas, and bagged lettuce have stuck.  I have been worried that I will miss out on a whole summer of hamburgers on the fire at the lake because I'm not sure that I will ever enjoy them again.

Which brings me to yesterday.  I took a client to the Special Olympic track meet.  It started in the morning and went into early afternoon.  I brought a granola bar with me for a snack, but by 11:00 that had completely worn off.  They had food available for the athletes and staff which is great!  The selection, not so great.  Everyone got a bag with the same food in it.  A bag of salad (iceberg lettuce with a little cheese and some croutons), a hamburger from McDonald's, chips, and a cookie.  To the side you could grab an optional banana.

Clearly this lunch is not going to work for me.  So what's a pregnant girl to do?  Is it worse to be so hungry that you feel sick (without knowing when the event will be over to get something else) or to eat foods that you have the strongest aversions to?  I know that I can't be the first person to face this dilemma.

I opted to not make a scene in front of my client.  He is a very kind person and I know he would've felt bad if I told him I didn't like any of the food.  I try to be a good example and be grateful and not only eat the dessert.  So I opened the bag of salad and took a few bites.  I know I'm supposed to eat this because it's good for baby, but seriously, gross.  My client, seeing how much I was enjoying my salad, gave me his as well.  So that backfired.  I stuck both back in the lunch bag and moved on to the hamburger.  I decided it would be best to just dive right in.  I'm pleased to report that I ate it.  Most of it anyway.

Pregnancy victory!!  I'm not saying I could do it again today if put in the same situation, but I did it!  Maybe there will be hope for a hamburger on the fire at the lake this summer! Obviously I ate the cookie.  I really enjoyed the cookie.  There was not even a crumb to show off at the end.  Thankfully with baby taking up so much room, I don't need to eat very much to feel full.  I gave the chips to my client because I'm just not really a chip person and I know that he enjoys them.

Hamburger defeated.  I guess we'll know for sure in just a little over 5 weeks!  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Laundry Day!

Yesterday was an exciting day of baby laundry.  I really thought that I would like doing baby laundry better than doing my own, but it turns out I just don't like doing laundry.  It does look much cuter hanging on the line though.  Folding the clothes was not such a bad thing, either.  Little sis came up to help with that part.  So it was fun looking at all of them and picking out our favorites!  And seriously, I'm already short one baby sock.  How does that happen?  Poor baby hasn't even been born yet and I'm already loosing his socks.

It was a beautiful day for putting laundry on the clothes line!  I even got a little color on my shoulders!  We also got a good start on our first official garden.  Tonight hubby put the finishing touches on it.  Now we just need something to start growing and it will really feel successful!  Hopefully the rope is enough to keep the Big Pep and her friend Ginger out!  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

34 Weeks!

Today was an incredible way to start my 34th week!  According to TheBump, baby is the size of a butternut squash and apparently might be able to recognize songs that I'm singing.  The website suggested that songs I sing now will be soothing to baby after he is born.  So we'll probably spend lots of time singing to the radio in the car if that will be what soothes him.  :) 

We started off the day with baptism for the twinsies.  They are both so adorable!  Silly Audrey covered her face for this picture, but I'm sure someone had to get a photo where she wasn't doing that... (hint hint, if you have one, send it to me!) 

Group photo of the proud parents and sponsors

Hubby and I with Goddaughter Audrey!

Hubby and I with sweet little Claire in her after baptism party dress!

When we got home I had hubby take a bump photo for me with my beautiful Mother's Day flowers!  

One of the baskets has these awesome flowers that look like confetti!

And Hubby picked out the next basket because the white flowers smell wonderful!

We are making more progress on the nursery.  Today we got the crib put together and the dresser moved into the room!  So exciting!  Now I can start going through the bags and boxes of clothes I have acquired and see what we have and what we still need.  Thanks to facebook swap & shop and some awesome luck at rummage sales yesterday, I think that Baby has a pretty good start on what he will need.  Hubby is convinced that we absolutely do not need any more baby clothes.  I'm not so sure.  Especially when I've been finding such good deals!  Seriously, I love a good deal.  I've also had some great luck with baby gear and toys!  Although I'm trying really hard not to buy toys... but sometimes they're just too cute to pass up.

Coming up on my task list will be to get everything washed and put in the dresser.  I'm just waiting for my sister's foot to heal so she can come over and help me.  She loves the cute baby clothes just as much as I do so that makes it extra fun to look through them!  I can always count on her to encourage me to continue my bargain hunting for the most adorable outfits I can find! Of course she already has plans for the outfits she is going to keep at her house so she can change baby into her favorites whenever he comes over.  So clearly we will need at least two full wardrobes.     

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Second Breakfast

I've heard that the best way to eat during pregnancy is multiple small meals.  This is supposed to keep you at a steady level of fullness, without ever being so full that you feel sick.  Let me tell you, I've embraced this idea.  Sometimes I feel like the only way I survive the day is because of a little thing we've been calling Second Breakfast.  

Most of the time Second Breakfast is NOT exciting... like a nutrigrain bar (which I will probably never eat post-pregnancy).  

Sometimes Second Breakfast is yummy... like Hardee's loaded omelet biscuit (which I never would have known existed except for Hubby had to introduce me to them!)

Every once in a while, Second Breakfast is the BEST MEAL OF MY LIFE!  Which is what today was.  This morning I had a wonderful Second Breakfast with my favorite sister at her favorite place.  Cafe 116.  I can't rave about it enough, they have great food. 

Even though she still has to wear a boot and use a walker... and was headed to the dentist after breakfast to get a tooth pulled... she was the best second breakfast companion.  She suggested the belgian waffles with strawberries.  I obviously consider her an expert on this restaurant so I copied her order.  I almost hate to admit it but it was probably the best waffle I've ever had.  (Sorry mom, I do love waffle Saturdays, but we should get this recipe.)  

Neither one of us was able to finish our waffle so we took the leftovers to go.  Walking down the street to the car, a lady stopped me to tell me how good the food I was carrying looked.  I'm not making that up.  It was weird. 

As far as the rest of the day goes, the dentist appointment was a success and my sister's mouth should be feeling much better tomorrow!  At work tonight one of the clients, apparently having forgotten that I as pregnant, saw me and said "WOAH!  YOU LOOK LIKE A BALLOON!!" That's always nice to hear.  :)  I thought that maybe I would come home to a crib or something put together in the nursery.  Instead, Hubby had been put to work cultivating.  I guess Pepper even got in on the farming action and kept Hubby company in the tractor for at least one whole field.  Apparently she doesn't like tractor rides quite as much as car rides, maybe a little too bumpy.  However, I'm guessing if she has a chance to go again tomorrow she'll jump right in!  

It was a good day for the Cook family.  Tomorrow starts our weekend here.  Happy weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Yesterday we attended an "Official Start to Summer" party.  Of course no one else called it that, but that's what I considered it.

My favorite summer food has to be hotdogs on the fire.  Delicious!  Thanks Auntie Lu!  

Tonight hubby found a super cute video on youtube and it made me giggle so I think everyone should watch it!!!  Just look at these cute puppies!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


It's going to be a beautiful day today!  It was finally warm enough last night to sleep with the windows open, which I love.  Apparently Pepper loves it, too, because I woke up to her using me as a hurdle between the window and the door.  I was able to get her to stop long enough to get this cute photo.

She's giving me the curled lip, which usually means she isn't getting her way.  I'm assuming there was either a bird or a squirrel that she was just dying to get out and chase out of her yard. 

Anyway, I'm clearly obsessed with my puppy.  Just wait until I have a baby to talk about! 

We are Hubby is making some serious progress in Baby's room.  The floors were a much more extensive project than I realized.  I thought it was just to bring a bucket with some soap and give them a quick washing... not quite.  Hubby completely fixed them up, including fixing up the stain and waxing them!  I'm so amazed that I couldn't wait to post this.  I'm sure everyone has been very curious to see the paint color anyway.  I asked if we could do this to all of our floors.  Hubby's response? 

Hubby: "..."

So I will take that as a "Maybe after baby comes."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Getting Closer...

Today we started the day off with a nice waffle breakfast at my parents' house.

Then it was time to say goodbye to a dear pet, Foxy.  We had a nice little funeral for her.  Sammi, Pepper, and Ginger were all there and Stephanie sang a nice song for her.  Foxy was our family pet (more specifically, Stephanie's pet) for the last 11 years.  Even though her and I got off to a rough start, Foxy really did turn out to be a sweet dog, but she never did like me as much as she liked Stephanie.  :)    

After the funeral we had a family lunch.  Then it was time to get to work!  

Hubby headed home to paint baby's room... which looks AWESOME!  I can't wait to get the furniture in there so I can post some before and after pictures on here.  Hubby hates painting, but he went all out for Baby Cook.  Tomorrow we'll clean up the floor and maybe put up the crib!  I guess he still has to trim the window, but maybe the crib can be in there for that.   

I finished sewing the squares for the quilt I'm working on.  Now I just have to finish laying it all out and sewing everything together!  I have big plans for this quilt since it's one that I plan to use on our bed.  I'm using Amy Butler fabric for it (my favorite!) and am planning on making it REVERSIBLE!!  I've been doing cool things with the backs of my quilts lately, but this one will be the most extensive.   

This is the start of laying out the squares.  Huge thanks to Auntie Lu for the idea to put the squares on a flannel lined table cloth... genius!  Not only does it protect the squares from sliding all over the place when the animals decide to go wandering across it, but you can also just roll it up and save it for another day! 

When I finished the squares, my mom and I started on projects for Baby Cook!  Between the two of us we made six burp rags!  They didn't take long at all and turned out super cute.  I'm excited to make more!  I am loving the orange chevron flannel, so I think we might even have to make a quilt out of it.  

In the meantime, Hubby put together our newest purchase.  A wagon!  I'm really excited to use it this summer.  I have big plans for an amazing garden so this will be very handy.  And I will probably use it as a photo prop for Baby Cook.  Why not?

It was a really great day today and I expect that tomorrow will be a great day, too!  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Swamp Tag

I love my dog.

I'm not as big of a fan of my dog in spring weather.

Pepper and her new friend Ginger have discovered the unthawing swamp behind our house.  I can only imagine that it is probably the most fun they've ever had.  I'm not saying I don't agree.  I played a few wicked games of swamp tag growing up.... in the same swamp the dogs have just discovered.  Don't worry, from what I remember grandma had my cousins and I all cleaned up before our parents found out we'd spent the entire afternoon in the swamp.

At least you can't see the dirt on Pepper as much as you can on Ginger.  

Just look how happy they are.  By the end of the day, they are both completely exhausted.  It's a daily debate that hubby and I have to have

"Should we give puppy a shower tonight or just wait until she is just as filthy tomorrow?"  

But tonight when I came home from work, this filthy dog walked up to me and looked just like Pigpen from Charlie Brown.  The dust cloud just wafted around her. 

Too bad I can't capture that with an iPhone.

Tomorrow marks the start of my bi-weekly doctor appointments!  We're getting more and more excited to finally meet Baby Cook.  And Baby Cook is apparently just getting comfortable as he has found that there is a little extra room in my rib cage.  I've been hearing from people that I look really pregnant.

"You look really pregnant.  I mean, you look really good, but you're huge."

People mean well.  I'm not offended.  I've maybe even said that to a pregnant person before, I definitely never will again, but I can imagine saying those words thinking I was giving a compliment.

So I was curious... how pregnant do I look?  Well folks, my belly is a whopping 42 inches around.  I don't know what my belly was pre-pregnancy so I don't really know what I'm comparing to.  But I think this might be fun to keep track of.