Wednesday, June 25, 2014

this time around

i just saw an article titled "6 tips for you and baby number 2" and it sent my mind on a journey, back to when i was this pregnant with cora. i remember having so many mixed feelings then. i felt elated that our little family was expanding, anxious about how i would handle 2 little ones far from home and anything familiar, and guilty that i was giving bella a rival. 

looking back now, i know how ridiculous that last statement is. bella cried when she saw her sister for the first time, overwhelmed with joy, and said, "thank you so much for my baby sister!!!!!". but that doesn't diminish the fact that i was very nervous that they would hate each other. i thought for sure that bella would feel replaced and abandoned as we paid more attention to this crying bundle of snot and poop. 

i couldn't have been more wrong. 

bella felt like we had brought her home a perfect little gift. she rarely complained that sister cried too much and she always wanted to help in some way (even when her help wasn't exactly helpful). i can honestly say that, to this day, she is a huge help with her sister, even if it gets a little dicey here and there. and cora absolutely thinks bella is the greatest thing since sliced bread. and we all know how much cora loves that's saying a lot. 

this time around, i am not nearly as nervous. bella will be a whole 2 years older, and is already very excited. she spends the wind down time in the evening yelling at talking to baby brother, and gets very excited when we talk about what he will be like. 

cora is a nurturer by nature and loves to snuggle her babies, put them to bed, change their diapers, feed them.......she is a little mother. that could prove to be a little harder to manage, and hopefully it won't end up with her dragging the baby down the hallway by his neck. but i think she will adjust well too. she loves our friends babies and is amazingly gentle with them for a 19 month old. 

i have some fears-mostly, the irrational "how will i ever leave the house again" fear. i think i thought the same thing before cora came along, and we manage pretty well, so i imagine this time will be no different. travelling may become a bit more of a burden, but it is something we have always prioritized and that our children seem to get so much out of. we already have our last year of trips pretty much planned out, before we head back to the states, so hopefully little man will be a trooper like the girls are! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

DIY mesh sling

i made a sling. it's pretty much the ugliest thing i've made. 

seriously though, i have little patience, little time and if it can't be done in a nap time, it won't get done. so, today, i attempted to make a mesh sling to wear cora and the new baby in the pool when they aren't feeling a float of some sort. 

none of this is really exact-no real measurements, no seam allowance, nothing complicated. my kind of project!!

so here goes.


3 yards of mesh fabric. i got mine from

a pair of sling rings. mine were nylon 3" rings, purchased at 

a sewing machine

thread (i had an exact match! thread hoarding for the win!)


1. cut the fabric in half, lengthwise, so you have 2 long pieces. a friend and i split the cost of materials and bought a sample pack of rings, so the total cost was right around $17 per sling, with enough to make 2 mesh slings and have 3 pair of rings left over to make kid slings or whatever else. 

2. hem 3 edges of the fabric, leaving a short end raw. i have read from other blogs that this isn't wholly necessary, however, i plan to use the mess out of this thing and i would like it to stay looking nice. it doesn't have to be perfect. 

3. fold the raw edge like a fan.

4. thread through both rings, folding the mesh back on itself, wrong sides facing each other. i pulled about 6 inches through.

5. sew the folded over fabric together, enclosing the rings.

{confession: i may have broken my sewing machine briefly, which explains why this thing looks so horrible. it seized up, some alarm went off and the machine practically screamed, "YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING VERY WRONG!!!!" right before my needle ripped out. so. yeah. i fixed it and it worked again, but make sure your fabric is not too bunchy in there. spread those layers out. you are welcome.}   

5a. i sewed a couple of lines to really secure the fabric and to make it a little more padded. you don't need to. it doesn't do anything fancy, but it did make it a little more cushiony, so mission accomplished. still, ugly as sin. 

that wonky part at the top is where my machine started to freak out. it looks terrible. but it works! and you can't even tell when it's on. 

6. that is the end of the sewing part. if you know how to thread a ring sling, you are ready to go. if not, check out some youtube tutes for help. i like this one. it's long, but she's brittish and thorough. =) 

7. put baby in sling. get in water. viola!! 

 this was done in about 20 minutes, during nap time. the most frustrating part was the machine malfunction, but after fixing that, it was super easy. if i were a more patient and trained seamstress, i definitely think i could have made this look better, but for the purposes i need it for, it's excellent. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

the last 3 months

i have not bee keeping up. mostly because....well....i'm tired. 

we've done a lot over the last 12ish weeks. 

shortly after my last post, we boarded a plane to mallorca, spain. it was heaven. we spent 6 days at an all inclusive resort kind of in the middle of nowhere. our first day, we just walked around and hung out at the pool waiting for our friends to arrive, at which point we hung out by the pool and relaxed all day. 

the next day, we headed in to palma to check out the sites and see the beautiful landmarks all around the city. my favorite thing was the palma cathedral. it looked like a giant sand castle. 

for much of the rest of the week, we hung out at different beaches. out hotel had a secluded beach for our hotel and for the apartments next to us. it was incredibly peaceful. the babies loved playing in the sand, while the big girls ran back and forth out of the water. 

 the next day, we headed into the next town over (which is a british party town, and i liked it!) and we plopped down on the beach for an hour while we waited for our boat ride. i got a massage on the beach, yes i did. i had to dig a belly hole, which was a little embarrassing but whatever. 

the boat ride may have been the highlight of my trip. everything was so beautiful and blue. it reminded me a little of hawaii, but even more amazing. 

i had to jump in the water, even though it was freezing. it was very.....therapeutic. 

the next day we hopped on a tour bus (bad idea with two babies) and headed to some caves on the other side of the island. the reminded me of the ones we've seen in the mountains of NC and TN. we walked down to the water inside of the caves, where we were serenaded by violinists on boats.  

the big girls were great on the whole trip, and reminded me that travelling with kids can be really great. we stopped by the majorica pearl factory, where they make some very beautiful pearl jewelry. i started talking to one of the ladies who worked there, and we had a nice conversation. she started showing the girls some more of the "how it's made" and they posed for pictures with the lady who made the core of the pearls. 

after they were done taking pictures, she came around and gave each girl a little baggie with a small core, a large core and a finished pearl. they were so excited about their fancy jewelry, and i was grateful for the sweet touch! 

such an amazing vacation and i wish we could go back! 

a month later, my mom came to visit, and settled in nicely with the girls. it was her second time meeting cora, but the first time she really got to know her. we went to bella's dance practice, shopped, played at the park and just enjoyed some time letting her catch up with the kids. 

sometimes i regret that our kids aren't near their grandparents more. they have some amazing experiences, and hopefully there will be time to hang with the grandparents after we are back in the states. 

after about a week, we headed to paris for a girls trip. it was.......exhausting. it gave me a greater appreciation for travelling with joel. we make a great team. 

we stayed on the disney property at the sequoia lodge, spent a day in the park, a day in the city and the rest of the time at the pool. 

my favorite part was jumping in the fountains at the eiffel tower, after realizing we got off at the wrong stop and hoofing it in the heat to the tower. 

we saw all the main sites, but really, didn't get to spend as much time there as i would have preferred. our original plan had us going back the next day, but after that day, we decided it would be a little too much. turns out, mom had a kidney infection the whole time we had been there, so it was a good thing we decided to take a day off, to have her visit the doctor and let the kids burn some energy in the pool. 

apparently, elsa dresses are hard to come by. but not in paris! they were everywhere. so of course, bella had to have one. and she was the most beautiful elsa i have ever seen. i loved watching her twirl all around the park. 

these girls had so much fun this trip, and got completely and utterly spoiled by their yaya. stuffed animals, candy, staying up late, you name it! 

in baby news, we are having a boy! it's exciting and terrifying and a brave new world. i think it's going to be pretty fantastic. these two girls are total daddy's girls, so it will be nice to have a little momma's boy! and i have been boy clothes shopping like a mad woman which has been a little more fun than i expected. this little mad is going to be a stud. 

so, that's all of it. whew. see? tired. i wondered why today i couldn't seem to shake that feeling that i may collapse into a heap. so i did....i pretty much slept the day away. and it was marvelous.