Friday, December 28, 2012

Burlap Curtain Topper

Briggs is transitioning into his big boy room.  So that means I've been slowly changing things.  His previous window looked like this..

When G-Maw (justin's mom) came for a visit, she gave me a little assistance on how to make what was in my head, come out in real life.  

Started by measuring the window from the outside to the outside of the frame and then we added 3 inches to account for the rod it was on. 

Cut one piece of burlap and liner the dimensions you need...

Front face them to each other and pin around all the edges...

We started out sewing like this with the burlap on bottom and liner on top.  
Tip:  burlap frays pretty bad and it kept getting stuck in my machine, so..

we flipped it over and put the liner on bottom and it worked out great..

Here is G-Maw marking the curtain for the rod pocket.  
All we did was lay the rod on the fabric, make a mark on how wide the pocket 
needed to be and marked the fabric all the way down.

We went ahead and pinned it since I'm a rookie sewer, didn't want to mess up.   
I did a back stitch real good at both ends b/c when you turn the curtain right side have to rip out the end stitches where the rod goes and didn't want anything coming unraveled. 

Then it was time to turn out the curtain.  G-Maw had a little helper for this part.

Final product...

It's simple, but that's the look I was going for. 
 I'm very happy with it and thanks to help from  G-Maw, it looks great.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baby #2 Hospital Wreath

Some of you know, the hospital wreath is quite the big deal here in Birmingham.  Click here to see the one I made last year for Briggs.  This year I decided to go a very different route...
here is what I came up with....

uh, uh (throat clear)...just want to say...notice there is no link to pinterest for this...that's because I came up with it in my own head.  So maybe I'm not a copy-cat for 
every. single. project. I do around here.

Supplies needed: shoe box, scissors, grapevine wreath, fabric, burlap, 
paint and wooden letters (found at hobby lobby)


I started by cutting a piece of cardboard from the shoebox, the size I wanted.
Then I laid out a scrap of burlap that covered both sides of the board and laid out the letters to make sure it was what I wanted before I put it together.

Next I sewed the edges of the burlap (with the cardboard inside) 
using light blue thread, with a zig-zag stitch.

I got some fabric I don't need much..
can just use scraps of some you already have if you want.

I cut it into strips...

Painted the letters brown...

Hot glued it all together..notice my little assistant :)

Last, I wove some light- blue ribbon into the grapevine wreath for another 
"blue" touch and here is the finished product...

Finished product...simple. cute. inexpensive. and
easy to reuse the wreath for something else fun after Parker gets here.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Yes...unfortunately this is a picture of me...IN the hospital...AGAIN! 

These girls with me are my two Amy-ies (they both are named Amy).  The one on the far right, you might remember from our birth story post.  She was the one who helped deliver Briggs.  And the one in the middle is my new special nurse friend.  She took care of me when I went in during this pregnancy at 27 weeks and she had me during this admission (last week) too.  We connected and are now, just like old friends :)

Most of you read this post that says I was already progressing.  Justin and I went in the next day (Wednesday) b/c I didn't feel right and kept having contractions...I am now 1.5 cm dilated, 70% thinned at 32 weeks.  They sent me to Labor & Delivery and put me strait on Magnesium...some nasty stuff...BUT, it did the trick and stopped my contractions.

There was some pretty quick juggling.  Let me start by saying...WE ARE SO BLESSED with wonderful friends and family who helped to make this experience a little less stressful.  Briggs' school is wonderful and worked closely with us to get him where he needed to be and when.  Our neighbor picked him up, Aunt Celeste and Uncle David, dropped everything and kept Briggs overnight at our house.  My mom was in Baton Rouge keeping my sisters kids, but came to the rescue as soon as she could get away.  I'm telling ya...this whole experience is brought to a whole new level when you have a little one at home!

Thankfully we were pretty prepared.  I already had a plan for Briggs, we just had to implement it, bags were packed for Justin and I (he just had to come home and get them), both of the boys rooms are pretty together, baby clothes washed and in the drawer, and Christmas presents have been brought and wrapped for a month now (bc I was afraid this might happen).

Currently, we are at home, on pretty strict bedrest.  I'm basically parked on the couch all day b/c even standing for short spurts, I start contracting.  Swindle said if I can't get them to stop within an hour get up there quick so they can stop the labor.  We have almost had to go back twice since I've been home!  If I have to go back up there OR if my water breaks, the hospital is my home until Parker comes.  THAT makes me sick to my stomach to think about having to spend Christmas in the hospital away from Justin and Briggs...  I'm trying to focus on the positives. I am SO THANKFUL I'm at home right now and even though I'm really restricted, at least I can be here to watch Briggs.  We put a stool by the couch so he hops up here with me throughout the day and I get lots of snuggle time when he wakes up and is ready to sleep.  I can't pick him up...I have a strong correlation to contractions when I even tug on him any.  So I have to wait for somebody to give him to me when he his crying and all that, which is kind of hard, but at least I'm here when he needs me and not stuck in the hospital.

I'm now taking procardia (for contractions) every 4 hrs.  They sent me home on it every 6 hrs, but my contractions kept getting bad, so I called and they moved it up to every 4.  So far, that's maintaining things. 

We haven't officially "announced" these changes because things have been changing so quickly since Wednesday of last week.  We have honestly just been trying to keep our heads above water around here.  Trying to get Briggs settled with a plan, getting the basics done at home with laundry and some food in the frig,  us packed back up again, IN CASE, we have to go back... and on top of that, I haven't felt awesome since the hospital. 

Specific prayer requests...
  • Briggs' adjustments during this time of transition
  • Make it to 37 weeks with Parker (I'm 33 now)
  • Mom to be here when Parker arrives (she wasn't able to be here when Briggs was born)
  • No progression from here until we are in a safe window for Parker
  • Clarity for us to know when/if we need to go back to hospital
  • Not needing to return to the hospital (this one makes me cringe every time I think about being away from my family during all this...I don't know if I could handle it)
I've been asked many times how I'm doing...
This has been quite the rollercoaster of emotions and we are pretty bummed for many reasons, but this is the road we are on...AGAIN :(   There is a constant fog of worry over me (even though I'm trying to fight it).  My mom is here at the moment...THANK GOODNESS, but with Christmas coming up..she will be traveling back and forth from Florida some.  Every twinge, ache or pain is stressful at this point.  I think the worst part is the dread and reality of having to spend time away from my guys and in the hospital but also balancing when to take action and do what is best for Parker.  Then the reality of slowing your activity level from min-moderate to practically zero...I'll just leave it at that.  It's so hard when you're a "doer" and you have to ask for and accept help for everything.  Bedrest with Briggs wasn't fun, but at least Justin and I were able to make it with just us.  Since we have Briggs, we require much more assistance and are having to just ask for it.  We have had so many people offer their time so graciously and I can't even put into words how blessed and loved we feel right now.  It is a very helpless position to be in, but we are thankful to be surrounded by such a great support system.
You all know I don't want to end my post this way, all negative nancy...

So let's end with the things we are so very thankful for...
  • being  proactive and catching things early
  • Parker is at a viable age, would just spend some time in NICU, wouldn't come home with us and would have a few challenges which we would work through
  • We are all at home together right now
  • We have such wonderful medical care at our hospital and they are doing a great job staying on top of things
  • So thankful for my mom and her dropping EVERYTHING to practically move in with us, run our household and take care of Briggs...I don't know how I can ever thank her enough.
  • And our friends who have also been supportive and have cared so well for our little boy.
  • I went back for a recheck today and had closed up some..I'm now 1 cm and 50% thinned!  I really needed that good news to help me settle to just maintain that for a few weeks!
I will try and do better at updating from here.  None of this was a secret or anything and with social media, it's easier to get the word out, it's just weird when YOU are the one the message is about.   How to share info with others and what to share, while focusing on how to get better and keep things going as smoothly as possible...anyway, for now we are doing ok.  My mom is here for the week and at this point, every day Parker can stay put, the better.

...until next time

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pregnancy Update

I guess it's time to spill the beans about what has been going on at our house.  I have had a good pregnancy up until now.  I mean a few aches and pains but nothing too uncomfortable and from what everybody says, the second one is harder on your body.  Briggs and I have continued to stay active, walking our regular 2-5 miles a day.  We play hard, eat good and sleep well at our house...up until about a month ago.

 Short version...Briggs had gotten a cold, diaper rash that turned into yeast, vomiting and diarrhea, poor appetite, not sleeping good including waking up 3-8 times a night that lasted a little over a month...oh and even a trip to the ER in an ambulance. 

Needless to say times were tough around here.  My doc feels like all this excitement might have had something to do with this next part.

A few weeks ago I was having some pretty good contractions (at 27 weeks) and called the doctor.  They wanted me to come in...I wasn't dilated but contractions were between 3-5 min.  Apparently they don't like you to have contractions that close together that early in the ballgame...why in the world not ?!?!?!  They gave me a shot to stop them, which worked...thank goodness it wasn't a repeat of what happened with Briggs...yet :)

Sorry no pics of that little adventure b/c I was by myself most of the time and was a little freaked out with it being so early and all.  Taking pics to document wasn't top on the priority list :)

I was sent home with orders to rest, hydrate and oral meds to stop contractions when they happen. I've been going back weekly to keep a close eye on things.  I do have contractions pretty much daily, but the oral meds along with hydrating and resting (as much as you can with an 18 mo old) has helped.  I'm now 32 weeks with no dilation, but unfortunately today, I have progressed to 50% thinned.  As Doctor Swindle said today...this isn't ideal..but for now she is ok with where things are and we will just take a week at a time.  If I dilate it's automatic bedrest.  Until then, we will watch things closely.  I did get a steroid shot today to help Parker's lungs IF he comes early and Justin will give me another one tomorrow from home.

I also have been taking progesterone shots every week since I was 16 weeks.  This has been quite the stresser for me since I'm not a needle person and they hurt like the dickens.  I'm bruised all over both sides of my back where they give them and I have permanent puncture holes from the shot.  It's a HUGE needle.  But I only have FOUR more to go and I guess the saying "you do anything for your kids" is true.  Thought I would include some pics of my special shot nurses who see me weekly...

 and a few have been given by my special nurse here at home...

Needless to say...during all this precious MIL came up for a whole week to rescue us.  She spent some fun time with Briggs, cleaned my entire house, cooked some food and got it in the freezer.  I think I was at the end of my rope with all the sickness and then the contractions....
When I called to update her on what was going on, crying...I think she felt sorry for me :)

We appreciated G-maw so much and were so thankful she came and helped me get things whipped back into shape around here.  

So at this point we have made a few changes to help get us 5 more weeks. We added Briggs one extra day at MDO.  He only goes 9-2 but that's still good rest time for me.  I've been officially promoted to full-time stay at home mommy.  I basically was before this anyway.  I just filled in at my old work when they are busy, on Briggs' MDO days, which isn't often.  We got a lady to come clean the house every other week...insert hallelujah choruses here.

Anyway, goal is to make it to 37 weeks with no hospitalization, dilation, bedrest or baby.  I'm just having to slow way down, listen to my body and rest (which seems to only be slowing down the progression, not stopping it completely).  It's been emotional and stressful with all this going on for many different reasons.   I am trying to keep perspective.  Maybe this is the Lord's way of slowing me down to prepare my heart and body for this new precious blessing that is soon to come.  Either way, we have many things to be thankful for and trying to hold on to that for encouragement. Prayers appreciated  :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Tips

Thought I would share a few tips that we use around here at Christmas that might save ya a few bucks and make things a little easier.

I got a little creative with our name tags this year.  I just used stuff we already had in the closet.  

Supplies: scrapbook paper, special scissors that cut a decorative edge 
and hole punch to attach it to the packaging.

These are little scarfs (below) I make and usually get quite a few orders around holidays (sidenote: if anybody wants a cute and inexpensive Christmas gift for somebody special or they are great for teachers me).
The point of putting this in here is to show you can get creative with your wrapping and by using stuff you have at home...

I used brown paper bags, cut into strips, 
some rope to tie as the ribbon and scrapbook paper as the name tags.

 Christmas present wrapping...
I get a spool of tulle at the craft store and make bows for our presents..
very inexpensive and gives it a cute touch.
Then I layered scrapbook paper that was cut for the name tags.

On this present, I cut out a letter from wrapping paper 
I already had and glued it on the present

We have learned from experience to keep boxes and receipts, especially on things a little more pricey.  I tape the receipt to the inside of box top and we throw it in the attic.  
It's a good way to keep things organized and makes it easy if something breaks or needs to be returned.

Last but not least...

You know those Christmas wreaths you hang outside on your windows...
To store them...we stuff the bows with paper towels (just reuse the same ones each year), cover with garbage bags and hang on nails in the attic. 
Then they are ready to go every year with minimal work.

None of this was earth shattering...just thought I would share a few tips we use at the Poland house.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ornament Tradition

I shared last Christmas about our ornament tradition that has been carried on since I was young.  Just wanted to share the additions we added to our collection this year.

I think we can all guess whose this one is...

Justin and I got this one from our babymoon a few months ago...

This is one of the ways we preserve memories and traditions in our home at Christmas