Monday, November 28, 2011

Stamping and Scrapbooking

A while ago, Nichol asked me to help with a project at 2peas.

It's been too long since I really focused on stamping on my scrapbook pages. Sure, I usually add stamps here and there, but to think of the stamp FIRST when I decide on the design, I haven't really done in years. Thanks to Nichol for the challenge and if you'd like to see the rest of the free class, click here.

LinkMy layout and supply list here.

Claire's Smash Book

For Claire's birthday, I chose the pink Smash journal. The idea was to set up a photo-booth with props and take photos all night of the guests at her party. Then, I printed them with the Instax Pivi Printer (only available on ebay and Amy Tan has a MUCH better post about this that I do if you want more information). After printing the photos, the guests used washi tape (blue, orange, plus others from my stash), photo corners, post-its (Calico, Memoir, Autumn Press), and some old stamps I had to decorate their page and write a note to Claire. Since I didn't buy Claire anything memorable for her birthday, I wanted to be able to give her something she could look back on and appreciate.

I also thought this was a fun party activity since so many people were invited of all different ages. I was right! Lots of the 9-16 year olds wanted the Pivi printer or Instax camera and a smash book to make for their own. Also, I think this would be a great idea to do at a tween-teen birthday party. I'm telling you, they loved putting on the "costumes" and posing for a photo. Even the guys enjoyed decorating a page...I was shocked!

Below are just a sampling of some of the pages.

My cousin Joseph from Tennessee. He was about 6 months old when Greg and I were married. I was so happy he and his family could come to Claire's party!

The note says it all :)

You may not be able to read the chicken scratch, but her Papa says Claire's the most beautiful baby. He might have to amend that statement in a few months :)

Also in her book, I included these items:
  • Party Invitation
  • Thank You note
  • List of gifts

And, who knows, I may continue to add to it!

Friday, November 25, 2011


December's main kit has definitely been one of my favorite main kits to work with in a long time. I loved that there are so many different types of items and at least one supplier that's brand new to Studio Calico....Ormolu.

She mad the tags you see in the sneak below.

This layout was made with only the main kit (BROOKLYN FLEA) plus Mister Huey's White and the Tiny Attacher.

A quick layout that was easy to throw together using the main kit plus Snow Cone and Shiny Brite add-ons.

And this one was made primarily with the main kit and Shiny Brite. I threw in one paper from Snow Cone, but if you don't get that add-on, you could easily get Add-on Patterned Paper and be just fine.

I really hope you enjoy these kits as much as I did!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Double the thankfulness this year!

The short story: I'm pregnant again. And it's twins!

The long story: In September, Greg and I began another round of IVF. This time my protocol was changed, probably because the doctors thought my eggs were getting old as they gave me a test for ovarian reserve. That test came back fine, but nevertheless, they decided for a ganirelic cycle, which meant a month of birth control and other oral medications, but no shots, followed by a month of a crazy amount of shots.

By retrieval day, my cycle didn't appear any different than the two previous ones. I had a modest amount of eggs at each of my monitoring appointments, and the surgeon predicted less than 19 eggs, which was how many we got in our second cycle (Claire). Boy was I surprised when I woke up and heard the number "31." I was so loopy and asked Greg the whole way home if they had really said "31." He confirmed probably about 15 times before telling me to quit asking.

On transfer day, 5 days later, we had a few embryos to choose from. Always you want to put the best one in so you don't risk freezing and thawing to your best shot at pregnancy. Of the embryos, we had two A's. We've never gotten A's before and after talking with 3 nurses, the embryologist and the doctor, we finally decided to throw both of them in and see what happened.

On the day of my first beta (blood draw for pregnancy) nine days after transfer, my number was 479. Whoa! With Claire my beta # was about 170, and the pregnancy before that was 90. (Anything over 50 is considered positive for pregnancy). So, at that point we were fairly certain both embryos had implanted. That was a Friday. With betas, it's important that the number doubles every 48 hours. That signifies the pregnancy is progressing like it should. So, when I went back on Monday, we expected the number to have tripled over the weekend. It did not. Just shy at 1182. Immediate worry and panic ensued even though I was told that I wasn't in the "danger" category. Two days later was my 3rd beta, and once the number is over 1000, it doesn't necessarily follow the doubling rule. We were hoping for about 2200, and ended up with 2532!! Instant least for a few days until the ultrasound.

Last Wednesday, we learned that we had two good heartbeats and both babies are measuring at 6weeks 2days, the exact same that Claire measured at this point.

On Saturday, I started spotting, so we went back to the doctor on Sunday. We learned that both babies are still doing well, but there's a place where the placenta attaches to the uterus that is bleeding. So, I'm on bedrest until the bleeding stops and modified bedrest until my next ultrasound on December 5. My doctor has jury duty next week, and I really think the greater civic duty would be to let him give me an ultrasound this Wednesday instead of waiting another torturous 5 days. But, that's not what the state of Tennessee thinks, so I have to wait. In the meantime, I wouldn't mind if a prayer (or two, or twenty) were said on behalf of our babies.

It's a ton of trouble for us to get pregnant, but that hasn't stopped us. Really, I can't imagine it any other way! Plus, I won't have to answer any embarrassing "How did you get pregnant?" questions from my kiddos later on..... We're just beyond excited and anxious to welcome these two precious souls into our home. I'm due July 7, but full-term for twins is June 9, so that's the day I'm counting down to.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

1 year

The birthday girl before her big party.
To decorate, I tried to go really simple, but it ended up taking longer than I thought.
Tissue Poms are MUCH more time-consuming than one would think.
Plus those paper lanterns take time, too.
Thanks to my dad and Greg for helping hang all these on Thursday before her party on Saturday.

I just got those cheap butterflies at Hobby Lobby. I guess they're used for floral decorations, but to adhere them to her decorations, I ripped out the wire and added a 3D foam dot to the back. Worked like a charm!

Everything was light enough to hang with fishing line onto the light fixture.

Her cake to dive into, which really just annoyed her because it made her hands messy.

Party favors (all pink), but some were for boys and some for girls.

The big cake, which BARELY fed everyone that came. Greg said I went overboard inviting everyone, but it was so hard not to. Plus only 2 families that we invited didn't come, so we ended up with over 60 people here. It was CRAZY. And wonderful.

My favorite part of her party was the photobooth. Mom and I hung crepe paper streamers to create a backdrop. Then I set out various props (easy to find around Halloween) and these are just some of the examples of what we ended up with.

Clockwise from top: Claire (of course), me, Mom, Greg

Clockwise from top: Ryan & Christine, Grayson & Deryck, Roan (boy with the biggest vocabulary and imagination you've ever heard!) & Jennifer (my IVF nurse, so it was WONDERFUL she could come celebrate with us!), Garrett, Jackson, Tim & Chantal, Beau (who I used to baby-sit), and Grayson (Claire's betrothed)

After taking the photos, I printed them on the pivi Instax printer (you can only buy this off ebay), then let everyone put their photo into Claire's birthday book and write her a message. LOVED how this turned out. Even the boys had me!

In hindsight, I should have gotten the regular Instax camera, because the printer takes time to transfer data from the camera. But, using it to my advantage, it gave me a chance to visit with everyone while working on their photo and album page.

I'll be back later with photos of the smash book.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Orchard & Halloween

Lots of photos to share this fall.

Our Little Red Riding Hood.

I chose this costume because:
  • I needed something that would be warm (we added tights and a long-sleeve onesie on Halloween night).
  • I wanted something feminine since she still doesn't have much hair.
I was so happy Maggie was here to take these photos. She was here for 2 days for a top-secret Studio Calico project and I took full advantage of her camera skills.

We also visited Jackson's Orchard a few times, where Claire immensely enjoyed the petting zoo.

And the pumpkins, before she fell on one and the stump gave her a bloody cheek :(

That's it for now. A lot of photos, not a lot of words tonight.