i play art project?

Look at me, blogging after months of silence. Self-five!

Hope you didn't get your hopes up for a long post, though, because that's probably not happening. (Katy, i PROMISE i will finish Maggie's birth story, since i think you're the only one still interested in reading it.)

Caroline's favorite thing to do lately is "play art project." Which pretty much just means i let her paint stuff when i'm feeling adventurous and like cleaning up a ton of paint off of things. Here's the art project that started it all...

i saw on Pinterest this concept of finding an old canvas, taping a design on it, painting over it in a solid color, and then removing tape to show the silhouette of the image with the colors underneath. The girls room needed some art for the walls, so i enlisted my little helper to help me out with this project.
It is mostly super-easy and it definitely turned out super-cute. And Caroline was so proud when we hung it up in her room and she shows off her "art project" to everyone.

Step one: Repurpose an older canvas you have. Thanks, Raquel, for providing a canvas for us!

She was really into painting all the dots for a while until i helped her paint in other places too.

Step 2: Have your toddler paint with a different color, drying a day or two (or maybe a few weeks if you don't feel up to playing "art project" every day) between each one.

The final product when Caroline was finished.
i contemplated just hanging it up as is, but wanted to see it through to the end.

Step 3 (not pictured): Decide on a design to tape on to the canvas. i chose circles in various sizes, and proceeded to take weeks cutting out circles i had traced on to cardstock and then taping said circles on to the canvas with painter's tape, all while watching the entirety of Arrested Development on Amazon.

Step 4 (also not pictured): Paint over the entire painting in a solid color. i chose white since the girls room is done in a white/gray/pink/yellow theme. 

Step 5: VERY carefully peel off the painter's tape when your canvas has completely dried. And hang finished product on wall.

Ta-da! A fun art project for you and your littles, and cheap wall art to hang in their room. Win-win!


Caroline turns 2!

Two months ago, our little family moved into our new rent house. (And we LOVE it! Thanks so much, Stewarts!) And for some reason, i had the crazy idea that we could completely move our entire lives out of our apartment into our new rent house, all while caring for a toddler and a baby, and still manage to host Caroline's birthday party the VERY NEXT WEEKEND.

i don't recommend that.

Needless to say, J and i didn't sleep much at all that week. But thanks to a helpful husband who completely cleaned our old apartment all by himself, we were able to do it!

We had family and good friends over to our new place, grilled out hot dogs in the backyard, and celebrated the cutest little girl turning 2 years old.

Opening her presents. She was way more into this for this birthday.

Thanking Cousin A for her present. :)

At the end of presents when everyone clapped, Caroline clapped too.

Cousin Carter came to help celebrate too!

Aunt Dana and Cousin Charlie..................................getting ready to sing "Happy Birthday!"

She requested chocolate cake.
She's her mother's daughter for sure.

Cousin Dean enjoying his cupcake.

A few days later, on her actual birthday, we had Caroline and Mommy's Day of Fun! (Friend's reference alert!) i tried to think of all the things Caroline loves, and crammed them all into one day. At the end of the day, i was exhausted. But i know she had the best day.

Better at blowing out her birthday candle after some practice.

Swinging at the park is one of her favorite things in the world.
i seriously think she would spend her entire time on the swings at the park.

Trying out the splash pad for the first time.
She loved it.

After drying off, we went to the dollar store to get her a birthday balloon.
Balloons are another favorite thing.

She picked out the purple star balloon.

And of course, she had to have another cupcake.
In fact, she will sometimes sing the happy birthday song when sitting in her high chair in order to get another cupcake. i think she thinks one will magically appear whenever she sings that song.

i can't believe i have a 2 year old now. It's crazy how fast time moves when you have littles.


Maggie's Birth Story - part 2

Check out the first part of Maggie's birth story here.

Let's see, where was i? Oh yes, J and i had our bags packed and were heading towards the hospital.

i found myself once again having to ride in a car and walk into a hospital, all the while having my water broken. If you've never experienced that sensation, imagine walking around in public peeing your pants every few minutes. It's real awkward. i read somewhere, probably in What To Expect When You're Expecting, that very few women have their water break before being in the hospital. i guess i beat the odds, twice.

We get to the check in room in Labor and Delivery, a smaller version of a delivery room where the nurse checks to make sure you are actually in labor. My nurse, Dawn, checks me over and realizes pretty quickly that my water has obviously broken. She hooks me up to a machine that will monitor my contractions, and begins to ask me all sorts of questions. The timeline of what's happened so far? Do i plan to breastfeed? Am i going to be a stay-at-home mom or work? Will the baby be exposed to cigarette smoke in the home? All the while i'm laying on a bed, continuing to feel like i'm wetting my pants. Then she asks the most important question, the question that i have been dreading because i know my answer is going to determine what happens in the next few hours.

Am i experiencing any contractions?

Now, having given birth before, i knew what contractions felt like. And honestly, i wasn't having anything like that. But i really didn't want to be hooked up to Pitocin again. So when she asked i said, "Maybe."

See, every now and then, i felt a little cramping in my stomach and i thought maybe that was the beginning of contractions. So i told Dawn that i was having some cramping that seemed like maybe contractions. Just then, i felt some cramping and told her so. Sweet Dawn checked the monitor and said, "Nope. Not a contraction." The machine wasn't registering a thing.


So i was ushered down the hall, trying to walk without getting the floor all wet, with Dawn leading the way to my room and J following behind, carrying all of our stuff. i got the IV, and since Dawn thought my body would kick into gear soon, she put me on one of the lowest doses of Pitocin possible.

Then she left and we all waited for contractions to start...

Special note to readers:
i know some of you may be thinking (or even tempted to comment), "Melaina, you should have just waited! You didn't need to go to the hospital right away. Your body would have started having contractions on its own, i'm sure. You have 24 hours after your water breaks before they should start giving you Pitocin. Etc, etc, etc."

And in a normal case, i would agree with you.

But just like when i was pregnant with Caroline, i tested positive for Group B strep in my birth canal this pregnancy too. This meant that there was bacteria for sure in the birth canal, and the ruptured membrane of my water breaking now meant that little Maggie was exposed to this bacteria. So you don't want to mess around with that.

Also, because i had Group B strep, i had to have at least 4 hours for antibiotics to be given to me through an IV before i had Maggie to ensure that i didn't pass on the bacteria to Maggie during her birth. Since this was my second baby and my OB was pretty certain i would have a quick labor and delivery (remember how i was already dilated to 4 cm?), she told me that i needed to get to the hospital pretty soon after my water broke, if it did before i started contractions again, so that i could get the antibiotics started.

So, that's why we went to the hospital so quickly. And that's why, even though i hated it, i didn't refuse the Pitocin.


FOTO FRIDAY - a picture update

Life with a 2 year old and a 3 month old is never dull.

And the fact that they love each other makes it so much more fun.


The past 2 years

On this day two years ago, i had my first baby girl.
And in the past two years she has filled my life with joy EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Happy birthday, Caroline!
i'm so glad God put us together.
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