Friday, April 27, 2012

Tea Party

Today we had a tea party in Kara's room.
It was so much fun.
"Mommy, can we invite my friends?"
What friends?
"These friends Mommy...."

She sat our the silverware.....

Poured the tea.....

Then had herself some "ABC Popcorn"

Chewing up some "popcorn"

And here is a video....sorry for the shaky cam hand.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sophie's Nursery

So we finished off Miss Sophie's room a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to show off my great decorating talents (yeah, right). Really I just want to show you how cute it turned out.

We turned our office/guest room into her nursery when she was born. The walls were already a chocolate brown and I couldn't even think about painting it again because I HATE painting. And it took me 8 months just to get Todd to move the furniture and to touch up the paint so.....chocolate brown and pink were our colors.

I know the whole bird theme is a little old. But I love it. And so when I found this sheet at pottery barn kids I had to get it and then the rest of the things evolved from it. 

 What I crafted or made in the room:

 I found the material at Hobby Lobby in Danville (why Danville?) and made the two curtains. Love this fabric. And I didn't even sew it. I used fusible webbing. Awesome.

Flower Mobile
Not my idea. Found it on my favorite blog. (Aren't they all my favorite?) Pretty easy to put together and hang. The silk flowers were a little expensive so I just saved some AC Moore coupons and bought bridal bouquets with all white flowers at half price. I would just go once a week and use two coupons each time until I had enough to make the mobile.
Here is the real tutorial:

Art Print:
I made this a long time ago for our guest room. It just didn't have Sophie's name on it. I stenciled it when we got her nursery ready with sparkly Martha Stewart craft paint. The bird was already there. Just a stencil, glue, and glitter. And the background are mod-podged book pages from books I bought at the Estate Specialists for 25 cents.

Quote in frame
Found this quote on Pinterest (of course). The original quote online was painted on pallet wood. I am too lazy. I printed it out on my Silhouette and framed it. Easy Peasy.

In case you can't read the quote because of the glare: No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.

 I did not make this. My wonderful cousin who took those adorable newborn pictures made this garland as a picture prop. She let me keep it and it hangs on her door.


So, that's where our little miss spends a lot of her time. Because she sleeps really well and we are sleep-in-your-own-bed kinda family.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How we celebrate Earth Day

So, if you know anything about the Derrenbacker family, you know that we are a little granola-y. It's Todd's fault really, but I am happy we are this way. It makes me feel better about what we do and the impact we have on this planet.

In a effort to show you how easy it is and to celebrate Earth Day (which is today) I thought I would share what we do.

First things first: It really should be mostly credited towards Todd. He started this whole mess with simple recycling. I never recycled before we were married. Nothing. Nada. It just wasn't something I had any want to do. And that's how it started. We now recycle all plastic, paper, cardboard, and aluminum that comes through our house.

I think what really convinced me that this was a good thing was our trash.  When I saw how little trash we have compared to our neighbors that don't recycle I was amazed.  We NEVER have a full trash can at the curb for pick-up (unless it is one of those weeks when we skipped a week because we forgot to put the can out). But some of our neighbors have full and overflowing trash cans EVERY WEEK.

And the effort to do this? Not much. We have one extra trash can and two tall laundry baskets that we use to collect our recyclables in and Todd makes a trip about twice a month to the bins about one mile away.  At holidays we have to go more often because we have more cardboard due to shipping containers from Amazon...

Lynchburg has curbside recycling but it is about $240 a year, so we save our money and just take it ourselves. However if you live in Lynchburg and are interested, the website is Recycle Easy.
Recycle Easy

Happy girl in her cloth diaper

Cloth Diapers
Again, Todd's idea. I wasn't so sure about this one when Kara was born. But I promised we could try it out. So we bought 3 cloth diapers and when I realized
A) What an impact it had on the amount of trash we collected (again)
B)What an impact it had on our finances
 I was sold.

BumGenius diaper. See how it uses velcro to close like a regular disposable?
Up front, cloth diapers cost more. They are around $16-20 a piece for the all-in-one diapers, which resemble disposables. We bought about 15 diapers, so expensive. But when you think about the fact that they were the only diapers we used from age 3month  to almost 3 years with Kara and are now using the same diapers for Sophie, that is a HUGE savings. HUGE people. Do the math.
Even with washing them every other day, it is a big savings.
Want to know more about cloth diapers? Ask me or go here

"I like big butts..." Yeah the cloth diapers gives her a little more junk in her trunk. But we like it that way :)

For wipes we use baby washcloths. We got a ton for Kara when she was an infant in various baby shower gifts. We would have to wash her every day, three times a day to use them all. So we took some and used them as diaper wipes.  I wash them with the diapers and when they come out I put them in the sink with a little baby soap and swirl them around for about 30 seconds. Then I wring them out and and put them in a wipe container. Because we wash diapers every other day, they don't get moldy and they smell like baby soap. And who doesn't love baby soap?

Paperless Kitchen
This one, finally, was my idea. I mean, I stole it from one of my favorite blogs, but it was still kinda my idea. It is also the one thing my friends roll their eyes at or stare at me like I'm an alien when I talk about it. Even more than cloth diapers. Because why would anyone want to get rid of paper towels and napkins in a kitchen where children reside?
Because it's easy and makes me sleep better at night. :)
Simply, we bought about 20-30 cloth napkins and started using dishtowels exclusively. That's it. We wash them all in the washer on hot. We have napkins for everyday use and napkins for our guests (less stains). Yes the well used napkins have stains, but they aren't dirty.

Our napkin stash

Again, simple mom comes to the rescue if you want more info:

So, all in all we are certainly don't take it to the extreme. But we are doing our part, without that much effort. In the future I'd like to have kind of compost pile if we ever get a bigger yard and a more energy efficient house if we ever move.

Happy Earth Day! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Sophie-

You are now three months old. One quarter of a year..this is a big milestone for us. I went back to work last week, you learned how to roll over. How did you go from being a tiny newborn who slept and ate all day to this little laughing bundle of cuteness?

You are finally getting use to taking that bottle when Mommy is away although it is clearly not your favorite.  You have rolled over twice but Daddy did not see it either time so he thinks Mommy is making it all up. Silly Daddy. You sleep in your own big crib all swaddled up. And you are happiest in the morning right after you nurse. You laugh and smile so much! Mommy loves it!

And whenever I go in to pick you up after you've been asleep, you are sucking on those sweet little hands. I mean, your whole fist is in your mouth sister. Again, totally cute. 

You and big sister Kara have a very sweet friendship already. Kara loves to play with you and talk to you. She makes you laugh, then she laughs, then I sigh and smile the biggest smile of my day hearing the two of you giggle over each other. She loves to help you too. She puts your paci in when you've dropped it. Last week she tried to put your socks on but could only wrestle one foot in a sock--you were just too wiggly she said!

Big sister was not in a good mood and would NOT open her eyes.

We are also getting to see a peek at your little personality. You love to talk and coo and smile, but only after you get what you want. And when you don't...well let's just say you let us know. Today I had you on my shoulder during one of your "unhappy moments" and you hurt my ears you screamed so loud. I think they were ringing for a few seconds after. Seriously.

And speaking of that temper, your hair is still red in the sunlight. I hope it stays that way. It is so pretty and it matches that personality of yours.

You aren't sleeping through the night yet, but honestly I'm not worried about it. I remember being so worried about all the sleep I was missing with Kara, but with you--I am enjoying every moment of our little late night snuggle time. It is our alone time and I love it because I know soon you will be sleeping through the night and that time will be gone. Too soon.  I'm not in a hurry to give that up yet. (Plus it is only for 20 minutes, once a not too bad girlie!)

I love you more than you will ever know.

Happy 3 month birthday baby girl.