Sew Spectacular

It occurred to me this week that there were still a few newborn necessities and nursery components that we should probably acquire before this little ninja arrives. For instance, five receiving blankets, one changing pad cover, no travel changing pads, and no sheets for the mini co-sleeper we plan on using will certainly not be sufficient. Especially considering how many blankets and changing pad covers we constantly went through with both of our other kidlets, one of which was a big time puker and the other who had notoriously explosive diapers. I also needed a crib skirt to cover the ugly gaping space between the crib mattress and drawers below that has been making me a little crazy to look at every day. Adding up the cost of these things came to far more then I was prepared to spend (something like $200+) so I made a trip to the fabric store and $80 later, I was ready to settle in for a few days of intensive sewing.

The five receiving blankets and four washable, waterproof changing pads were by far the easiest pieces to make using my serger. And although getting the proper dimensions for the three co-sleeper sheets, crib skirt, and two changing pad covers were a little more tricky and time consuming, they got completed, fit fabulously, and are quite adorable. I also used a bunch of the remnants I had to make some new place mats and coasters which we always seem to have a use for with two messy eaters in the house. The last thing I made (between spoonfuls of ice cream) was a cute reversible fleece tie blanket to lay on the grass in the shade this summer or on the floor in the playroom for our little ninja. Zoren and Astoria picked out the fleece patterns that were their favorite (pirates and outer space) to make it just that much more special.

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Other minor details have also been taken care of this week. A final batch of cloth diapers and inserts have been prepped, bicycle and world map decals are up on the walls in the nursery, and we hung an adorable wooden bug mobile over the crib. The mobile is probably my favorite item in the nursery because there are five swinging bugs that coincidentally represent each member of our family. It is colorful, meaningful, and the absolute perfect addition to our little guy’s space. I have also managed to down another five pints of ice cream and half a dozen ice cream sandwiches in the past week which all must go right to the baby because I haven’t gained any weight in the last ten days despite the copious amounts of calories I have been consuming in frozen form.

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As you can tell, I haven’t managed to give up the dairy despite my concerns about the probability of this child having dairy sensitivities. But as my doctor says, the ice cream is pretty much the only thing keeping me from losing weight instead of maintaining or gaining since I can only eat small amounts of other foods and basically live on cereal, fruit, and ice cream. Since I need all the fat calories I can get so this baby can pack on the pounds before he arrives and since I am a glutton for the many varieties that Ben and Jerry’s offers, I will just keep on consuming until C-section day. The only downside to this diet is that I keep having dreams that this little ninja is going to be a whopping 10 or 11 pounds due to all the ice cream goodness but my OB assures me that he is going to be pretty average sized, so that’s a relief. I may actually get some use out of all the adorable newborn sized clothes I have for him after all!

And now we are at a week and counting! In four days my mama will be here (yay!) and three days after that I will be getting strapped down to an operating table for this baby’s eviction!! I am so excited to meet the little ninja who has been tenderizing my organs with his karate chops and roundhouse kicks for months. I hope he is ready to join the crazy chaos that is our family because we are all super eager for his arrival! Astoria is especially stoked for her upcoming debut as a big sister and has been practicing her blanketing, diapering, and dressing skills for months now. She is going to be such a great helper!

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Our Dancing Boy

Zoren has been a dancer since the moment he could bob his head and wave his chunky baby arms to the beat. When he started standing and cruising on the furniture around seven months old he would sway and stomp his little feet while head banging to Iron Maiden or desperately try to jump up and down with a firm grasp on the sofa while jamming to Flogging Molly.

Z has always possessed great rhythm and his love for music and dance has only continued to escalate over the years. The decision to enroll him in a leading local dance academy when he turned three was a no brainer for us and he has proven that he is exactly where he belongs. I can’t say enough about how great Artistic Fusion Dance Academy is. The amazing owners and instructors are constantly uplifting and inspiring their students, providing workshops with amazing choreographers, and consistently focus on instilling confidence, self esteem, and great work ethic in each of their dancers. Zoren absolutely thrives there and although a lot of that has to do with his own interest and excitement at learning new moves and dance styles, the instructors also play a huge role in making his classes challenging while keeping things fun and motivating.

This past year Z took a ballet/tap class and his first hip hop class so he performed three numbers in their annual showcase last weekend. He was Woody from Toy Story for his ballet number and was the lone prince to his harem of little princesses for his tap piece. Both were absolutely adorable but the prince/princess dance where he got to do some solo moves while the princesses gathered around him and ended with him leading a girl off stage arm in arm, complete with a kiss on the cheek was, by far, the cutest number in the whole showcase (not that I am biased or anything). He got tons of applause and lots of “aww’s” which I know made him feel like the little star that he is. The hip hop piece was Zoren’s favorite because he got to do a little breakdancing in the spotlight with the other boy in his class and they performed to a mash up which included one of his favorite songs, Gangnam Style, in the final part of the routine.

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Stori was super proud of her big brother and couldn’t wait to give him the flowers we had purchased before the show. She also helped me pick out a special Lego Ninjago set as a reward for all his hard work over the last year and the three of us assembled it together which was a lot of fun.
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We are so proud of our dancing boy and after a little break this summer, we can’t wait to see what this next year of classes has in store. He is super stoked to be taking another hip hop session, tap and ballet class, and will be old enough to start a jazz class this winter once he turns 5. I know he desperately wants to audition to join the dance company which competes at various competitions throughout the year and requires quite a lot of commitment from the dancers as well as a hefty financial obligation on our part. Steve and I decided that after this next year of classes, we will let him audition if he remains interested which I am sure he will and as one of only a handful of boys in the company, I know they will love to have him!
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All Systems Go

Our server which hosts my blog is finally back up and running after the move to our new house and some technical difficulties in the initial set-up. I still don’t have my actual computer in working order yet so all of my high quality photos are trapped in my camera until we can make time for that little piece of the puzzle. Luckily, I have been pretty much on top of this unpacking and organizing business so the kids rooms, playroom, kitchen, dining area, bathrooms, living room, and nursery are pretty well put together at this point. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a garage full of boxes that have yet to be touched and I have grandiose ideas about what I want to decorate our living room and bedroom with, although I know that is something that is on the back burner until sometime later this summer. But I feel good about saying that we are well on our way to making this our home.

For me, the most fulfilling part of this process is finally have all of Little Ninja’s things out of totes and into an actual nursery where they are much more tangible. Little summer rompers and tiny organic tee’s are sorted and hanging in the closet. An assembled crib is taking up residency in the corner with a perfectly adorable ninja blanket that a friend made for us, draped over the side and a gray chevron sheet occupying the mattress. My stash of cloth diapers are all prepped and in their delegated fabric bins next to the changing depot, waiting for a sweet little bum to cover. I have even started packing my hospital bag which makes this impending birth seem like its just around the corner, which I suppose it is.

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These last two weeks are going to fly by so quickly and although we still have a ton to unpack from this move, it is more important right now that we take a little family time with the kidlets before this next transition starts. We have also been occupying them with as many play dates as we can manage each week because they are constantly craving time with friends and love having them over to play in their new backyard. This weekend is Zoren’s big dance showcase where he will be performing three different numbers with his tap, ballet, and hip hop classmates and he is beyond thrilled. I can’t wait to see him up on the big stage doing what he loves and soaking up the attention and applause from the audience. This kid was made to dance and although he would prefer to be improvising to Dubstep most of the time, he is also great at learning new moves and routines from his awesome dance instructors.

I am hoping to get the rest of the technology in this house up and running over the weekend so I can share some better pictures of the house, Zoren’s dance showcase, and any other fun tidbits we have had locked up in the camera for the last month. Until then, here are some from my phone to start things off…

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While we are quite occupied with the new house, baby prepping, and dance rehearsals, our thoughts and hearts are very much with two of our best friends back in Wisconsin who have recently and unexpectedly lost someone incredibly special and dear to them. Also, right now in Colorado there are some pretty bad wildfires destroying forests and homes and forcing many residents to evacuate. We are all left just waiting and watching as these fires burn out of control. Unfortunately, this is something our state deals with every year and there is little that can be done to stop these fires once they start. The brave men and women of our fire departments work tirelessly to get them contained but with the hot temps, high winds, and little to no precipitation, there isn’t much that can be done. We will raid our stockpile of canned and boxed goods and donate them to food banks that help the evacuees, continue to do rain dances, and hope for containment.