Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Birthday

My new friend over at Unforeseen Gifts nominated me for the "Beautiful Blogger" award. Erin and I met through this magical world of blogging. She also has a beautiful son with Down syndrome. Her daughter is quite adorable too of course! Thank you SO much, Erin. That is very sweet of you to consider Happy Jack as a beautiful blog.

Here are the "Beautiful Blogger" award rules.
1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.
2. Copy the award & place it on my blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself.
5. Nominate 7 bloggers.

Seven interesting things about me...

1. I grew up in Kansas from fifth grade on. Every time we traveled on vacation, people always asked if we owned a television and lived on a farm. The answers are of course YES to the television and NO to the farm.

2. I love my big expanded immediate family (Mom, step-dad, Dad, step-Mom, sister, step-sister, step-brothers, half-brother and half-sister) and of course all the in-laws too! This is why I want four kids. I love big families. The more the merrier!

3. I learned to sew in 7th grade Home Ec class. Back then I made scrunchies and pillows, sassy I know. These days I like to make cute applique shirts for my son. My Mom also helped me out by giving me my natural sewing abilities.

4. I rarely get sick (knock on wood). The first ever antibiotic I took was after I gave birth to Jack.

5. I love meeting new people and making new friends. It probably helped having to make new friends in each city we moved (Illinois, Texas, Connecticut and Kansas). I especially love all the Moms I have met through my perfect son Jack with that extra special chromosome. I truly believe these Moms I have grown so close to (and you know who you are) will be in my life forever.

6. I met my husband at the only interview and only company I got offered a job after I graduated from college. He sat at the desk right next to me and we shared a center island work area. At first he thought I was snooty. And I thought he was obnoxious. Obviously we both changed our initial first impression and I am very thankful they hired me!

7. And last but not least......today is my birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

And here are my nominations for
the "Beautiful Blogger" award.

Christi at Ni Modo Todo
Jennifer at The Kang Family
Laurie at Days with Dylan
Sara at Extra Smiles...Extra Giggles...Extra Love
Melanie at Baeten Family
Adrienne at Our Unexpected Journey
Kate at Life with Lauren

Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Make Applique Shirts

A few people have asked me how to get those onesies I made. John thinks I should sell them, but when exactly would I have the time? It look me months just to do 4 shirts, so I will just tell you how to make them.

1. Buy shirt/onesie you like.
2. Buy fabric(s) and thread you like and make sure they are thin rather than thick.
3. On the back of the fabric, trace the design you want remembering that it will be reversed when turned over.
4. Glue fabric to shirt with washable fabric glue.
5. Sew around the outside of pattern to make design secure.
6. Done!

Applique help:
An easy way to get an applique design is to look online and print one out. To make a shirt like the "Big Bro" one I made, use Microsoft Word to get the lettering you like and cut them out to trace on fabric. The letters must be traced on the front of the fabric, unless you have mirrored the letters. I like to trace mirrored letters on the back with pencil, so you don't have any pencil marks on the front of the fabric.

Thread help:
You can either match the fabric or choose a contrasting stitch.

Sewing help:
Stitch styles that look nice are straight stitch, zigzag stitch or pin stitch. And always always always test on a scrap piece of fabric!

Gluing help:
Make sure to put something in between the two layers of shirt, otherwise the glue will stick the two layers of shirt together.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The BEST Straw Cup with Handles

Update: May 15, 2010
Another great NEW straw cup with handles found by a Mom on BabyCenter.
Check out the cool mOmma Rocking Cup Green

I have searched far and wide for the best straw cup with handles for my son. Trust me, I have looked everywhere! I finally found something Jack and I really like. It's the Combi Straw Cup and although it is rather pricey, it is far better than anything I have seen and well worth the money.

Combi Straw Cup

1. No leaking
2. Easy clean
3. Lid closes tight for easy travel
4. Contoured handles
5. Lightweight
6. No straw biting needed to start flow of liquid

1. Pricey at $13

I use the Combi cup for milk during meals and then I use the Munchkin Straw Cup for juice/water outside of mealtime. Since the Munchkin cup does not have handles and is heavier, I help Jack hand over hand and hold the cup with him. When he is stronger and a bit older, I am hoping he can hold it on his own (and not toss it across the room). Here is the cup.

Munchkin Straw Cup

1. Easy clean
2. Good straw mechanism

1. Leaks slightly from lid rim when upside down
2. Heavier
3. No handles

Now for beginner straw cup recommendations, I like the Rubbermaid Juice Box and the Honey Bear. I call these beginning straw cups because you are able to squeeze the liquid into your child's mouth for them to understand the objective, before they are able to actually use the straw themselves. I personally only used the Rubbermaid one, but many of Jack's friends love the Honey Bear cup. The key to teaching your child how to drink from a straw is repetition, repetition, repetition! I started Jack on a the Rubbermaid Juice box filled with water when Jack was 9 months old.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these 4 cups, here are the links.
Combi cup
Munchkin cup
Rubbermaid juice box
Honey bear

Nuby Straw Cup with handles - NO

This is a straw cup I considered buying, until I saw the tip of the straw. You have to bite the straw to get the liquid out, which does not teach the proper straw drinking technique. I would NOT recommend this straw cup.

Sippy Cups - NO

And for those of you wondering why I just don't use a sippy cup, since that's all that is sold in the stores. Drinking from a straw promotes a closed mouth drinking method, which is much more strengthening for those kids that have low-tone. Sippy cups promote open mouth drinking and only use muscles in the tongue to get the liquid out. Drinking from a straw teaches the correct drinking methods and erases confusion from going from bottle, to sippy cup, to open cup. Now for the typically developing kids out there, it's not the end of the world to use a sippy cup, but even for my baby #2, I plan to go straight to the straw cup from breastfeeding.  Here is a great article I found, So Long Sippy Cups.

*I consulted Jack's Speech Therapist for help in describing why straw cups are better.

**Also, I don't mean to preach, I just figured I'd help other Moms out there, since I've already done all the research.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bye Bye Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is over, so now time to change my blog background yet again. It's called "lollipops" which I found appropriate since I can no longer enjoy a lollipop due to gestational diabetes. When I think about it though, it's really not that bad, it's just easy to complain about since all I crave is sweets. I thought of another benefit of having gestational diabetes. I get 2 more ultrasounds to check the size of the baby. If I didn't have GD, then I would have to wait until Jack's brother is born. That's fun to say "Jack's brother."

On Saturday we went to the Crawlers group at GiGi's Playhouse. It's always fun to see our friends and we always get great strengthening tips from the therapist that runs the group. Straight from there, we went to our first session of Sign Language. The class was just okay. It's getting extremely difficult to keep Jack still and to chase after him with a seven month bump! (Check out the "Sign Language" link on the side of the page under "Baby Things We Love." Very cool!) In the afternoon we shopped a little and everywhere we went, the salespeople kept saying they wanted to keep Jack. No way! Hands off people! =) He is a very good shopper. To celebrate Valentine's Day, as a family of three, we went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Jack loves the dim lights, waving to all the people and dancing his head to the mariachi band. I could not ask for better people to spend the day with.

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Applique Shirts

We had a SUPER fun baby playdate today and Jack stayed up until 1:30pm. He took a nice long nap and I was able to finish a few more crafty sewing projects.


I went in yesterday for my 28 week glucose screening. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Jack and have a 50% chance of having it again. As you've probably guessed from the title post, yep, I am gestational diabetic yet again! Booooooooo! That's what I have to say about that! I tested 8 points higher than the passing number and they would technically require me to come in for the three hour glucose test, but I told them in advance that I was NOT participating in that! Heck no! Three hours of yucky sugar drinks and then having your blood drawn three times. I would pass out for sure! No way! So, now I have to test my glucose levels (and live on a diabetic diet) for the next two weeks, until my next appointment when they can see my numbers and then MAYBE I won't have to test FIVE times a day if I am able to manage it okay. Yuck! Boooooooooooo! Those two delicious chocolate chip cookies that I had last night, will be my last until after baby delivery. Then, bring on the sweets!!!!!! I miss the cookies already. I love you chocolate. Good bye for now. I will see you soon.

On a GOOD note. I will probably only gain 2 more pounds for the rest of my pregnancy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

She's Crafty

I have been working on this "big bro" t-shirt for Jack for some weeks now and I am finally done. I just bought a Carter's onesie and some fabric I liked, cut out letters, glued them on and sewed zigzag around each letter. I think it turned out pretty cute...or handsome, I mean. The onesie is a size 24 months, so I hope he can wear it for a long time, but for now I will put it in the closet and wait until May 5th-ish!

I already have ideas for my next t-shirt. It's a surprise and I will show when I'm done. Which might be another month. Ha! I guess this means I also have to make a "lil bro" t-shirt as well. Hmmmm. My project list is expanding, since I would also like to sew drapes for our master bedroom. At least I enjoy sewing.