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Mommyhood

I’m Back

January 28, 2016

There have been barbies in my bed all week. Usually I remember to toss them out into the hall, but sometimes one of them works her way to the foot of the bed to be discovered whenever I get around to stripping the bed to make it. Along with tiny socks, and lego minifigs. I wonder if my parents slept with so many toys when I was two years old. I suppose they must have. 

I am not writing this post for any particular reason. I guess that’s why I haven’t written since my baby was a week old. She is now six weeks old and I finally decided that instead of worrying about ruining my good record for posts with “good SEO”, I’m just going to go back to using my blog as a raw, authentic outlet. 

I need it. I can count on one hand the times I have left my house since Poppy’s birth. And I don’t see that number improving in the next week or two because we’ve all been so sick. Including the baby. 

Aside from needing a friend every once in a while, I have learned I don’t really need to leave my house that much anyway. The past six weeks have been so blessed and wonderful, but also taxing and filled with me sitting anxiously nursing on the couch while my kids have their way with the house right in front of my eyes. Breastfeeding is  rad and I am grateful for it, but the thing that has definitely happened too often to count on one hand is me chained to whatever piece of furniture I’m nursing in while watching helplessly as my troll year-old dumps yet another bag of chips/crackers/something messy and crumby all over the kitchen floor. While standing on the kitchen table. With her older brother watching. It wasn’t him. He didn’t do it. But he’s grinning. 

I’ve been in awe of my kids lately. Especially Parley. The situations I just described have been wearing me out. And I’ve been yelling a lot. Which makes me feel really guilty. So, I started reading the parenting manual found in the Gospel Library. (Hah.) I’ve enjoyed and appreciated everything I’ve read, but a particular section encouraging parents to treasure their children and get to know them as individuals slapped me in the face. 

I was most certainly not treasuring my kids. In fact, more often than not, I found myself resenting certain traits they possess. So I checked myself and have been trying to find something new every day to “treasure”. It has helped me immensely. 

It makes me very sad to think about the mean, grouchy mommy they have had to put up with. Especially Parley. I’ve let his sweet, joyful disposition irritate me in the past. Not only do I not want to stifle this about him, but those are words people used to use to describe me! I’m trying to dig it back up. To join in on the cheerfulness and treasure these moments. 

Poppy has helped as well. The realization that these times with newborns, toddlers, every phase of life really just passes so quickly has urged me to savor it as best I can. I look at her, smell her, feel her warm little body pressed against my chest (because she won’t sleep anywhere else) and I long for that with Parley and Vi. To do it again. 

So, I’m hearkening to the words of every seasoned mother in the universe and I’m living in the moment and trying not to take any of it for granted. I am treasuring this beautiful, blessed family God has given me. 

Mommyhood

Poppy Jane

December 23, 2015

Poppy Jane Newborn

I almost can’t believe I’m writing this right now. I’m not pregnant anymore! And even more exciting than that, our sweet Poppy girl is already a week old. Holy. Cow. 

I just had to jot down a few of my thoughts about last Wednesday, because everything has seriously been so incredible. It has been very different. I mean, I am sitting here at my computer nursing my new baby girl without wanting to claw my eyes out. Pax may be the only person in the world to recognize what a huge freaking deal this is, but let me tell you. It’s big. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Let me start from the beginning. I’ll spare you all the labor details like things that are measured in centimeters and all that. Instead, I’ll focus on what has made/is making this an incredible experience. (Like the fact that Pax is a really amazing dad/husband and Poppy’s gorgeous baby hair.)

Everything was golden the morning of the induction. I woke up, took a shower and confirmed with the hospital that they still had a bed for me. We drove over there and got hooked up. Now, I was fully expecting this to be similar to my experience with Vi’s induction. I’d spend all day miserably chomping down fruit-flavored ice chips, grumpy that they wouldn’t let me eat. And then sometime late in the evening, I’d pop a baby out. 

Nope. We checked in at 6:30ish and Poppy arrived at 4:20pm. That seems like a long time, but the day went by so fast. And I have to add, the whole experience overall was so much more delightful because I never once felt pressured or belittled by anyone about wanting to get my epidural when I did.

In the past, nurses had encouraged me to wait as long as I could because it would likely “slow things down”, but I knew how my body worked and with the past two babies, the epidural had allowed my body to relax enough to labor. Funny, but that’s just how it’s been for me.

Just before I began pushing, my nurse asked if I’d like the baby placed directly on my chest or cleaned up first. I had never been asked this question and in the past, they had handed me a nicely cleaned baby. Not really knowing what to say, I said something like, “Oh you can clean her first, that’s fine.” 

Pax told me to have them put her on my chest, so changed my mind. I’m so glad he stepped in. Because the most incredible thing happened. After a few pushes, Poppy was out and laying on top of me. With her eyes wide open staring me in the face. 

I have never felt so overwhelmed.

I could tell right away that this was a peaceful, sweet girl. Her cries were sweet and relatively few. And she just kept looking at me

PJH-22

As usual, the nurses encouraged me to try to nurse within an hour of Poppy being born. I expected this, but was so nervous. Nursing has not been easy for me. I wasn’t very successful with Parley. It was just too painful, so I quit trying after six months of heavily supplemented nursing and convinced myself that it was just something I “couldn’t do”.

I hated talking about it, I hated thinking about it. And totally felt guilty for feeding him formula, which I know is something a lot of moms will understand with the way nurses, lactation consultants, other moms, and bobby’s aunt’s cousin can be about “breast is best”. (Let me also mention, that even though I am maniacally determined to nurse Poppy, I can never judge a mom who is giving her baby formula. I have been there and Parley is a very healthy boy. This is really something I wanted to prove to myself I could do, and formula is dang expensive.)

I’ve at least tried each time I had a new baby. With Vi, it was once again excruciatingly painful and I couldn’t believe other moms could be putting up with that. I started pumping at the hospital and decided that I would pump exclusively and call it good.

This time around, I began reading as much about breastfeeding as I could find. I stayed up many nights reading those darn “5/10/93 Things You Need to Know About Breasfeeding” lists on Pinterest gathering as much information as I could. I was going to make this nursing thing work or die trying. 

Now, I’m only a week into this, but from what I’ve read the first two/three weeks are hell. So, if I’m this excited and feeling this successful a week in while my baby is eating all the live long day, I’m pretty optimistic that we can do this. 

There are few things I feel like have made a huge difference:

First, this is my third baby. With Parley everything was new. Everything was terrifying and everything was hard.

With Vi, I totally freaked myself out worrying about Parley and the possibility that he might hate me forever for having another baby/I might neglect him. Pax still gives me a hard time about this. It was that bad.

With Poppy, I have all the baby crap in the shed, I’ve done this all before, including the stupid jaundice thing, and I’m much more confident as a mom. As I mentioned before, instead of reading about what to put in my hospital bag, what I need for my newborn, blah blah blah, I was gobbling up everything I could find about the one thing I hadn’t been able to conquer: breastfeeding.

Second, I was very fortunate and met with two different lactation consultants while at the hospital. Both these kind, encouraging ladies were able to offer two different perspectives and both gave me valuable advice that really changed the way I was looking at the road ahead of me. Both made me feel validated and were able offer tips on how to work through the things I had struggled with when I had tried in the past. 

Third, Poppy is just good at this. 
PJH-48

So I can honestly say, I am enjoying it. There is something undeniably empowering about it and I can totally understand how people go crazy about it. I’m super excited to see myself get better at this. 

We are all really loving her. She’s a healthy, cute baby girl and we’re so grateful she’s here.

Holiday

Merry Christmas from the Hatches – Our 2015 Christmas Card

December 16, 2015

Have you mailed your Christmas cards yet? I actually got mine out this year! Believe me. THAT is a dang miracle.

Would you like fries with that?

For the past three years, I have taken custom orders for digitally illustrated Christmas cards for families around the world. It is something I always look forward to and it’s a great way for me to make a little Christmas money each year. 

But this year after discontinuing all freelance work and with baby Hatch the Third on her way (today, actually), I knew that I might not be feeling up for the workload. This is the first year in a while that I haven’t done Christmas cards for other people.

Ironically, it’s the first year I’ve completed all the necessary steps to mail out Christmas cards from my family. Yeah. I’ve drawn dozens of cards for people (and their pets – my favorite!) each year and never made the effort (or spent the $$) to get my own printed and mailed. It’s really sad. 

So, I buckled down and decided that nothing was going to stop me from getting our cards out this year. I had them printed back in OCTOBER.

Pro-Tip: My print shop had a deal running right around this time for early bird Christmas card orders, so it was really awesome! Plan ahead β†’ Save money. Big shout out to Persnickety Prints for always being THE BOMB.

“Hey, I know it’s not even Halloween, but…”

I also started sheepishly collecting people’s addresses around this time and got almost all of them addressed before November was half over. I did all this so that even if the baby did decide to make an early debut, the most work I’d have to do is send Pax to the store for stamps and then to the post office to drop them off. 

So, here’s the card I sent out this year to friends and family. It was a lot of fun to draw and I really enjoyed designing on such a tall canvas. The different options for sizes and shapes are a lot of fun. (And these long skinny cards fit in a regular old envelope!)

Hand Drawn 2015 Christmas Card

I was a little tickled to see that the purple stockings outnumbered the red stockings, even if it is only by one. We’re all so excited to meet baby sister.

We hope everybody has had a really wonderful year and a very Merry Christmas. And may your new year be even brighter than the last. β™₯ Love, the Hatches!


 

I’d love it if you subscribed to my chill little Newsletter. I’ll just shoot you one of those fancy electronic mail things when I’ve got a cool new product/free download that you just can’t miss. I pinky promise not to spam you. β™₯

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Sewing

The Girl Needed Unicorns, OK? // Birthday Sewing

December 14, 2015

Over the summer, my mom started a sewing club for my cousin, sisters, aunt and myself. I wanted to share my sewing patterns, because I’ve got so many, especially for kids and my sister-in-law has small children like me. In the process of creating a sort of digital catalog for everyone to look through I realized a few things.

First, apparently I am a compulsive pattern collector. 

Second, I need to sew for myself more. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Third, after perusing the long list of really great patterns I do have for children, I realized I have definitely not been utilizing nearly enough of them.

I’ve gotten into some kind of sewing rut and stopped trying new patterns. The variety of dresses I could have created for Vi if I had been venturing into unknown territory is sickening. And why haven’t I made Parley any of the skinny jeans from the pattern I had coveted for months before finally purchasing it?

Well, that was enough of that. I decided was going to start sewing things I hadn’t made before. 

So, about a month before Vi’s birthday, I started making a plan for what I’d make for her “birthday clothes”. I chose two patterns I had been wanting to try and coincidentally, they are both by Shwin and Shwin.

Birthday Dress – Shwin and Shwin’s Jane Dress

This was my first experience sewing really good quality cotton. I’ve always been really “cheap” when it came to fabric. I re-learned how to sew by making clothes for my kids with mostly knit fabrics from Girl Charlee, which are very reasonably priced. And you typically get a lot more yardage when you buy knits because they are usually much wider than woven fabrics. 

So spending $10/yard for this fabric made me sweat when it was time to cut into it. I know that’s not outrageous for good quilting cotton, but I was really nervous I wouldn’t have enough fabric and one little blunder would ruin the whole thing. 

Fortunately, that wasn’t an issue. I even had a little left over that I might piece together to use for the baby. 

Birthday Sewing Shwin and Shwin Sewing Patterns Dress Top Tunic Toddler Project

Fabric: “The Lovely Hunt, Unicorn Purple” from Fabric Worm (Similar // Here)
Pattern: “Jane Dress & Top” by Shwin and Shwin

 

I just love this fabric so much. And won’t hesitate to order from Fabric Worm again, because the quality of this garment cannot even be compared to what I have made in the past using cheap cottons I’d scraped out of the selection at Walmart. 

As usual, I included my little “PIXELPLEAT” clothing label on these, which makes me feel like a hot shot. I ordered them from Ananemone on Etsy and will definitely be reordering soon.

I wore that headband to my wedding, so it made me smile big time that she actually let me put it on her for these pictures. She ended up wearing it as a belt with the second piece. 

Birthday Top – Shwin and Shwin’s Apple Lougewear Top

This second pattern is one I’ve had since Parley was really small, back when I started sewing. I believe I originally bought it for the leggings pattern which is included, but the top is really stinkin’ cute and Vi love wearing this one. It’s really comfy and roomy.

I had a couple hang-ups with this one, but they were 100% percent because I wasn’t paying attention when I put it together. I was over confident and messed the neckband up a bit. No biggie, though. 

Birthday Sewing Shwin and Shwin Sewing Patterns Dress Top Tunic Toddler Project

Fabric: “The Lovely Hunt, Strawberry Purple” from Fabric Worm
Pattern: “Apple Loungewear” by Shwin and Shwin

The contrasting knit I used for the cuffs and neckband were just a double-knit I picked up at Hancock a long time ago when they were doing one of their huge sales. 

I think my favorite part of this pattern is the fact that you can use a knit or a woven for the main fabric. I just love stuff like that. 

The fabric is from the same collection as the previous one, so they coordinated really well. I used a little bit of the unicorn fabric for the cool little pockets. I think next time I’ll use something with a bit more contrast, because you can hardly tell the pockets are even there. Built-in pockets really are the best feature ever. 

This top has a super cute hi-low hem which is my fave on Vi’s diaper bum. 

Freebie, Holiday

Free Printable // Christmas Gift Tags!

December 11, 2015

Good morning, dudes! Another free printable for you, my friend!

I secretly wish I was a gift wrapping super star. I always try my best, but things never turn out quite how I imagine. But a cute gift tag can go a really long way!  

So, I’m just dropping a quick line on this brisk Friday morning to give you these gift tags to use if your heart so desires. They’re pretty big, 3 1/4″, so they’ll make a nice statement on your gifts. Just click the link/image below and the PDF will open right up.

 

Click Here or the Image Below to Download!

FREE Christmas Gift Tag Printable

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you’re more ready than me! I actually only have one little present to wrap today and I’m having a baby next week, so we’ll see how that goes. Hehe.

Also, super important PSA. Today is my brother’s 24th birthday and he’s a super cool bro and a great dad. Love you, Jake!

happy birthday jake

Sewing

Baby Shoe DIY – An Awesome Pattern

December 9, 2015

Like every other human on earth blessed with ovaries, I’m a big fat sucker for baby shoes. I love supporting small businesses, especially handmade, so I’ve bought a few when affordable.

Lately, I’ve been really loving the ones with a combination of leather and other fabrics. Or just unique looking materials in general. Look at these beautiful examples I’ve been eyeballing.

Seriously, those boots. Oh my gosh.

I was about two clicks away from buying these the other day, but had to stop myself when I realized I had a whole buckskin in the cupboard above my desk and fabric coming out of my ears. And then I almost bought them anyway. 

Baby Shoes are Easy to Make, Right? HAH.

You see, about two years ago, when I was pregnant with Vi, I bought the cutest baby shoe sewing pattern. I had found it on Etsy, it was a great deal, and I was on a sewing spree. Basically, I was unstoppable. 

Let me tell you, that is still to this day, the most frustrating thing I have ever tried to sew. I’m a pretty determined person, especially with sewing and I’m well acquainted with my seam ripper. We’re buds, me and the little blue stabby thinger. But these baby shoes. Well, they pushed me over the edge. I almost threw my sewing machine across the room and started crying.

Almost.

Instead, I just vowed that booties, especially the tiny newborn variety, was not something I was into.  

Round Two

Then about a year later, I decided I was definitely too frugal to pay $35+ for shoes for any of my kids. But I wanted some of those dang moccasins for Parley. They looked comfy. And cute. So I drove down the street and picked up a deerskin while they were on sale at Tandy Leather. I had found yet another pattern on Etsy for moccasins which was easily modified to look just how I wanted them. 

Again, I was pretty pumped and knew I couldn’t fail. The good news is, I didn’t exactly. The moccs came together, but not before I had to try it more than once on more than one sewing machine. Leather is NOT easy to work with. You can’t use pins. You need a sharper needle. The stuff stretches and sticks worse than any knit I’ve ever sewn up. And there’s no guarantee your dumb sewing machine can handle it in the first place.

The moccasins were cute and Parley really enjoyed them, but they were not worth the time OR the money. 

Which, as you can imagine, is why I was super hesitant to try again with the whole baby shoe conquest.

But I had all the stuff to make these shoes I had in my head that weren’t quite all leather. The question was, Am I up for trying to sew tiny shoes again? It was iffy, but I decided to give it one more shot. 

I’m so glad I did. Those two years of sewing practice definitely contributed to the success of this project. They didn’t turn out 100% perfect (nothing ever does), but they did come right together. I think I made them in under an hour and look at how cute they are. I’ve been showing them to everyone I can since I made them Sunday evening. And Parley’s been toting them around the house like an excited big brother.

diy baby booties

I’ve Conquered the Baby Shoe

Here is the pattern I used: Baby Shoe Pattern – Slipper by Petitboo

And the most exciting part for me: This pattern goes all the way up to size 13 for kids. (There is a version for babies which is $4.50 and a version for bigger toddlers/kids which is $5.50.) Parley is currently in an 11, I think. You mean, I can make these for all of my kids? SOLD. 

That’s exactly what my thought process was. So, I bought both sizes and prayed I could pull it off this time. 

It was a lot of fun and I’m definitely going to be making these for all my babies for Christmas. I’ll probably put the leather on the soles for the two bigger kids. These being fully lined means you can totally add leather without the headache of the leather actually touching the plate on your sewing machine, which in my experience was the most annoying part because it sticks so bad. It just requires a little planning. 

Anyway, this pattern totally gets five thousand stars β˜… from me.

Now, I’ve just got to figure out how to make the boots. (And I definitely want to place a Spoonflower order, now! I’ve got to get my art on some of these tiny slippers!)

Have you ever been so stumped by a sewing/crafting/any kid of project that I promised yourself I wouldn’t do it again? What was it? Did you end up trying again?

This post was included in the Create Link Inspire Linkup Party

Create Link Inspire


 

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Holiday

Easy DIY Holiday Decor with Printables

December 7, 2015

I’ve been on a Christmas rampage this year. I’m talking way more into the holiday than I’ve ever been. I’m like a Christmas fiend.

In the past, I’ve only put about half the effort into Christmas that I’d like. Mainly in the “Making My Home Merry” department. Accumulating all the decor I’d love to have, is going to take some time, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a bazillion dollars set aside for decorating my house for Christmas. 

Fortunately, it’s not hard to find simple, frugal ways to spice things up a bit. 

 

etsy_printable_FEATURE

Wanna hear a story?

About a month ago, I was at Saver’s looking for a fun picture frame I could re-purpose as a chalkboard for my living room. I found the frame Parley is holding in the photo above for a few bucks and thought it would make the perfect chalkboard. It was just a tired old wooden frame with an even tired-er old painting of a lovely lady sitting in a park with some flowers or something.

I was at Hobby Lobby planning to pick up some chalkboard paint when I found a really awesome chalkboard that was cute to boot for the same price as the chalkboard paint alone. And it would fit in the empty space on my wall a lot better. 

It was one of those classic scenarios most crafters have probably found themselves in. Buy the premade item for $15ish bucks or craft your own custom version for $1,245.92 (just kidding it would have been like $25-30 in supplies). I love saving money and I really love saving time. So, I put the ridiculously expensive chalkboard paint back and walked out with the chalkboard, happy as a clam. 

Except, what was I going to do with that frame from Saver’s that was sitting in my kitchen? Living in a tiny house has taught me that if a thing doesn’t have a purpose, it’s basically a disease and I want it out the door ASAP. So, I was driving home trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do with it. 

A couple weeks passed – and let me tell you, having that thing floating around my house for that long was driving me crazy – and it was time to start decorating for Christmas. I setup all the stuff I had collected and had a big empty space on the dresser under our newly mounted TV. Bam. I had an idea, and the frame had a purpose. 

So, here’s what I did with that stupid thing:

First, I hit up Etsy.

I found this print from SaraVroomanDesigns which I instantly fell in love with. I love that it is a scripture and Christ-centered. And it comes with two version of the print. The one displayed in my frame and one that looks like the words are written on a chalkboard. 

Next, I pulled the frame apart and spray painted everything but the glass bright Christmas red, including the boring matted artwork that came inside it. I had planned to utilize the matte because it followed the fun, unique shape of the frame. But…that was a bust. That matte was pretty in love with the art, so I left them be. Hiding, stuck together for eternity behind my new, more modern print.

I printed my artwork and simply snipped the corners of the cardstock to achieve the same look. Once it was all put back together with the glass and frame, I was really quite excited with the outcome. 

Just another reason the Internet is the bomb.

There’s so much of this gorgeous, easily accessible printable gold out there.

So, I decided to round up a few of my favorites for you to make your own fabulous decor on a budget. There are a bazillion roundups out there, and most of them feature free printables, so definitely check that out on Pinterest, but these are downloads I found to be particularly classy and fun. Some of them are free, some of them will set you back a few bucks, but then all you have to do is print it (or have it printed) and find a spot for it in your home. Enjoy!

 

Amazing Printable Christmas DecorSanta Claus is Coming to Town | Merry Christmas to All | Joy to the World (FREE)

Holiday Printable DecorPeace on Earth | Merry Christmas 2015 (FREE) | Baby, It’s Cold Outside

 

And before you go, check out this video. Every time I watch it, I get wild chills and really excited about life and the incredible gift Christ is to us.

 


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Mommyhood

2 Weeks ‘Til Baby & 3 Weeks ‘Til Christmas

December 3, 2015

Can I procrastinate any of this?

It’s time for me to calm the heck down. Ever since sharing the link to my blog on facebook I’ve been binge-reading everything I can about blogging and how to make good content. I’m so overwhelmed by how much information there is out there, that I’m not sure I’m any better than when I started. Just a lot closer to my due date, which happens to be three days before Christmas.

The year Vi was born (right before Thanksgiving) I knew I wouldn’t be able to get much Christmas done aside from the bare minimum. Gifts, tree, etc. I had big plans for this year, and thought I’d be able to get it all done since baby #3 is coming by the time all these thing should be done. But here we are, less than two weeks until my induction date and I have little show for it. Like, thinking about the gifts that need to be bought/made is actually kind of freaking me out.

But I’m not going to freak out.

I still have two weeks. Right?

But I’m reaching maximum capacity, here.

I’m actually quite proud of myself for not counting the days before now. As much as I’ve complained and groaned to Pax about being tired and uncomfortable, I have to acknowledge how fast this pregnancy has gone. I actually can’t believe it. And the main reason I feel myself looking forward to her arrival more than ever is the fact that I feel like a complete psycho-mommy. The mood swings, the near-breakdowns every couple of hours and the fact that cleaning has become my main source of therapy (whaty what?) makes me feel really bad for Parley and Vi.

I thank Heavenly Father every night that small children are so forgiving and pure, because if I witnessed the rampages I’ve been subjecting them to, I’d be hard pressed to hang out with a person like that again.

And the contractions. Oh, the contractions. Thank goodness Pax has better memory than mine. Or at least that he’s not the victim of mommy-brain, which I am now certain God created so we don’t remember everything pregnancy entails. Because I find it hard enough to be excited to be pregnant with what little I remember after each baby. (Pax reminded me that this had happened with my previous pregnancies.)

The first half of yesterday was hard. I woke up because I was either having Braxton Hicks from hell, or really cruel real-life contractions which decided to go away eventually. (The only reason I thought they might be real was they were pounding me every five minutes or so.)

I’m totally more of a shower person, but the hot bath I took yesterday was pure heaven. Except for that quick little episode of the kids wandering into the bathroom and staring at my… well, they weren’t looking at my face. I don’t know exactly why it bothers me so much, but I hate it.

And thank heavens for Pax. He kept the kids mostly under control during this whole ordeal and when my bath was done, I was feeling a lot better. Which was a miracle because the day was busier than normal with me having to take the kids for their yearly wellness checks and all that comes with having the car for the day.

Needless to say… I haven’t gotten much done.

Aside from the bare minimum of the house chores that is… and watching too much Veronica Mars on Amazon Prime.

Wait, that’s a lie. I made a full Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday which was the absolute bomb. I kid you not. I cooked my first turkey, made mashed potatoes, decadent gravy from the drippings and we had such good stuffing. This meant we were having not our second, but our third Thanksgiving in like four days and I regret nothing. It actually just made me excited to try to cook a Christmas ham this year.

These little family traditions are important, ya know?

Conclusion.

And now, I’m in a pickle I find myself in everyday… To pee or not to pee? I’m chugging water to stay alive, but I know if I go into the bathroom the creaky floorboards might end naptime prematurely. And if that doesn’t do it, flushing the toilet will.

How did I get here?


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Mommyhood

English Muffin Pizzas

December 2, 2015

Spending more time with and for my kids has led me to some amazing discoveries. Recently we stumbled upon the treasure that is miniature pizzas made on English muffins. I don’t think I can even really do this one justice. The trolls love doing this. We’ve made these tiny “pizzees” at least four times in the past week and a half. They are constantly requesting this for lunch because they get to be so involved. You’ve probably made these before. I think the first time I had an English muffin pizza was at a church group activity when I was 9 or 10.

Introducing, the English Muffin Mini Pizza.

Here’s the beauty of this “meal”. The ingredients go a long way. We’ve done this at least four times and the only thing I’ve had to restock is the English Muffins. We’ve really been able to stretch the toppings, because we’ve made at least 5+ mini pizzas each time.

So, here’s what you need:

English Muffin Mini Pizza

Obviously you can customize this however you want, but these are the things we had on our pizzas and they turned out really tasty. I managed the sauce to keep things from getting to crazy with the kids, but put the other toppings in little bowls for them to dish from.

Ingredients:

  • English Muffins
  • Pizza Sauce (Here’s a great recipe from Little Spice Jar if you feel like making your own. It’ll taste a lot better than the store bought stuff.)
  • Shredded Mozzarella (I just bought one of those little 2 cup bags at walmart and we still haven’t finished it off.)
  • Pepperoni (The turkey pepperoni is really tasty!)
  • Canned Pineapple Chunks

Additional ideas: We used regular ham lunch meat to make really tasty Hawaiian pizzas and I topped my own pizzas with a little shredded Parmesan. You can go wild with all the possibilities.

Instructions: (Nothing scientific, here.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350Β° F.
  2. Split English muffins and top with a couple spoonfuls of pizza sauce. Be generous with the sauce because those English muffins are going to drink it up.
  3. Generously cover each pizza with the shredded mozzarella.
  4. Top pizzas as desired. I gave each kid a few pepperonis for each pizza and a very small handful of pineapple. (Most of Vi’s went straight into her mouth.)
  5. Place pizzas on cookie sheet. If your pizzas are really cheesy, I’d recommend covering your pan with foil for an easier clean-up. That cheese is going to run over the sides a bit. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and meats start to get crispy around the edges.
  6. Enjoy!
Freebie

Free Coloring Pages for Grown-Ups

November 30, 2015

free christmas sweater coloring pageLook, I am calling these “Adult Coloring Pages” or “Coloring Pages for Grown-ups” because they’re all the rage these days, but these are actually for anyone. Who am I to make something that is just for adults? I don’t think I could if I tried. And if you try to tell me you don’t enjoy coloring, I’ll call you a liar. No, I won’t. That’s rude. But are you kidding? Coloring is one of my favorite things to do with my kids because it occupies their sticky hands and I find it unbelievably relaxing and fun.

Today, while I worked on art for my brother’s mobile game I had to take a short break to do some wind-down doodling. I’ve been in a pretty good groove, because these doodle sessions usually bear pretty great fruit. I had been itching to make a coloring sheet for you and since I’m on one heck of a Christmas binge you get more Ugly Christmas Sweater paraphernalia.

So, this free coloring page PDF includes one sheet with mildly hideous sweaters designed by yours truly and then a second page with blank sweaters which I hope to see filled with your own atrocities. Hey, you could even use the second “template” page to plan out your DIY sweater you plan to wear to that fab party you just clicked “Going” to on Facebook.

If you download this, I would love love love to see what you do with it. Show me your ugly sweaters, the ones your toddler designs and that one your Gran Gran spilled her chamomile tea on. Let’s tag it #PIXELPLEATUGLYSWEATERS on instagram and wherever else you hash your tags. I’ll be coloring a few (hundred) thank you very much. So, watch for those on Instagram.

Free Ugly Sweater Coloring Pages PDF

Thanks for reading and happy coloring!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD!

If you’d like to download bigger sweaters, click here! (They’re two to a sheet instead of four.)