Tuesday, February 11, 2014

20 weeks...Halfway There!

Yesterday we had our 20 week ultrasound. Baby was a bit of a showoff - scratching it's forehead and nose, and wiggling around quite a bit.  Overall measurements put Baby in the 73rd percentile...weighing in around 12 ounces.  The heart rate ranged from 145-150 bpm.  The technician also noted that Baby has long toes; Daddy's toes are ridiculously long too. :)

While we don't want to find out the gender until Baby is born, I do enjoy guessing based on the many Old Wives Tales that exist.  Something I read recently said that if the placenta is on the right it's a girl and if it's on the left it's a boy.  So I asked the technician...mine is posterior, or smack dab in the back...so that didn't help at all, but it does explain why I felt so much movement early on.

Here is Baby scratching its nose. We also got a short video of this...so fun!

A good look at those long toes!

And here is a great profile shot...

For comparison, here is Ezra's profile at 20 weeks...


...and here is Ashton's profile at 20 weeks. (He was always wiggling so this was the best we got!)


Hard to believe we are already halfway through this pregnancy!  Praying the last half is as easy as the first half!

~Anika

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Two Years Post-Op Update

Two Years! It's been two years since Ezra had surgery to remove the atypical mycobacterial infection that had settled around the facial nerve along the right side of his jaw. He is doing great; both the incision and the spot where the infection was are continuing to heal nicely.

You can see the faint line of the incision along the front of his ear, then under his earlobe and towards his chin...it stops about halfway between his ear and chin. There is still a slight depression from the gland they removed above the end of the incision; the doctor said that because of how young he was this should completely go away. He developed Frey's Syndrome because they removed that gland; he had just had a glass of apple juice before I took this picture, so the redness you see on his cheek is the effect of the Frey's Syndrome - it comes and goes with varying intensity depending on what he eats...fruit and candy cause a stronger reaction. It doesn't hurt him at all, we just have to make sure anyone who takes care of him knows it isn't an allergic reaction!

The actual spot where the infection was is in such a hard place to get a picture of. You can kind of see it here...right where his shirt, neck and jawline meet. Over the last few months we have really noticed it change from red to a light pinkish color. His doctor said we could bring him back for more surgery if we didn't like the way it healed up, but it seem so unnecessary to put a child through cosmetic surgery when it is something that very few people notice. 

 Ezra also had a "crooked smile" for a couple months after surgery due to the facial nerve being disturbed, but there are no signs of that now! Just a mischievous grin and twinkling eyes!

Last night we wanted to celebrate Two Years Post-Op, but it has been so cold here (cold enough for school to be closed the last 2 days!) that we decided to just stay in and have a little ice cream rather than venture out for a treat!

Hope it is warmer where you are than it is here! Thanks for stopping by!
~Anika

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I have a really good excuse!!

It's been pretty quiet around here for a couple months, but this time I have a good excuse...

It could be that I am just busy taking care of the cutest toddlers you have ever seen. Which is true, but it's not my excuse.

It could be that my husband took a new job this fall and is working 2nd shift, so I am on my own in the evening with said cute toddlers. Which is true, but it's not my excuse.

Today, my excuse is the size of a lemon...


We are expecting Baby #3 in June! (Yes, just #3...not #3 & #4.) I don't remember being overly tired when I was pregnant with the boys, but I have been this time. Possibly the combination of taking care of two toddler plus being pregnant??? Anyway, thought I would let anyone who is still reading know that I am alive and well! 

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that your 2014 is filled with much love and happiness!
~Anika

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stitch Fix #3

After receiving some referral credit from a friend who signed up for Stitch Fix, I decided it was time to get another Fix!  Here's what I got this time...I'll start with the not-so-great things and work my way towards the better pieces!

Item #1: Toulouse Collared Wrap Dress
Wow! That is one red dress. True red is obviously not a WATER color! While I like the idea of this dress, even if it was a different color, I wouldn't be able to wear it to work (too short) and my boys would probably pull the wrap skirt open all the time too. Status: Returned

Item #2: Elsa Chevron Arrow Bib Necklace
This just wasn't something I see myself wearing. Too shiny and too pointy for my taste. Status: Returned

Item #3: Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse 

The color of this shirt was great (not quite as bright as it looks here), but the sleeves hit me at an awkward spot.  Status: Returned

Item #4: Breyson Split-Neck Tab-Sleeve Knit Top

First of all, this shirt isn't not ombre, it was solid gray, I am not sure why it looks like it's black on the bottom here, because it doesn't in iPhoto, anyway...I loved this shirt, it was super soft and comfy, yet it had enough details so it wasn't boring, BUT it was $58. And I just couldn't bring myself to spend almost $60 on a glorified long-sleeved t-shirt.  Status: Returned (reluctantly)


Item #5: Abrianna Long-sleeve Knit Cardigan
I LOVE this cardigan! I have a bunch of cardigans, but nothing this color. It's so pretty and soft and I love the long, flowy length. (I was interrupting my boys morning cartoons while taking this picture!) Status: Kept!!

So, that was my Third Fix! You can see my First Fix here and my Second Fix here. If you decide to give Stitch Fix a try, I would love it if you used my Referral Link so I can earn some more credit! Just click on this link to sign up...https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3075423

Thanks for stopping by!
~Anika

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stitch Fix #2

After leaving a lot of feedback regarding my First Fix, I decided to give Stitch Fix another chance. I tried to be even more specific about the colors that I wanted, and I think my stylist, Addie, did a great job!  

Never heard of Stitch Fix? It's an online personal styling company. You fill out a Style Profile, schedule a Fix for a $20 styling fee, and they send you 5 items.  You try them on, decide what to keep, return the rest in a pre-paid mailer, and apply the $20 styling fee to whatever you decide to keep.

I was anxious to open my box, but when I saw this, I knew I would be able to add something to my closet!

Item #1: Treena Space-Dye Sweater
This wasn't awful, but it just kind of hung there.  For $68, I need a sweater to do a little more for me than that!  I paired it with my new plum skinnies from American Eagle though...they are so soft and comfy! (Ashton just couldn't resist modeling with me!)  Status: Returned

Item #2: Melville Front Pleat Button-Up Blouse 
I wanted to love this, but it just didn't work.  The color is so pretty; I loved the sleeves, but it just didn't give me any shape.  Also, the loops for the buttons were so tight that I had to pull it over my head because I couldn't get the buttons undone and the bottom button was above my belly button, which was just weird to me.  (The necklace I have on was from my first fix!) Status: Returned

Item #3: Ballario Ruched Side Longsleeve Top 
I loved the style of this shirt, but it was made from a sheer meshy material that made me feel itchy (that's another "Water" thing.) I was also worried that it would snag easily, especially with 2 toddlers always climbing around on me and 38 preschoolers I will be in contact with everyday! Status: Returned

Item #4: Batik Dot Scarf
My husband was ready to get back into our air conditioned house, so I just threw this scarf on quick. Anyway, I don't do white, and I am not a polka-dot kind of girl...at least not on my clothing, so this was a no.  It was also $48, which is way more than I am willing to spend on a scarf. Status: Returned

 Item #5: Sadie Cowl Neck Jersey Tank
It was getting dark out, so the flash kicked in on the camera, but the color of this tank is fantastic! Once I figured out how to put it on...it is a regular tank with an extra draped layer that is only attached at the shoulders so it looks confusing...I also loved how soft the fabric was and how it fit.  Status: Kept! And I am planning to wear it this weekend while it is still ridiculously hot and humid here in Western Wisconsin!

That was my second fix...so much better that the first! Want to try Stitch Fix?  If you decide to do it, I would love it if you signed up through my referral code so I can get a little credit towards my next Fix!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!
~Anika

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Backyard Rustic Wedding

Last weekend my brother-in-law and his bride had a gorgeous day for their wedding! I am not sure if I have ever seen a more perfect weather forecast for the whole week! We spent several days leading up to the wedding decorating the yard. It was exciting to watch everything come together.

Rhett and Kylee got engaged in May, so there wasn't a lot of time to plan and prepare.  They decided to get married in my in-laws backyard and went with a somewhat rustic theme...including a lot of burlap, lace and mason jars.  Their colors were gray and yellow - think sunflower yellow.  We had a couple pinterest boards filled with ideas and realized we would need to focus on a few projects that would have the most impact.  This is what we ended up with...

Wooden Signs: We cut out letters with my cricut, pinned them onto pallet boards and spray painted over them.  They took longer to make than I expected, but they turned out great!  Some of the spray paint was shimmery so it didn't photograph well, but you could easily read them in real life.

Some of the signs helped the guests find their way around...



Some of them lined the path to the ceremony and reception...

And this one was carried (or should I say pulled) down the aisle by my boys! (Too cute!)

The Father of the Bride built the arbor and the aisle runner was burlap and we sewed lace onto the ends...I didn't get a close up picture. 

We spent many hours making yarn balls. After a few fails, we found that a mixture of cornstarch, glue and water worked best...and be sure to grease the balloon with vaseline!  For the bigger balls, we used "punching balloons" because they are round, versus the teardrop shape of a regular balloon.

We also used embroidery hoops to make "fabric chandeliers.  Three of them hung in the middle of the tent surrounded by the yarn balls...

And the rest hung in the tree limbs along the path, like this one.

The bar area turned out so cute! The guys built the bar using pallets and it was decorated with bouquets of sticks and burlap roses and embroidery hoops filled with various fabrics.  The windows sitting on the left listed the drinks that were available.

This arch was to the side of the bar.  We saw something similar on pinterest and asked the guys to take a stab at making one too.

There were both regular tables and picnic tables. We tied twine around the ends of the table to hold the table cloths down.  The centerpiece was a tree cookie and 3 mason jars...one with sunflowers, one with a candle and one with sticks and rocks.  I wish I would have taken another picture after we flipped the plates over...they were purchased from various thrift stores and the variety of patterns and colors was so fun!

The food was served from the basement of the house so we added a few decorations to the porch.  This old wooden ladder got spruced up with left over decorations from other areas. 

And the other side had a cute lantern and a giant tree cookie. 

They used their picnic basket as a card box. 

 Cow bells to ring for a kiss 

 This was part of the guest book table decor...a stick bouquet on a tree cookie.

There were several garlands (made from lace, burlap and various other fabrics) that were hung is a few areas too.

Such a fun day, well actually it was a fun week! Oh, and I should probably share a family picture from the day! (The boys are at an age were suckers are a necessity if you want them to cooperate for more than 2 minutes!) Quite a good looking group, don't you think!?!

I am planning to write a post about my dress as well. It was a $4 Salvation Army find, the color was perfect for my Element, but it had silly sleeves so I reworked it.

Enjoy the weekend!
~Anika

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dyeing Clothing...like an (almost) free shopping spree

As I mentioned in my last post, I am a Water. I went to a workshop held by one of my best friends and learned about the 4 Elements...Air, Water, Fire and Earth...and how knowing which Element you are can help you choose clothing, make-up and jewelry that will look great on you.  It even helps with which hair styles will be best for you!  You leave with a color fan that easily fits in your purse to help you when you are shopping.  You can find out more about the Element's here and here.

Once I knew my Element, it was time to go through my closet.  About half of the clothing I had was still going to work for me.  The majority of the rest would have been perfect for an Air...too bad I don't have a friend that wears the same size that's an Air!  I decided to give away most of the things I wouldn't be wearing anymore, but decided to try dyeing some of the clothes.

I bought Purple, Royal Blue and Navy Blue Liquid Rit Dye and dug through my pile of clothing.  I pulled out several white items to try and decided to toss in a few colored things too...pink + blue = purple and purple is a great color for a Water. I ended up with a pile of 10 things, here are a few of them...




Check the labels to make sure they are compatible with the dye and then follow the directions on the bottle of dye.  I needed hot water, salt and the dye.

Start by getting the clothing wet. Then mix up the dye and stir...and stir...and stir... I left all my pieces in for about 30 minutes.


Then drain the water and start rinsing out each piece. 

Once the water runs clear (or almost clear) toss them in the wash.

Here is what I ended up with...

From left to right...v-neck t-shirt originally white, dyed with Navy Blue; swirly long sleeved t-shirt originally bubblegum pink, dyed with Navy Blue; Seuss shirt originally cream, dyed with Royal Blue; swirly cardigan originally cream, dyed with Purple; ruffled collar shirt originally white, dyed with Purple

From left to right...v-neck long sleeved t-shirt originally coral, dyed with Navy Blue; crew neck t-shirt originally white, dyed with Royal Blue; tank top originally robin's egg blue, dyed with Navy Blue.

Just wanted to show you a close up of the Seuss shirt...the screen printing wasn't affected by the dye. So now I can kind of dress in my Element even during Dr. Seuss week at school...not sure if the fish are really in my Element! ;-) 

And here are my last two pieces...the top was originally coral and I dyed it with Navy Blue, and the skirt was originally white and I dyed it with Royal Blue...it doesn't have such a purple tone in real life.

So that's how I made some of my Air clothing into Water clothing for under $10!  If you have clothing in your closet that you never wear, it might be fun to try dyeing it to see what you end up with!

~Anika