Thursday, December 22, 2011

Garden Updates

This might sound strange to some people, but if you read my other garden posts, you knew I have lots of orchids, and lots of them bloom in winter. Right now, I have 3 den., 1 catt., 1 hawaii blooming, and two more others ready to open any day now.
These two are about to open.

This is a strange one to me. For several weeks now, I have noticed a weird seedpod looking thingy growing out after a flower faded on my pink jasmine plant! I didn't know jasmine does this! Anyone has any idea what this is?

This last one is beautiful also, just totally out of season. My forthysia and winter jasmine normally bloom in Feb or Mar, when the winter is ending. But this time they got fooled by mother nature. We had our cold weather and first snow before Halloween, then two months of unbelievable warm weather. Lots of plants got fooled, some daffodils and plum flowers have been reported. Poor things may die next time we have a snow storm. I don't care so much of the forthysia, but I do hope my winter jasmine can survive!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Having Fun With Toddler

Little caterpillar is growing up so fast, learning a lot from daycare, which makes me happy and sad at the same time. I am happy she is enjoying all the activities, like finger painting, crafting, and singing and dancing. At the mean time, I am sad that I am not the one that teaching her those. Don't get me wrong. Even with all my education, I don't think I am qualified to teach toddler, since I don't know a thing when it comes to early education, and I am a very impatient person when it comes to teaching. And I am supposed to be bedresting, so cannot enjoy any exciting activities with her. But I promised myself I will at least try and apply all my crafty skills.

Yesterday, I took out some paper and paint, and did some fun finger painting with little caterpillar. It was lots of fun, I don't believe I ever did finger painting as a child. Kids growing up in China, at least during our time, you are told to follow strict rules, you cannot make a mess, you have to color inside the lines, and you are supposed to use painting brush not your fingers. So, you guessed, I enjoyed it too. We painted a nice xmas tree together, with lots of ornaments. It's drying on the wall, I will show it to you as soon as it's totally dry. But of course, I was not prepared enough, so got a huge mess to clean up. Even when I cleaned up immediately, some paint dried up on our dining table, so hard to get off! After some reading online, I learned that I supposed to put down some newspaper on the table first! We used so much paint, it was going to break the bank, I thought. So, I mixed some homemade fingerpaint following online recipes (3 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup corn starch, 2 cups water, food coloring). I didn't have food coloring, and little caterpillar never tried eating paints, so I just used the paints I have on hand. They look pretty good, I will let you know how their performance is.

Then while I was making some fun pillows, I all of a sudden thought of a puppet theater! Little caterpillar has 10 finger puppets (animal set from Ikea), and two hand puppets, and she loves playing them with me. Think how much fun it will be to playing them in a real 'theater'. This way, I can also encourage her story telling and pretend playing. The puppet theaters are so easy for me to make, I have so many fabric, ribbons and sewing machine. But I have no idea to make more hand puppets. Got to do more research on that. Here is just one tutorial I found. Will show you my creation later.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Scored Again!

Went thrifting this past weekend, and MAN, was I in luck! Here are everything I got, for just $24 and some changes. Can you believe that? It's about the price of one pair of those baby shoes, or that sweater dress!

I actually went to look for some nice bowls. We don't have enough bowls in the house right now. We are Chinese, so we use bowls rather than plates. Little caterpillar has been naughty, broke lots of them. So, I cannot really leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher, simply because we got nothing to eat out of. I am not running the dishwasher half full, wasting energy. Being pregnant and bedresting, I am not going hand wash them either. So solution? Get more bowls! It does not really fit in my declutter plan, but I have to survive this pregnancy first. I was so excited when I spotted these big IKEA soup bowls! I was hoping to find some of the smaller ones, I have seen one small IKEA bowl there before. Well, big ones will do just fine. And the $.89 price tag made it even sweeter.

Oh, I also found a small IKEA bowl, a CORELL cereal bowl, and 3 more cereal bowls. $.69 each!

Then some nice white mugs caught my eyes. Simple, yet elegant. And the best of all, all white. Then I found a stack of little plates, matching the mugs! All from JCP Home. Even though there were only 7 mugs, I still got 8 plates, hoping next time I will find the last mug. There were lots of IKEA plates too, but like I said we don't use plates as much, I just passed them by. The mugs were $.69 each, while the little saucer plates are $.35 each!

I already got some shoes for my baby boy, but when I saw the shoe shelves full, I just had to check them out. There were so many cute ones for a girl, but too small. What a pity! But my boy is not born yet, so I can buy any size I want. And just my luck, all 3 pairs were white tag, which means $1 each!!! Sweet! Just that one pair of Strike Rite retails for more than $40! Ha!

Also found this beautiful Old Navy sweater dress for my girl. Well, it's a little bit too big for little caterpillar now, but she will grow into it. It looks like brand new, and only $3.99! I also picked up a coral red cardigan for myself, white tag, so only $1!

One hat for me also, just $.99, and a super cute one for my girl, only $1.99.

This pair of GAP pants for my boy is only $3.99! So cute! They normally sells for at least $25 in store. I am not spending that kind of money for something my kids only going to wear for one season at best.

There you have it. All 24 dollars of them! Are you tired of my thrifting posts yet? Well, if I continue to find whatever I had my mind on, I will continue bragging about it. Kids are expensive, all the daycare cost and other activities, I have to save any place I can. How is your thrifting luck lately?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Commute Time Sewing

Since I am working from home now, I got to use my old commute time to do something I really like, sewing for my family.

Little caterpillar is growing up so fast, and lately she just wants nothing to do with the footed PJs (is that what they are called?), keeps saying it hurts! Maybe her feet are getting too big, even though the PJ itself still fits. So I decided to make her some new flannel PJ pants for this winter. I used the free kids pants pattern from Dona (MADE). She is the best, and this pattern is so fabulous, and fits my girl perfectly. Although the first pair I made was a little bit too big, the other three were perfect, just an inch too long.
This is the first one, made from one of my old PJs, with a big side pocket. I meant to make it wider, so more comfortable for my girl to lounge in, but clearly I went too far. Well, it will fit her in a couple of years.
This is the second one I made. I bought this small piece of remnant from Joann's lately, just enough for a pair of pants. Isn't it soooo cute? Love the little whales. If the remnant is bigger, I could have saved it for myself.
The third pair is made from a beautiful blue rose flannel I got years ago from yardsale. I was going to make a crib sheet out of it, but it is big enough for an extra pair pants for my girl. I sewed my label on the back of all of them. Stubborn joked these are brand name now! Ha! The last pair is also made from yardsale fabric. These fabric was about $.50 each, which means I spent less than $5 for all four PJ pants, plus enough left overs for some crib sheets. Don't you just love such a great deal?

I also bought a big piece of super soft winter fleece, with the cutest apple green polka dots. It was another remnant piece, only costed me about $5! I just rounded the corners with a small bowl as template, and zigzagged all around. Simple and quick baby blanket for my new baby boy.
I also started making reusable fabric diapers for my baby boy. Found this wonderfully simple tutorial online, and it says this diaper will fit a baby from 3 months to 2 year old. I just changed it a little bit, using a layer of flannel and breathable diaper fabric I got from Joann. It has this layer of plastic kind of thing on the wrong side of it, makes sewing a nightmare. These little diapers has an opening on the back, for the prefold inserts. Stubborn doesn't like the idea of using safty pins near our baby, so I just have to sew on some velcros. I can make one in 30 minutes, which is what I have in the morning. It will take me a while to make enough. Maybe I should just make some, and wait till my baby is here to try them on. And in case he grows up too fast, I can make some bigger ones. Let's see how long I can stick to this fabric diaper plan.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finally Some Fall Pictures

I am so behind on photo processing. So many things happened lately, I didn't even have a second for myself. Now everything back to normal, I am finally catching up. About two weeks ago, when little caterpillar was sick (pneumonia) and staying home with me, I took her out to the yard for some fresh air. Of course when she was not having fever. She has been sick a lot this fall, so we cancelled our foliage trip. So, when fall came to my own backyard, I just have to take some pictures of my little girl with all that wonderful colors.
We had such a great time. But I noticed it's getting harder and harder to get good pictures of her. She either runs right into the camera, or runs around so fast, or fake a smile for mommy.
The poor thing was still quite sick, within half an hour, she was exhausted. Couple of minutes lying in sofa watching cartoon, she fell asleep. My poor baby. Thank goodness she is much better now. No more fever, coughing or even running nose.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Orchid Update

Haven't really pay attention to my plants lately. But I am trying to do better. After moving them back inside, I have been watering them more frequently, and mist them. Now here are my rewards.

My Hawaii is in full bloom again. There are four spikes, I have been waiting for more flower to open to take a better picture, but the first spike faded. Well, it's not that bad, I still have 3 spikes and they have 3 to 5 flowers each. And this is the first time I ever noticed they even have a little bit minty smell. LOVELY!

And all 3 of my dendrobiums are sending out spikes at the same time. The biggest is my Singapore Girl, it was a rescue from a coworker, and it has been doing pretty well. Yeah I know the older ones all lost their leaves, but the new one always bloom for me. This flower just opened up yesterday. Love how intense the color is, and that white edge highlight is wonderful. Cannot wait for all 3 to open, so I can show you a better view.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Sorry I haven't been around for a while. Lots of things happened. First we found out it's a boy! Yay! Then 2 minutes later we were told I had cervical insufficiency, had to have an emergency surgery the next day, otherwise I could miscarry. Glad Stubborn was there with me that day, I was so nervous. My surgery went pretty well, but it took me more than 5 hours to recover from the spinal. Little caterpillar was such a champ, stayed with stubborn in the waiting room for all that time. After the surgery, I was supposed to be on bedrest for the rest of my pregnancy. Well, that was not going to happen. 2 days later, little caterpillar got really bad diarrhea, pooping more than a dozen times a day for 4 days straight. Even though Stubborn was there taking care of her, I still had to clean up and doing laundry. Then there was about a week wonderful time, she was healthy again, eating great, and gaining back the weight she lost. Then all of a sudden last Mon, after I picked her up from daycare, she started acting strange. 20 minutes later, I realized she was having fever, almost 104F! How could the daycare teacher telling me everything was fine? You don't get a 104F fever in 20 minutes. Anyway. I called the nurse, and of course all of us thought she caught the cold or flu, so I was told to give her some ibuprofen and watch her for 24 hrs. By the third morning (about 36 hrs later), I couldn't wait any more. I took her to the doctor's office. And lucky we went, because she was diagnosed with Pneumonia! Poor thing had fever up to 103F for several days, finally 3 days after taking antibiotics her fever came down. I have to sleep in her room, since Stubborn normally won't wake up at night, so wouldn't know if her temperature goes up again. Then he had to go to a conference out of town for several days! Imagine how busy and tired I have been. But at least my girl is much better now, and went back to daycare again. Finally I can get some rest. She is still on antibiotics, but I can tell she is recovering. She has no more fever, just a little bit coughing and running nose, and she has been sleeping and napping like a hibernating little bear! Well after all these, now I am coming down with something. Hopefully it's just a cold, and I can tough it out without using any antibiotics or anything that might hurts my baby boy.

OK, enough complaining, here is something else has been going on. I went thrifting the other day, and found some cute winter clothes for my boy. I thought boy clothes are boring, but they can be quite cute. Don't you think?
These two little jackets are so cute. I just love that little bear, it made me smile everytime I look at it.

The shirt/sweater vest set to the left was from Children's Place, and brand new! The green shirt was brand new also, and from Gap!!! The blue vest has a fun fishing applique on the front. I can see my boy wobbling around in these, looking like a little gentleman. How cute will that be?

The Elmo overall was from my last thrifting trip, this front one is the new found. It's hard to see in this picture, there are dinosaur design all over it.

The smaller pants is from Gap, and very thick. It will be perfect for his first winter. The green one has a little monkey applique, it supposed to be for 2T, but I am sure I will fold the legs shorter and let him wear it early on. Well, I want to try fabric diaper this time, so he needs some of those big butt pants. =)

Found some fabric from my stash that can be used for boys. Surprise! I cannot wait to make some summer shorts or pants for my little guy.

The best part is some of these are brand new, babies grow up so fast, even if they did wear some clothes, they all look pretty good. And most of the ones I bought are nice brands, they will be quite expensive to buy from the stores. All above clothes were about $2-3 each, so I spent total about $16 for all these, less than the cost of that Children's Place shirt vest set! Am I done with stocking up for this little boy? Maybe not. I am sure there will be more cute boy stuffs waiting for me next time I go to our local Salvation Army.