Saturday, October 30, 2010

Daycare Halloween Party

Aiyana and Clara had a Halloween party at daycare yesterday. Aiyana was dressed as a ballerina with a tu tu, ballet shoes and a tiara and Clara wore her "I'm so cute it's scary" p.j.'s. Aiyana's room had a costume contest and she won "the most creative" outfit. Yay Aiyana!

Tu Tu Tutorial

How to make this...

A No Sew Tu Tu

1.) Buy anywhere from 4-6 yards of tulle, I used 4 yards of two different colors of pink. Note: I made my tu tu shorter, like a ballerina tu tu, but if you want a longer fairy tail tu tu then you will likely need the 6 yards to make the tu tu look more full. Also, if your child is bigger than a toddler size then you will likely need 6 yards of tulle. You will also need a 1/4 to 1/2 inch elastic band and ribbon (if you'd like ribbon on your tu tu).

2.) Cut the tulle into 3 inch wide and 7 1/2 inch long strips (approx. 14 inch long for longer tu tu's). I found that the best way to cut the strips is to roll a square of tulle, cut the un-even ends and then cut the roll every 3 inches. You will end up with rolls like this...

3.) Wrap the elastic band around your child's waist and cut where the band over laps. I took an additional 2 inches off so the elastic would stretch and fit snugly.
4.) You can sew or staple the ends together (I chose to hand stitch the ends together). Note: Do not fix the ends together until you have all of the tulle tied on the band. I found that by tying the tulle on the band, I stretched the elastic so, I ended up taking more elastic off when I was finished tying on the tulle.
5.) Safety pin the band around something that will allow you to tie the tulle on easily. I put mine on the back of a chair.

6.) Start tying the tulle and every inch or two add a strip of ribbon.

Here is the final product...

...and here is my little ballerina feeling pretty in her tu tu.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My 33rd Birthday

Last night my mom and I went out to eat at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant in Tempe and then headed to The Big Bang (a dueling piano bar), it was a good time.

This morning my dad took Dana, the girls and I out to breakfast to this place called The Farm. It's a wonderful place nestled in the trees in South Phoenix. I only wish I knew about it sooner because I really liked it. They have three restaurants and most of the seating is outside. It was a beautiful October morning for breakfast too. I want to go back for lunch and dinner sometime. The restaurant that serves dinner looks fabulously romantic.

One of the many gardens on the farm...

Dad's girlfriend, Doris, testing Clara on the grass... Just like her sister, Clara hates the grass too ;o(. This grass was soft, like Iowa grass, so now I know that my girls are just city-prissies. I thought they hated the grass because our backyard grass has thick, hardy and sharp blades, but I guess they dis-like all grass. Course, Aiyana doesn't mind the grass now. Is it a baby thing or are my girls really that sheltered from the outdoors?

Pretty Purple Flowers

Entertainment with sticks while we wait for breakfast

A rose...

Yummy lemonade...

Checking out the guests...

Aiyana is waiting for breakfast with grandpa...

Heading out...

One last picture... I wanted so badly to get more pictures of Aiyana in the natural light because her eyes were a beautiful shade of blue, but she would NOT sit still long enough, the little stinker. This is the best one I got.

As usual... not a single picture of me. Seems kinda silly since it is my birthday, but pictures of the kids are much more fun... for me anyway.

Catching Up

Friday was a good day, I learned that the nodules in my thyroid are benign. So I guess I am one of the 60% of people walking around with benign nodules in my thyroid... I'm ok with that.

Here are a couple of recent pictures I took of the girls.

My dad with the girls...

Out at Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix for Dana's 31st Birthday

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Clara's Standing

I seem to be more fixated on the fact that there are dust bunnies flying all over in this video, but I caught Clara's second success at standing on her own. I am so proud of Clara, she just turned 9 months. My prediction was that Clara would walk at 11 months since she sat two months ahead of Aiyana. I might be right. Clara has really surprised me because she seemed more wobbly than Aiyana did at her age so I thought that she might be behind on a lot of the physical milestones. I was also worried about Clara not babbling consonants as Aiyana was babbling away from the time she was only 3-4 months old. Now Clara says a lot and she will even say mama more with me and dada more with Dana.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Keeping My Chin Up

Yesterday I learned that I have three nodules in my thyroid that need to be biopsied. I won't lie, I am scared to death that I have cancer. This all started when I was pregnant with Clara and when I went to an Urgent Care clinic for a massive headache. The nurse practitioner examining me asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked. "No" I said, "Why?". "Well it seems a little larger than normal" she said. "Great", I thought, another thing to worry about. My head hurt so bad I thought I might be dying of a brain tumor and now my thyroid was enlarged. So I followed up with my OBGYN who said that my thyroid felt fine and that if I was concerned after I had the baby, I could get it looked at.

Months went by and all I have been hearing about on TV (Dr. Oz), in magazines (People) and seeing around me is thyroid awareness because thyroid cancer is on the rise in young women. I heard somewhere that women are 12% more likely to get thyroid cancer than they were in the 90's and this is a cancer that doesn't care about age. Many young women are being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. So I finally scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician last Monday. I told him about my concerns and I also showed him a lump on the back of my neck. He too did not seem alarmed. He said that my thyroid felt fine and that the lump on my neck was likely a calcified lymph node (which is pretty common). He ordered an ultrasound to put me at ease and off I went with my ultrasound order.

I was seen at an imaging center on Thursday and received my results on Friday (yesterday). I have three nodules in my thyroid. On a more positive note, the lymph node in the back of my neck appeared to be normal tissue. The nodules in my thyroid are of varying consistency, one is solid, one is cystic and one is soft. The solid one is 1.5 cm (right side) and the other two are 1.6 cm and 1.1 cm (left side). The solid one is of biggest concern and the cystic one may contain solid elements. My next step is to sit for a consultation with a surgeon and then schedule a biopsy which I hear is a horrible experience. I have a co-worker who had this happen to her and she ended up with thyroid cancer. She was at a routine doctor visit when they discovered her lump (visually). She was only 25 at the time... yikes.

Of course I've done my research already and I know that only 5% of thyroid nodules are cancerous and that if you have more than one it is actually more favorable than just having one. I was also told by my doctor that " I can tell you until I'm blue in the face that these are not cancerous, but we wont know until they are biopsied". Another thing is that if this is cancer, it is supposedly the type to get because it is slow growing, can be completely removed if caught early enough and doesn't require chemotherapy. My concerns are that they are all of different consistency and that I do still have that swollen lymph node in the back of my neck. What if one of them is cancerous and it spread? The fear of the unknown is the worst ;o(. So I guess I wait.

As long as this remains a sappy post I might as well also mention that I think I am finished nursing Clara. I am really sad about it. I don't know why it has been hard for me to stop nursing both times, but it really has been an emotional decision. Maybe it is because I feel like I would keep going if I could, but I am just not producing enough milk to keep going... I blame work for that. I am allowed enough time to pump at work, but the stress and varying times that I can pump play a huge roll in my supply. So with Aiyana I nursed until 8 months and Clara 9... if Our Heavenly Father blesses me with another baby some day maybe I'll make it to 10 months nursing.

Halloween Collage 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Oktoberfest was my mom's first festival in Phoenix (Tempe) and despite the clouds you see in the picture, there was no rain. Only in Phoenix can you have a sky look like that and still have no rain. The wind picked up pretty good, but it was a pleasant night and not too hot which I was worried about since it has been 100 plus here lately. We had a great time and I am looking forward to more festivals as the weather gets cooler here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Clara Crawling

Other Things

The secret is out of the bag... My flowers out front are fake, but they look real because they are from Hobby Lobby.... AND... at 50% off, they are still a bit pricey so lets hope the monsoons don't wash them away or the sun doesn't fade them out.

Our baby's been sick with a touch of a cold. I pray she feels better soon ;o(

Lastly... Here's a clip of Aiyana singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star again (she's getting better). Clara is playing the drums on her highchair, you can hear her nice and clear ;o). Please excuse the spaghetti face.

No-Sew Fleece Blanket

I decided to make some of Aiyana's and Clara's gifts for Christmas this year. When I was pregnant with Aiyana I made a girls and a boys no-sew blanket (one for each since I didn't know what I was having). This blanket is going to be for Clara. I found the material at Hobby Lobby. Isn't it cute?

I had the lady cut 1 1/2 yards by 1 1/2 yards of each color. When I got home I laid one blanket on top of the other, making sure that each one was smoothed out, then I cut the bad edges off. Next I cut 3 inch by 3 inch squares out of each corner and proceeded to cut 3 inch deep tassels all the way around the blanket. Note: last time I did 4 inches and felt that the tassels were too long. This time I think the tassels were too short so 3 1/2 inches would probably be perfect.

Next, tie the tassels all the way around the blanket (I tied them twice so they don't come untied in the wash).


Super simple.