Thursday, April 8, 2010


So I made this shirt here, and some of my friends wanted to know how I did it.  There are many blog posts and websites on it, but you would have to wade through all the google stuff to find it.  That's why I'm doing this my friends don't have to look around!

(Special tips are highlighted!)

First, let me explain what freezer paper is.  (I didn't know until I started this little hobby)  Freezer Paper is just like wax paper, except it is only waxy on one side.  You can find it  anywhere that sells things like wax paper, parchment paper, foil, ect.  

Basically the way this whole thing works is like a cut out the image you want from the freezer paper, iron it onto fabric wax side down, and the wax melts to create a sticker on your fabric that acts as a stencil.  Paint, let dry, and remove the "sticker", and you have an awesome design!  

That's how it's how you DO IT!

1.  Gather all materials.
- freezer paper
- t-shirt (or other fabric)
- exacto knife
- cutting mat
- iron (not pictured)
- paint brush (I used a foam brush)
- paint (acrylic or fabric; I used acrylic because it's what I had, but I hear fabric paint is more durable)
- printed image and tape**

** if you are artistic enough, you won't need these; you can just draw your image directly onto the paper side of the freezer paper.  I made this image in photoshop, but you can take any image from the internet and turn it black and white.  The black portions will be painted, and the white portions will be blank.  

Tip: if your image has a lot of white spaces, print out an extra copy to use as a reference for when you put it back together.

2.  Tape the freezer paper onto the image WAXY SIDE DOWN.

Draw your image onto the PAPER side of the freezer paper.

3.  Cut out the image. 

Put the white pieces, or "islands", to the side.  You will need these pieces later!
Tip: If you have a Cricut, you can just have it cut an image for you!!  Place it waxy side up, center and mirror your image, and voila!

4.  Remove the freezer paper.  Make sure to remove ALL of the tape.

5.  Iron the shirt.
Place something on the inside of your shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through (cardboard, more freezer paper, whatever).  

6.  Iron on the image.
Place the outline where you want it.  Set your iron to high heat with no steam.  Dab the iron on your image instead of sliding it over it.  Be sure the edges are sealed down.

7.  Iron on the "islands"
You do this after ironing down the main outline to ensure perfect placement.  Dab the iron over these parts.

8.  Paint
Use your brush to dab on the paint instead of stroking.

Here's the hard part

9. WAIT for it to dry.

I wanted a little more texture for this one, so I took a dry brush and dabbed a little white onto the design.

10.  Carefully peel away the freezer paper.
You may want to use tweezers for the islands.


Here's one I did for Harrison

Tip: DON'T use a dark colored shirt with a light colored paint (like this blue and yellow)!  You have to glob on the paint and it takes FOREVER to dry!

Then I used the "negative" to spruce up an old burp cloth!

That SuperHarrison shirt took more artistic ability than I thought I had!  I started with just the diamond outline and painted the yellow.  After that dried, I ironed the islands down (I placed a piece of paper between the shirt and the iron so the paint wouldn't come off on my iron) and painted the red.  I had to do the black outline by HAND!  But the burp cloth didn't even take five minutes!

BE WARNED!  This hobby is very addicting!  But it will save you money in the long run because you can buy plain clothes and spruce them up how YOU want to!!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Life Is A Hot, Expensive Mess!

The most knowledgeable experts in the field of parenting are the people without children!  I had a ton of theories about the best way to raise my child, and one by one they have been going down in a blaze of glory!  I will probably have many posts on my theories, but right now, lets talk about eating, shall we?

In one of my (many) theories about being a parent, I had a pretty strong one about food and feeding.  I felt that in order to raise an independent child (yeah right…like that would be a problem!), he would need to have freedom when he ate.  I started off letting him hold a spoon while I fed him with another one.  I even timed it to where it was like he was feeding himself!  I had visions of letting him play in his food.  “If it’s not messy, you’re doin’ it wrong!” I thought. 

Well, now I have a different view.  “A messy meal is a wasted meal!” is my new motto.  As cute as it is, I can’t stand to see food all over Harrison.  Wasted food means wasted money, and all I can see on his face is dollars!  Maybe when my hubby finally gets a better job, and we don’t qualify for WIC, I’ll make my own baby food and not be as stingy.  But when we only get so many 4-ounce jars, it’s hard to let him go after it. 

What do you other mommies do when it comes to feeding time?  And if your little one isn’t eating solids yet, what are your theories? 

(And, can someone let me know how to be notified when someone comments on my blog, and how I can make sure someone is notified when I comment back to them?)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Journey Into My Mind Is A Scary One!

This is not's just what I think could have happened. 
Believe it as much as you would a Wikipedia article.

Scene: four women sitting around a table complaining how their men always smell so bad. 

Woman 1: ...but he won't use anything to make himself smell better!

Woman 2:  Niether will Bob!  He says my products are too "girly!". I mean, what's so girly about hydrating body spritzers?!

Woman 3:  We should come up with some kind of product men would actually use!  We can use our Powers of MANipulation to get them to use it!

Woman 1:  Yeah!  I bet we could just give them the stuff we use, but make them think it's something "manly!" *laughing*

*There's a pause. Then the women look at each other knowingly.  They then energetically burst into conversation*

Woman 3: First we need a name!  A name that would attract a man!

Woman 4: How about Chainsaw??!!

Woman 1:  that's pretty good, but it doesn't seem quite right. 

Woman 2:  oohh!  I know!  What about Hatchet??

Woman 1:  that's a little better, but we're not quite there yet. 

Woman 3:  I've got it. AXE! 


Woman 2: Well, we have a good name, but we still need a way to convince men to buy it. What makes men want to buy something?

Woman 3: Well, just look at the comercials geared towards men. Beer. 

ALL: Sex.

Woman 3:  Cars. 

ALL: Sex.

Woman 3:  Razors.

ALL: Sex.

Woman 3: Viag....nevermind.  Ok.  So we need to make men think that by using this product, they will get sex...

...aaaaaand this is where I run out of creativity.  Finish the story for me in the comments!

(By the way...I thought this entire scene up while looking at my husband's Axe shampoo in the shower. It literally reads, "Directions: Wash, Attract, Repeat")      

Saturday, February 27, 2010

But I digress...

So, I'm going to go backwards a bit and talk about something that happened almost 8 months ago.  I think about it every once in awhile, and I'm hoping sharing will make it better.  I really hope others had a better experience than I did...I would love to be the exception here.

Around here, you have two choices of where to have a baby: Glenwood and St. Francis.  (Technically there is Conway, but that's only for those who have no choice at all)  I chose St. Francis for two reasons; 80% because they have the higher rated NICU, and 20% because Joseph and I were born there too.  My son was born one month early and had trouble breathing, so we, unfortunately, had to make use of the NICU.  If St. Francis' NICU is better than Glenwood's, I don't see how the babies at Glenwood survive!  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement!  The following are the problems I had with the NICU at St. Francis:

After Harrison was born, they let me hold him for about 5 seconds before taking him off to the NICU.  I knew I wouldn't get to see him again that night.  The next morning, I called to see if I could come visit him; I was making sure there wasn't a new admit, because no one is allowed in during that time.  They said it was fine for me to come.  Yay!  I would really get to see my baby for the first time!  I got out of bed (only those who have given birth realize what a task this was), wheeled all the way to the NICU, scrubbed in, and started toward the room he was in.  Before we got five feet away from the "scrub area," we were told that we couldn't be there because they had a new admit.  
I feel like an articulate person, but even 8 months later, I still don't have words for the emotion that came next.  The hours that followed are a cloud in my mind, but I remember when my Aunt Jan came to visit me.  I told her what happened, and she was furious.  She walked out of the room, and when she returned she said, "You can go see your baby now."  I JUMPED out of the bed, and I still remember the wind in my hair as Joseph practically RAN us to the NICU.  I don't know what it would have been like if I didn't have an Aunt Jan!

I was pumping like crazy to get as much of the oh-so-important colostrum that I could.  I woke up EVERY three hours and always pumped for 5 minutes after going dry.  I knew how important the colostrum was with all of its antibodies that I was going to make sure he got all he could!  One time when I went down to see him, he was getting FORMULA!!  The nurse said she "didn't see" my bottles!  I had another nurse look, and she said they were in plain view!  My baby's fighting for his life here!  The colostrum contains infection-fighting antibodies, AND it's easier for him to digest; so not only is he not getting the antibodies to help fight infection, but his body had to use the energy it WOULD be using to fight infections to digest the harsh formula! 

**After this, the NICU director got involved and came to my room to personally apologize for the previous two problems.  But that still doesn't take back the horrible emotions I felt, and it doesn't give my baby back that time to take the colostrum!**

When I was in labor, a very friendly woman from the Nursery came to ask me some questions.  One of those questions was, "Do you want your baby to have a pacifier?"  "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" was my reply.  I wanted to breastfeed, and I didn't want ANY potential hindrances.  Well, apparently, the Nursery and the NICU don't communicate very well, because I went to see him and he had a big 'ol green passy sticking right in his mouth!  I cursed the NICU every time he would lose his passy in the night and need me to walk across the entire house just to give it back to him.  I also blame this for us not being able to breastfeed. 

Another time I came to visit him, his diaper was open and they were shooting oxygen on his bottom.  I asked what was going on, and they showed me.  He had a HORRIBLE diaper rash!!  They said it was because the antibiotics had caused diarrhea.  Weeeeelllll...if they knew they cause diarrhea, and they knew the diarrhea caused diaper rash, then why didn't they use diaper cream BEFORE his butt turned purple and scabby?!  I'm not kidding!  It was actually PURPLE!!!  It's not like he's prone to diaper rash either.  He's never had it again since, and he's even taken antibiotics.   

After a few days, Harrison was moved to another room with just one other baby.  One time when Joseph and I came in to see him, our nurse was tending to the other baby, and another nurse was tending to a baby that was laying in one of those movable cradles.  We went straight to Harrison and didn’t pay much attention to the new nurse or baby.  She quickly gathered her things and wheeled the baby out of the room.  Our nurse apologized for the other nurse saying that she was new and was tending to a deceased baby.  A deceased baby?!  I didn’t know that baby was not alive!  And I didn’t need to know that either!  Now the very short image I had of the baby is burned in my brain forever…I wept for that baby and it’s family.  I found it VERY unprofessional of that nurse to tell us that.  Especially because MY baby was at risk!

Because of the aforementioned passy issue, and the fact that he had been fed a bottle for the first two days of his life, we had a little trouble getting him breastfeed; more specifically, getting him to latch.  He kept searching for the long nipple that he was used to, and refused to latch to my normal one.  We would work on it for hours, only for him to get just a little of my milk.  Apparently NONE of the nurses knew that this would make him lose weight!  He lost an entire pound!  They made me stop altogether so they could start giving him high calorie formula, further diminishing our chances to breastfeed.

This one I almost forgot about, and I most likely wouldn’t have thought anything about it if I weren’t already so burned.  After we got home, we were going through the stockpiles of milk I had pumped and stored in the NICU.  Joseph noticed that we had a bottle of someone else’s milk!  That made me wonder a few things: how much of mine had they lost/given to someone else, had he been given someone else’s milk for some of his feedings, was that woman running low on breast milk now?  Questions that will never be answered.

The life of a woman going through the ordeal of having their child in a NICU is a tough one anyway.  The hospital should be helping to relieve that stress, not pile it on more.  I would like to know your experiences, if you have any, with the NICU.  Not just at St. Francis, but anywhere.  Is this how it is everywhere?  Is this the norm?  I sure hope not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kids give you there a prescription for that?

So many people told me that when I had my son I would feel more love than I ever thought possible.  I was even told that I would love him more than my husband.  Well...that's just not true; or at least not ALL true.  I don't love my son any more than my husband, but it is different.  It's not that I had never loved anybody that much before...I love my husband a TON!  But I had never loved anybody that much before that hadn't earned it.  My husband romanced me; all Harrison did was grow in me then pop out!  

On this note, I had an awful, wonderful revelation the other day.  

My son is THE most important person in my life.  

Not necessarily in terms of priorities.  I mean, if Joseph and I needed a date night, but Harrison wanted me to stay home...I'd be out the door nurturing my relationship with my husband, no question.  My revelation was more along the lines of devotion and loyalty.  Everyone in my life is capable of doing something that would make me want to remove them from my life.  Joseph could cheat on me; my friends could back-stab me; my parents could betray me.  But Harrison could do NOTHING that would make me want to remove him from my life!  I may not agree with something he did/is doing, but I would still want to be a part of his life no matter what.  

What an amazingly new feeling!

Alright! I'm saying it out loud!


There!  I said it!  Crucify me if you want to, but it's the truth.  I've been saying since I was pregnant that I don't want to get stuck in the I-can't-wait-until mentality; I want to enjoy every stage of his life.  I've been trying really hard too.  

Every stage of baby/childhood has good and bad aspects; I understand this.  But all of my friends with babies around his age seem so happy and in love with their babies.  What's wrong with me?  I have been putting so much pressure on myself to enjoy every little moment with him, that I feel guilty when I have moments of "get this baby away from me for, like, 10 minutes."  I know some parents of older children, however, that said the baby stage wasn't their favorite either.  They love their kids just as much as any other parent; they just had more fun with them when they got a little bit older.  I've determined this is me!  I know I love the toddler stage, and I want him there.  Yes, he will be testing his limits, but I feel equipped to handle that.  I can't wait until we can talk and dance and sing and run and play and INTERACT TOGETHER!

Before anyone freaks out and says, "But you will never get this time back!  Enjoy it while you can!"  Don't worry.  I am!  Trust me...whenever he smiles or laughs, whenever he falls asleep in my arms, whenever he babbles, whenever he gives me those oh-so-wonderful sloppy kisses, I DO enjoy it!  I just won't let myself feel guilty anymore for the times I get frustrated when he fights sleep, fusses for reasons I can't find out, wakes up in the middle of the night for no reason, and cries because he wants you to hold him and stand up.  

I will enjoy the times that are enjoyable, and look forward to future enjoyable times when life is currently unenjoyable.

The Basics - My Life Story

My name is Emily...but you should already know that if you're reading this! Where I have been doesn't really matter let's just talk about where I am.

I live in the sticks. No, really, my front yard contains lots and lots of sticks. We live so far in the country, we don't even lock our doors! Hey, if you can find my house, take what you want; you deserve a reward for finding it! (But if we're home, duck when you hear the *click-click*) It's great living in the woods! Mostly because you can let the dogs out while in your underwear. But sometimes I wish I lived closer to town. Once you go...there is no going home until you've done EVERYTHING you have to do. There is no "going home real quick".

The man that moved me to the sticks is Joseph. He is a perfectly flawed man. I won't pretend for a second that he is the best husband or father in the universe...but I love that man, and he loves his family. Even when he makes mistakes, I know he is still doing the BEST he knows how to do, and it wouldn't be right for me to ask more than that. We were married on March 5, 2005, so as of right now we have been married 4 years, 11 months, 16 days, and 21 hours....that's just a rough estimate, mind you.

On June 30, 2009 our lives were changed in ways we never thought possible. Our son, Harrison was born. He was born 4 weeks early and had to spend the longest 7 days of my (or his) life in the NICU. But like I said, where I have been doesn't matter, only where we are now. Now he is almost 8 months old and as chunky and healthy as they come!

These two men are my world...I would do anything for them! (Except laundry apparently) This blog is going to be about our lives together and how I feel about it. I have never been able to keep my own secrets, so as always, this blog will be To Much Information!