Modern Day Pilgrims

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some More Firsts!

I may not be able to blog for a few weeks because we're going to have visitors until mid-March. My in-laws arrive this coming Tuesday, and then my parents and brother arrive just a few days after my in-laws leave. We're excited about our visitors and hope they have a good time. We never had visitors in Nigeria, so the first "first" of this blog entry is that we'll be having our first visitors in less than a week! It's nice that our family will finally get to experience our overseas lifestyle first hand. It will be interesting to hear their thoughts about it and see their reaction!

The second "first" is that Charlotte rolled over! She actually did it for the first time on February 1oth, but I didn't get a picture because she started crying after being on her tummy for too long. She did it again two days ago, and I finally got a picture this time. She's getting so big.

The third "first" is that Charlotte tried butternut squash a week ago and she likes it! Attached are a couple pictures of Chris feeding her two nights ago. She has two more days of butternut squash and then we're going to try sweet potatoes. Yummy!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Charlotte's First Solid Food Feeding

As promised, here's the video of Charlotte eating rice cereal for the first time. Yes, I am one of those mom's who get really, really excited for my baby's "firsts". I couldn't WAIT to feed Charlotte rice cereal, and I've been bugging Chris every day since she turned 4 months old!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

4 Months

Charlotte is growing too fast! It's hard to believe she's already 4 months old. At 4 months, parents can start introducing their babies to solid food, so we'll be starting that soon. We'll videotape it when we do and I'll be sure to post it on here. She's been running a low-grade fever the past few days because we think she's cutting her first tooth. She has all the typical teething symptoms and has definitely been a drool monster the past few days. She's been much fussier than normal, too. Poor girl. Hopefully she'll cut the tooth soon or at least get used to the pain.

Charlotte is able to support her neck very easily now, so it makes picking her up easier. She likes to "explore" new views, so we're constantly having to change her position when we hold her. Charlotte's current favorite is "standing" on our laps. Gone are the days of snuggling when she's wide awake. If you want to snuggle with her, you have to wait until she's really tired or put her in the sling while shopping. She's getting to be such a big girl, and even though we love this stage and all the baby smiles and giggles that come along with it, the tininess and "newness" of her infancy are missed. We now understand why people love newborns so much! I don't quite have baby fever yet, but I hate how fast Charlotte is growing.

Since her 4 month birthday landed on a Saturday, I took her pictures with Chris's help. Since we took them at the playground on our compound, they are a bit different than the other month to month photos I've taken of her. I had a great idea in my head, but Charlotte wasn't cooperating as well as I wanted (I had to really work for those smiles). As a result, I didn't quite get the shot I had envisioned. I hope my sweet girl cuts that tooth soon! Happy 4 months, Charlotte!

Too cool for school. I think Chris is going to send this to the Crossfit website (the workout regime he does).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Craft Corner: Magnets

When I first arrived Bahrain, I noticed we only had one refrigerator magnet. Chris said he didn't see any others when he unpacked and thought they might have gotten lost in the move from Nigeria to Bahrain. Chris's beloved periodic table of elements magnet magically made it just fine. Suspicious maybe? Hmmm. When we were engaged, he told me how much he hates cluttered refrigerators. I told him I thought that was weird since refrigerators were magnetic for a reason! So maybe he just left the other magnets on the fridge in Nigeria? I'll never know unless he fesses up!! :-) Just kidding...I trust him!

So once I was in Bahrain with no magnets, I kept complaining to Chris because there were things I wanted to put on our fridge! I was really bummed and finally decided to do something about it after complaining for a few weeks. Since Chris and I each have a "fun money" account that we put money into every month, I decided I wanted to use some of my "Mandy's money" to buy new magnets. I went onto a few different specialty magnet websites but couldn't believe how much people were wanting for one magnet. It would've been $50 to get a handful! I then went to I loooove that they sell all things homemade and was hoping there might be some adorable homemade magnets for sale. They had a good selection, but I noticed one recurring magnet looked very easy to make. The asking price seemed much higher than what I figured it actually cost to make them. In comes the idea to just make my own.

I don't know who first thought of this idea - probably the DIY channel or something, but I'm grateful for whoever did. I don't know if I could be so creative on my own. Of course I went overboard and bought WAY too many supplies after having the great idea to make lots so that I can give them as hostess gifts whenever we get invited to someone's house for dinner. If I had just bought enough supplies for my fridge only, doing this magnet thing would've been dirt cheap...which is probably why so many people are selling them on etsy for an easy profit!

Okay, so the supplies you need: flat glass marbles (a.k.a. decor gems) or plastic cabochons, round magnets, silicone glue, and stationary (or cute mini pictures from magazines). I bought everything online, so even my friends overseas can do this! The flat glass marbles came from a place called Crystal River Gems and everything else is from JoAnn's.

As an important side note, the flat glass marbles can break if they fall to the ground. They variate slightly in shape and are not a perfect circle. If you'd prefer something unbreakable and perfectly round, use flat plastic cabochons. They can be found here. They are more expensive than the flat glass marbles, and since I decided I wanted to make hundreds of magnets, it was cheaper to forego the plastic cabochons this time around.

Making these marbles is so fast and easy...I promise! Seriously, I don't even need to blog about how to make them. I know everyone could figure it out with just a picture! Nonetheless, here's the instructions:

Here's a picture of the flat glass marbles. I got a larger and smaller size to make my magnets with.

The first thing you want to do is trace a circle around the flat glass marble on the paper you want for the magnet background. The flat glass marbles are not big, so a little stationary goes a long way.

Next, place some glue on the front side of the paper. Yes, do this on the side you will see when the magnet is finished. I find using a toothpick to apply the glue helps. I like to use the toothpick to slightly spread the glue around, but you don't really have to do this. When you press the flat glass marble on top, you will see the silicone glue spread to the edges.

This is what your magnet-to-be will look like when you press the paper onto the flat marble.

Allow me to take a brief commercial break to present this adorable picture of the cutest baby in the whole world.

Okay, now back to the task at hand. The next thing you want to do is place a bit of glue on your magnet and then press that onto the backside of the paper. Let this dry for at least a 1/2 hour before attempting to hang on your fridge (I learned the hard way).

These are all the magnets I made in about an hour's time, give or take a few minutes to watch after Charlotte.

Here's a close-up and side view of the magnets.

Here's our fridge all magnetized! Now I need more pictures of my family and friends to put on here. Send pictures our way and I promise they'll go on here! :-)