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Home Birth Story – Jacson Abel

Jacson Abel 8 lbs 7 oz 21in

Jacson Abel 8 lbs 7 oz 21in

Today, October 7th, Baby Jacson turns one month old. And I figure, I should recount my home birth, before I forget it all. (Yeah right, how could I forget that?). I want to share my experience with home birth because a. There are a lot of misconceptions about home birth that I didn’t even know myself until I began the process 9 months ago. And b. I think a lot of people have a general interest or at least intrigue surrounding the topic. With all that in mind, this is just my experience. I am in no way saying it is the right choice for everyone, and I am also not a medical professional. Just a girl who had a baby in her bedroom…

First off, I had 9 months of very thorough prenatal care. My midwife came to my home for each appointment. She did all the blood tests, glucose tests, etc that an OB does in a doctors office. I had a 20 week ultrasound with options to do more. In fact I had lots of options. Every test was presented to me with such detail that I actually felt I had a choice and the information to make an informed decision. In the last couple months, we made lots of plans with the midwife. Plans for emergency transport if needed, plans for what we would do if I went post term, plans for delivery, getting the house ready, collecting supplies… We were prepared! In fact I felt much more prepared for this birth than for either of my daughters’ births in the hospital. It was also fun picking out the supplies. I ordered a fancy birthing gown, picked out cute receiving blankets and beanies for baby. I bought new sheets for my bed and towels and feminine care products for myself post delivery as well. I prepared the room (a couple weeks too early as it turned out). I made my bed for delivery with a set of new sheets on bottom, then a big plastic mattress bag over top, and lastly a set of sheets that I didn’t mind getting messy and throwing out after labor. We ended up sleeping on that plastic bag for awhile. Hearing the crinkle of plastic every night was entertaining. Ironically, I didn’t even have the baby on the bed. Sheets saved!

Now, let me go back a couple weeks before Jacson was actually born. My due date was August 30th and I was 90% convinced that baby would arrive at least a week early. My family took a little weekend vacation to Lake Chelan when I was 37 weeks pregnant, and the day we got home, I started to really feel like labor would be eminent. Some of my new symptoms included swelling, some pinkish mucus discharge, and a baby that had dropped so low in my pelvis that I had to walk waddle with my legs apart. Sadly these symptoms did not progress into the start of labor. Right around when I hit 38-39 weeks of pregnancy, I started having contractions. Not braxton hicks contractions, but something much more comparable to labor contractions. I would time them and they would be consistent for several hours. Only they wouldn’t change or progress. This is apparently called false labor – something I can assure you I did not believe existed. I mean, how could someone not know if they are actually in labor?! Apparently me. I had 2 false alarms where I actually called my midwife to warn her my labor was starting and then fell asleep to wake up in the morning with no baby. This false labor thing went on for WEEKS!!! Like 3 weeks to be exact. It was exhausting physically but way more exhausting mentally. By then end I can honestly say I thought my baby was going to live inside forever and that I would never go into real labor. The other thing that happened somewhere between 38-40 weeks was I thought my water broke. It sounds kinda crazy to once again, NOT KNOW for sure if something like this actually happened. But, what I experienced, was a trickle of water. And no, I did not pee myself. Yet, my midwife checked my amniotic fluid levels and ruled out the possibility of my membranes being broken. Confusing. Yes. VERY! blah blah blah… no one trust my predictions on the start of labor as I clearly couldn’t figure it out. Once I hit my due date on August 30th, I had basically given up all hope of ever birthing my baby. I went from totally prepared for my home birth to less and less prepared as the days went on. My excitement and anticipation to have my baby turned once again to fear and dread. The more time I had to mull over the situation and possible outcomes of having a home birth and NO EPIDURAL, the more scared I became!! I had epidurals with both of my other births, but believed I could handle all the pain of child birth because I had labored all the way through transition without an epidural with my first baby.

40 weeks slowly became 41 weeks, while I fought phone calls and questions of, “When are you going to have this baby?!?!” and the worst of all, “When are you going to be induced..?”

How about, “I have no clue.” “Stop asking me…” and “Never.”  “I am NOT GOING TO BE INDUCED!!!!” The questions about induction were the most frustrating because I felt like I was fighting against our Americanized, cultural belief that a baby must be induced if a woman goes over the 40 weeks gestation. When in fact, avoiding induction was my biggest goal and one of the reasons I chose a home birth. I naively opted for an induction with my second pregnancy when I was 40 weeks pregnant. Hadley was induced at 40 weeks and 4 days and had a shoulder distotia, meaning she got stuck on her way out. It is my opinion that she got stuck because she wasn’t ready to come out and wasn’t in the right position. I have regretted being induced ever since for that reason and more.

In the early evening on September 6th, we were on our way to an evening church service. I started having contractions in the car. Real contractions or false labor..? I was still unsure. I began timing the uncomfortable contractions during the sermon and concluded this must be the real thing. Since I had several false alarms before, I was still hesitant to declare “I am in labor” to our friends and family. Instead I casually told my mother in law that I was having contractions and we would keep her in the loop. On our way home we called my parents to come and pick up our girls which my husband thought was a bad idea. “But what if you don’t actually have a baby tonight?!” he said. He too didn’t believe that I could tell the difference between real labor and false labor. It actually took him up until about 30 minutes before baby arrived to believe that I was indeed in LABOR! HELLOWW!!

We were home around 8:00 pm and spent an hour or so cleaning up the house with the help of my parents. They left a little after 9:00 pm and I decided to give my midwife a call. “Hi, it’s Lexie. So, I think I really am in labor. I have been having contractions since 5:00pm, every 3-5 minutes and they are getting a little stronger. I am not sure when you want to come…. but I think this is the real thing..?…!”

My midwives arrived about an hour later at 10:00pm and I was still walking around, talking through contractions and feeling like I could totally handle this. They got all set up with their equipment in my bedroom, as I planned to deliver on my bed. And then she checked my heart rate and baby’s through some contractions. They quickly deduced that my contractions were “coupling”, meaning I would have a couple contractions back to back and then a longer rest between the next couple. She said this was common with babies that are posterior. We had assumed that Jacson may have been posterior based on the uterine palpitations in my last couple prenatal appointments. My first daughter Tylyn was posterior, but we didn’t know it until she was delivered and the doctor declared, “She is sunny side up!” Babies that are born this way, head up, are a little harder to deliver and it has been described as more painful than if they are face down.

A little while later my midwife decided to check my cervix and found I was only dilated to 4cm. At this point it was 11:30pm and my husband texted his mom to let her know, “Lexie is only dilated to 4cm. This could be awhile. I will let you know when things progress.” He was wrong.

I decided to try rolling around on my birthing ball and my body decided to kick into action right when I got down onto the floor. My contractions quadrupled in pain almost instantly. And Tyson decided he needed a bathroom break. I could tell that things were changing and told him it better be quick! Right after he left to the bathroom I started throwing up through contractions.

This is the exact scenario that led to my epidural with Tylyn. I had hit transition quickly after being checked at 3cm. But this was my first baby and I trusted my doctor and nurse when they said it would be about 1 cm per hour before she was born. I thought I would be on the floor puking for 7 more hours and would surely die. Little did I know I was actually fully dilated, and they did not check me a second time before administering the epidural. Surely had I not had the epidural I would have been ready to push and would have been holding my first child in my hands. Instead, both Tylyn and my heart rates plummeted and they prepped me for a C-section. Luckily we stabilized and I was able to deliver vaginally, and relatively pain free.

Once active labor with Jacson began, it was like a flashback to when I hit transition during my labor with Tylyn. I was on all 4’s mooing and groaning like a cow and needing Tyson to press on my low back with all of his body weight to take off some of the pressure and make it a tiny bit more bearable. One midwife asked if I wanted to move back onto my bed, but I felt paralyzed and couldn’t possibly move an inch. They did managed to tuck a pillow under my knees. Then suddenly I felt the urge to push. (internal thoughts below in italics)

Still on my knees, and PUSH!!! “AAAGGGGHHHHH!!!!!” That was terrible. I can’t do that again. I am going to die. 

PUSH 2!!!!”AAAAAAAGGGGGRRRHHHH!!!!!!!!!” My water exploded all over the place (don’t worry. there was a plastic tarp on the floor). That was terrible. But I feel a little relieved. Please don’t make me push again.

PPUUUSSSSHHHHHH 3!!!!!!!!!!!!! His head is out. (Screaming Bloody Murder) I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I am crazy. Why am I doing this? What am I thinking. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die. and my poor neighbor… 

PPPPUUUUUSSSSHHHHH 4!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Screaming Bloody Murder) What happened? Is it over? Is he out??? He’s not out??? Is he Stuck? What’s going on…? I can’t do this again. I need to get him OUT!!!!!

PPPPPUUUUUUUSSSSSSHHHHH 5!!!!!!! (Screaming more Bloody Murder) He is out! Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I can’t believe I just did that. Oh my gosh. I’m alive. Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!!

Jacson Abel was born at 12:47 am on September 7th, 2015.

They handed Jacson through my legs to me. And we very slowly and carefully stood up and moved to the bed to lay down. He laid on my chest and we fell in love. But that wasn’t the end.

I had to deliver the placenta. And this was very unpleasant. In the hospital I never even noticed the placenta coming out. I think the difference is 2 fold. 1. I had epidurals in the hospital and they just pulled it out. 2. They cut the cord right after the baby was born.

But not this time. Jacson laid on my chest with his cord attached to the placenta inside my body for a LONG time. I’m not sure how long. But I would guess at least 30 minutes of painful contractions while the umbilical cord continued to pulse and send nutrients to the baby in my arms. It was very hard to focus on my sweet, adorable little baby while the placenta was still inside. I was so uncomfortable and couldn’t think of anything except, “Can we get this out of me?! PLEASE!?!?!”

After what I felt was demanding to get it out, my midwives FINALLY cut the cord and handed Jacson to Tyson. I then delivered the placenta and found peace. Haha! I held my new baby in bliss and shock over the labor that just took place.

If you would have asked me then, I would have been certain that I could absolutely NEVER EVER do that again. NEVER. EVER. I figured Tyson had already won the battle about not having a 4th baby in a couple years. Because let’s face it, an epidural is A LOT LESS PAINFUL!!!! Like a lot. Seriously people. A LOT! And now that I had a home birth I can’t go back to the whole hospital thing for 4th baby…

But here we are now, a month out, and my outlook on the birth and natural labor is already completely different. Like I LOVED it! I LOVED IT PEOPLE! I absolutely LOVED IT. Haha. I know it sounds funny and crazy. Who could love being in pain so bad they thought they would surely die? Um ME!!! It must be God! He works in mysterious ways. Having a baby is really miraculous. And although painful the gift far outweighs the difficulties. There is something about working, LABORING through the entire process that makes the gift just that much greater! A LABOR OF LOVE. And I am speaking from experience. I am not condemning anyone else’s choice to have an epidural. I have done it both ways. I love all my kids equally. But delivering Jacson… pushing him out with each excruciating push, was so so sooo so worth it! I guess I can’t explain what you haven’t experienced yourself.

And that’s basically it. We had a healthy baby boy. He is growing like a champ and weighed 11lbs 2 oz at his last appointment on Sunday. He is just the sweetest baby and I am head over heels in love with him. There is absolutely something special about having a boy this time. I want him to love me forever! HAHAHAH! It is going to take some serious prayer for me not to turn into a crazy mother in law for his future wife. I had an absolutely perfect home birth and I loved the entire experience. If you have any questions I am happy to answer. But please keep it positive! I know home birth may not be for everyone, but it worked out for us!

Sorry this was so long winded. Every birth has a story, and they deserve to be told! (even if no one reads it 😉 hehe).

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Yellow and Gold Pineapple Birthday Bash

My sweet Hadley Hope turned 1 on Saturday and we threw her a fun Pineapple themed birthday at the park. It wasn’t very sunny for our June park birthday but it didn’t rain, and everyone had fun! 👏👏👏

This post is mostly going to be a bunch of pictures. Enjoy!

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Updated Nursery Decor

As we gear up to move my nesting has kicked in to OVERDRIVE! Or should I say OVERDESIGN! No… there is never “over designing” going on here. My little girlies will be sharing a room, and hopefully become the best of friends in the process..! Utilizing all of the furniture that we already have here are my design plans and the added elements to spruce it up!

White, Black, Pink and Gold nursery

Let me start to set the stage with the gold polka dot wall decals from Urban Walls. Being in an apartment and unable to paint the walls makes these wall decals the PERFECT solution! Be still my gold polka dotted heart!

My 8 month old sleeps in a crib and my 2 year old had been updated to a toddler bed. Although in anticipation for the next upgrade to a Twin bed, I am planning for the future with twin bedding in mind. Both the white crib and toddler bed were cheap finds. One was a craigslist buy and the other a hand-me-down from a friend. My personal note is not to spend an arm and a leg on furniture that you will be over and done with in a few short years. Part of me thinks a big investment on a crib is okay, because you can use it for future children. But then I stop and ask myself, would I really want a white crib for a boy baby too? My taste changes so often that I don’t need to spend a fortune on stuff that I can find for a fraction of the cost at a consignment store! Plus it leaves extra money for the fun and frilly things that really make the room unique!

We have 2 white Ikea cube shelves that we have used for toy storage with wicker bins and a changing pad on top. It is the perfect storage solution and the perfect height for diaper changes! The last piece of furniture that will be in the room (not shown above) is an antique dresser with a tilt beveled mirror that my mom gave me. I painted it white of course, and am hoping to update the knobs to these elegant white owl ones from Anthropologie. (Here’s to hoping they go on sale!!)

The biggest dilemma I had was on a rug. I know it isn’t necessary with carpet, but it is one of those finishing touches that just can’t be ignored. Plus the more cushion the better when you have a little dare devil that tries to walk at 8 months old. I was always thinking a big faux sheepskin, but then when I made my design board, I thought it needed one last splash of color. I decided on this red, pink and white color block rug from Ikea. It is a runner and will fit perfectly between the crib and toddler bed. Then of course I have to include the plush sheepskin throws too. They are only $10 at Ikea so I am sure I will find a fitting place for them in the space.

My other ode to owl’s in the room is a white owl lamp found at Land Of Nod. I am hoping a few treasure hunts at thrift stores might land me something that I can DIY for a fraction of the cost. We will see.

I recently came across Ashley Goldburg Prints on etsy  and fell in love with this one because it reminds me of my toddler.

Em Then I found out that Land of Nod has this exact print on a pillow! Score! I cant play favorites and get just one pillow, so I am getting 2! Each with a different sketch of a cute little girl with wide eyes! ❤ While Searching the Nod website, I fell in love with the balloon quilt and striped sheets. Lucky me, I found similar stripe crib sheets on amazon. But, the balloon bedding will have to be one of my SPLURGE purchases down the road.

About a year ago I bought the tiered ruffle curtain off Amazon. I of course was inspired by a similar one at Urban Outfitters for 4x the price. It is just too easy to be thrifty! 😉

My last inspiration item is the tassel garland found in the etsy shop Studio Mucci. What a fun a frilly way to spice up the space for a couple of cute little girls!

That’s all for now, I can’t wait to show you the end result!

And check out my etsy shop: http://www.winkinkbooks.etsy.com

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Mad Hatter Tea Party

Last year I threw a GiANT Birthday party for my daughters 1st B-Day and I swore I wouldn’t go that big again. But here we are, a year later, and I did it again.

It all started with a simple question. “Tylyn, what do you want to do for your Birthday?” To which I got an immediate and enthusiastic, “Have A Tea Party!!!”

And with that simple, over stated, excited reply, I could no longer help myself!

Soon Tylyn’s Mad Hatter Tea Party was born. I planned it for about a month, collecting cheap decor from orientaltrading.com and making my own as well. I decided on the red and black color scheme of “The Queen f Hearts” but added in hott pink and gold to make it my own!

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I designed her invitations in care of the color scheme, patterning, wording and whimsy that I wanted the party to convey.

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With my collection of goodies, guest invited and grocery shopping done we were ready for the party!

Then snow started falling. And it snowed and snowed and snowed until all things were canceled for 4 days on end. Including Tylyn’s party. Tear. We pushed it back a week and it worked out just as well except the fact that my determination started to wane.

Saturday night I got the my Husbands gym (where we had the party) and started setting up. The results were Madly Wonderful Indeed!

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Was that too many pictures? Sorry 😚

And then there was the birthday girl… I ordered her dress from http://www.theglamourbaby.com because it was amazing and it reminded me of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Sadly my now 2 year old doesn’t love getting her picture taken but I mangaged to get a few…

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Don’t you know all that a group of kids need to have fun are some balloons?

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When it was all said and done all I cared is that the kids had fun. And they did!

Thank you friends and family for making a lot of fun memories together!

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The quest to get a good Christmas Card Photo

Since this Christmas is all about saving money, I have taken it upon myself to try and he a good Christmas card photo. I have a great idea in mind for the finished product, but getting there is proving to be a real problem! Our Christmas at last year was a real hit, but we did have a professional photographer take the picture and then photoshop us into a snow globe!

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The first attempt with the girls resulted in Hadley being happy and Tylyn being… Let’s just say difficult. Here are some of the “good” shots:

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The next day at the mall, we had a few impromptu opportunities to take some pictures while waiting in line for Santa.

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And yet again, no bueno. If you are wondering ‘where is the Santa photo’ let me just stop you right there. I was not about to spend $22! on a lousy photo with a creepy mall Santa. I can only imagine what the one shot mug would have produced. Instead we opted for the free visit and candy cane. Tylyn was so adamant about sitting on Santa’s lap but once she got there the cat clearly had her tongue!

This morning was take 2 of the home photo shoot, and surprisingly with the opposite results. Tylyn was being darling and Hadley had enough. Some of the better photos:

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I think it’s time to face reality. These are the best I’m gonna get! All I have to do now is photoshop the heck out of them 😉

But seriously, I have CUTE kids!!

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Wink Ink Baby Books

Hello Blog Friends!

I have a very exciting project to tell you about! Over the past 5 months, I have been working during every free moment (they are hard to come by you know) on my special baby – BABY BOOKS! I know how crazy this may sound…. “Lexie has started a business making baby book…” But trust me, this is the REAL DEAL!

The first step was IDEA: It came to me during the middle of the night while contemplating a.)ways to make money and b.)things that people really need. And of course having my 2 babies asleep in their beds added to the inspiration. I started to think about the way we share photo’s – all via social media, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. And I thought, how will my daughters look at their baby pictures when they grow up? Will they sign onto Facebook and look far back in my photo album history until they find them? Will these platforms one day become “a thing of the past?” The second thought I had was, “With all of the stimuli of amazing, creative, do-it-all, crafty images we see on Pinterest, How can ANYONE measure up?” Let’s face it… being a mom is hard work. You barely have time to take a shower so how on earth are you supposed to have time to scrapbook, do craft projects, decorate for ALL the holidays, document every moment, and do it all with a smile on your face? Well truly it is impossible. We can do parts and pieces of it all. But we can not to all of it.

That is where the idea came from. I wanted to create a “memory book” that captured all of the best moments of baby’s first year of life, and have a physical, living document of it that can be shared, admired and kept for years to come! What else should this memory book be…? It should be modern! It should be trendy! It should have all of those crafty projects you saw on Pinterest right there at your finger tips! No trips to the craft store required.

So I compiled all of my favorite ideas, into one place, made sleek modern designs inspired by current trends and patterns and came up with 10 different Baby Book Themes (Because you don’t want to have the same one as your neighbor).

The next step was to begin producing a prototype. It took several tries, to come up with the ideal solution to the typical scrapbook. You know those pesky plastic sleeves, the ones where the pages always slide out, pictures fall out and your scrapbook becomes… well just SCRAPS. Those plastic sleeves were a no-go from the beginning, which lead us to an incredible solution. Each page is it’s own cut out frame. You can easily slide your picture in from the top and secure it in place with no more than a dot of glue. In one easy step your pictures are framed inside a perfect keepsake book!

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Then there was the cover to figure out. I knew I wanted to avoid the fabric wrapped scrapbook binders and do something different. So we figured out a way to make hard covers that will be spiral bound along with the pages. The covers can be customized with your baby’s name as well!

photo (2) TIFFANY SAMPLE PAGE COVER

 

Nothing “babyish” about this Baby Book!

Lastly, I wanted each page of the book to be “frame worthy”. This meant that when it comes to filling out the book, instead of using a pen to fill it in, it could be filled in with custom stickers that matched the font of each book.

photo (1) TIFFANY SAMPLE PAGE STICKERS

Also included are onesie decals to take milestone photo’s of your baby, and include in the book of course!

TIFFANY BOOK SAMPLE PAGES

 

More inside pages from the Tiffany Book

And now we are FINALLY selling our baby books! Check out our store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/winkinkbooks

These are a great gift for Baby showers and Christmas presents this holiday season!

Other Designs currently for sale:

Hello BABY! Book

photo (3)hello sample page 1 hello sample page 2 hello sample 3

Little Man Book

photo (4)little man sample page covers little man sample pages little man sample page stickers

 

Coco Chanel Book

coco book images 2coco book images 1  coco book images 3

 

Goofball Book

goofball sample pages 1 goofball sample pages 2 goofball sample pages 3

 

Monster Book

Custom Cover - Monster, Black and Orange Baby BookModern Monster Black and Orange Baby Memory and Keepsake Book

 

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Glamorous things From the Fall

It has almost been a year since I began this blog, with aspirations to post daily. My goal fell short, and my posts have trickled off since I had my second baby! But a lot has happened since I last wrote so I have LOTS to share!

My daily desire to be glamorous is still a struggle but I have indeed managed to be glamorous on occasion. Here is a glimpse of a few occasions.

Halloween:

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We took our babies to the pumpkin patch to ramp up our holiday fun and Van Winkle Family Field Trips! It was a success and a beautiful day for October in the Pacific Northwest!

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Then came time to decorate the pumpkins. I’m not a fan of carving so I tend to opt for paint or other fun pumpkin projects! This year all it called for was a bit of Elmer’s glue and some sparkle! It was exactly like the art projects I did in 1st Grade: paint polka dots with glue, pour on glitter, shake off onto newspaper and VOILA!

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Last years pumpkins were actually much more involved so I was very happy with the simplicity.

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Last years silhouette pumpkins.

Once we had completed our pumpkins it was time to figure out costumes! I dropped the ball last year and didn’t have a costume for Tylyn’s First Halloween. So I had to make up for it this year. I found some pink chevron leggings and an owl hat on Zulily which prompted me to complete her Owl costume.

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All I made was a onesie with felt feathers. It cost maybe $3, as I used an old long sleeve onesie that she was about to outgrow. I cut feather shapes out of the felt, attached them with hot glue and lastly made 2 felt wings to glue onto the back.

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About an hour before going trick or treating I showed Tylyn what it was all about with a practice run. Once she learned it was all about candy she was ready to roll! She would have trick-or-treated all night, if I would have let her.

Now for Hadley’s costume… I found an inspiation picture from Pinterest of a candy corn costume that I loved and aspired to make it myself. When I showed the woman at the fabric store she crushed my dreams by telling me it was crocheted. I can’t do that!

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Luckily I didn’t give up hope and found some fuzzy fabric very similar. The only problem was it only came in white! Again, I didn’t let a little thing like color stop me so I bought some dye to change the color myself! I even managed to contain the mess!

The next step was to sew it together. I’m a beginner at best and still need my moms help to thread the machine. I made my own pattern and got to work! It went smoothly and without a “snag” (pardon my pun), and my results were pretty awesome!

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The one mistake I did make, and realized when I saw an actual candy corn, was that the yellow and orange blocks should have been switched (yellow on the bottom and orange in the middle). No big thing.

My kids are so cute that I just have to leave you with a couple more images.

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