Monday, June 23, 2014

Planning a Baby Shower

My brother and his girlfriend, Pamela, are pregnant! I'm sure that I have mentioned it before. I am very excited for them and I am excited to have another niece!

My mom and I (with some help from my sister, Kema, and friend, Rachelle) recently got baby shower invites out! My momma and I are hosting and I am pretty excited!

One of the first things I did was get on Pinterest to find things that I liked. They have it all: from budgets to gifts to favors and decorations to food to games and then some. It is pretty amazing! I found some invitations that I liked, but I didn't want to purchase them, nor did I get into the cheesy-ness of them. As a scrapbooker, I am fairly handy with such things, so my mom and I bought the supplies and we all banded together to make them.

Here is the Etsy link because this person did a great job, and I copied the general style: Modern Baby Shower or Sprinkle.

And here is a series if photos to show how I decided to make them (which may or may not be similar to the original-this is just my interpretation):
Sorry the image is skewed. I blanked out important information that I don't want all over the internet... So I designed the invites and used Word to print two per page. my mom and I picked all of the papers.
We got lucky and found a paper punch for clouds! Each invite got two clouds.
We also found a small heart-shaped hole punch. I figured this would be easier to make the rain drops because we could fold them around the string.
Like so. I cut the strings (which matches the background paper pretty well) and we folded and glued the hearts around the string ends.

To attach the clouds, we used these double-sided foam stickies.

I attached one side to the strings for the raindrops ad then attached the same side to the clouds. The other side was stuck to the invitations.

The final result!
And there you have it! Pretty invitations! We also decided that we liked the "rain" theme and are planning to stick with pink and rain for the party.

We ordered the cake from an AWESOME local pastry and cake shop: Das Meyer. They do amazing things! And I cannot wait to see the cake they make for the shower! It also goes with the pink and rain theme.

I have a secret Baby Shower board on Pinterest right now. Once the shower is over, I will make it public so people can see what ideas and inspiration we had. I just don't want all of this to get out to Pamela and Arik before the shower--it will ruin all of the surprises. To that end, I will also be waiting to post most of our creative gifts and decorations.

I will post the beginning of the diaper cake because everyone knows you have to have a diaper cake, right?

It isn't too tall, but it's pretty big around. I got three bags of diapers in here! Around 100 or so diapers.
Nice so far! Have to decorate it now! We have some other decorations and gifts ready that just need to be put together and organized. We have most of our game prizes already, but I still need to solidify the games and supplies.

My mom and I are going to get table decorations and other miscellaneous things tomorrow. Friday is our cleaning, set up, and maybe some cooking day and then the shower is Saturday! Ahhh! Still so much to do, but I am very excited! And the day after the shower, Isaac and I leave for our vacation! What an exciting week!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Blog About Rats

Most of you know how much I love my pets.

I had a couple of customers tell me that they would "take care of" my rats or introduce them to their cats (in jest, but I would not label everyone as a rat lover). First off, my rats, while spoiled scared-y rats, are quite large things. They are reasonably fearful of cats, most cats don't know what to do with them because they are so large. Remus weighed in at 1.83 pounds (he's my chub-ster). Romulus is a little slimmer, but longer. "Two-handed rats," I call them; you need two hands to hold them. Second, I love my rats more than I like most people and I will take you down if you hurt my fur babies.

Romulus washing Remus

So a couple of months ago, I found a little tumor on Remus' side. There also may or may not be a little lump on his abdomen? It kind of comes and goes. My mom said it might be some sort of fat tumor because they can do that (apparently--don't look at me, she's the nurse). Crushed, I took him to the vet who actually said that she would expect a good outcome and recovery because it is still small and it is conveniently located for removal. It is a little pricey, estimated 200-400 depending, but she expected closer to 200. My money is a little tight with just finishing school, going on that moving trip, and trying to save up for our vacation later this summer, but I want to do this sooner rather than later, so I made an appointment for Monday.

Those faces!

Remus is still fairly young--a little over a year and a half old--so he could still have nearly two more years if we are lucky.

The main thing I worry about is that Remus is such an anxious little thing. He always has been. And he is often a one-woman rat (that woman being me, obviously). Romulus is a little more social (though obviously attached to me), but Remus has always been a pretty nervous critter. I feel horrible that I am separating him from his braver brother to give him to strangers for at least one full day, maybe longer, who will hurt him (he won't be able to understand that they are trying to help), and he will have to go through all of it without me or his brother (who he has never been separated from). And that thought breaks my little heart. I hope he will forgive me! And I hope Romulus doesn't get too lonely.

Sweet boys

They are funny rats. People talk about having dominant rats, but I honestly cannot say which of these two is dominant. They are both willing to push each other around and Romulus is a very forward rat. In the rare cases where they have a little fight, they take turns being the aggressor. However, Remus does hold Romulus down and forcibly washes his head (hence Romulus' bald spots...) and Romulus will squeak, but not put a stop to it, which I was told shows that he is not the dominant rat. I wonder how their relationship will change with this surgery. The vet said that they can spend some time together, though not right away, as long as it is supervised. Poor ratties.

Anyway, the point is that I love my rats and I am sad that Remus has a tumor (I hope he doesn't get more) and I hope that they will be alright. I bought different bedding and am trying to prepare for Remus' surgery.

The vet office that I go to is great. My family has taken our pets there for years. They are called Mesa Veterinary Hospital. Here is their website: Mesa Veterinary Hospital

On a related note: it makes me sad how few people catch the Romulus and Remus reference. Some people catch on that Remus is also Harry Potter's Remus Lupin, who was, I believe, named after the Roman Remus. People need to take more history classes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Graduation, the BolderBoulder and More

I'm sorry that it has been nearly a month since I last posted!

For those of you who do not know, I graduated a couple weeks ago with my Masters in Microbiology and Immunology! It was pretty exciting, though the ceremony was kind of boring. And I was sad to not get in a picture of my group (called Wolfpack). I miss my group members already. We spent SO much time together and all six of us got along so well! That's a pretty rare find. Plus, we enjoyed each others company and often hung out outside of class.
Some of my classmates hanging out and waiting for the ceremony with two of my group members in the fore-front.
Don't you just love our hoods?! I sure do!

Most of us looked like this the whole time-in my group, anyway. It was hard to hear the speakers and it was long and rather boring.
But here I am in my robe!

And the BolderBoulder 10k was on Monday the 26. I was quite nervous, but excited. I expected to walk much of it, but ended up jogging (slowly!) a little more than half of it. Considering that I only started running about 5 weeks prior and that I was training for a 5k, I guess I don't feel too bad. However, I did manage to hurt my right foot which seemed to heal in time and then my left ankle which did not heal in time. Then I managed to damage both ankles during the 10k. Woo! So for the last week, my ankles have been swollen and super tender and painful. Oh well. Here are the details of my costume, though!

I had a white camisole and I decided to use this:

Rose pink fabric spray paint
I actually used those sheets of duct tape to create the diamonds for my shirt (and the headband). The small ones on the headband didn't work as well, but the big ones did!
In progress
And here is how the shirt turned out!
Very happy with it!
And the headband:
It didn't work as well, but that's OK
Sadly, the sprayed pink fabric paint did not match the pink in my tutu. I'd hoped it would when I picked the colors. That's OK, I'm not sure anyone knew who I was anyway.

And if I can find a picture of Katja and I in our outfites (she was Batman!), I will post it, but I can't seem to dig one up...

Last, but not least, I went on a journey with my friend, Jhenn, to move our friend, Amie, back home from Indiana. It was a lot of driving, cleaning, lifting, and other moving-associated work. The trip was successful! Everyone is home safe and sound!

I had a revelation, however. I have known that I am an introvert, but 6 days and 5 nights of never being along longer than it takes to shower or use the restroom was VERY harrowing for me. I love my friends and they were amazingly tolerant (and I really, really tried my best not to be cranky because it wasn't their fault! I hope I succeeded). The following day I literally did next to nothing and spoke to nearly no one (mostly just to my rats), just to gather myself up again. Now that I have had some time to myself, I feel so much better! Sorry, friends! I hope I wasn't horrible.

We did get one day with some fun: we visited a dairy and two wineries the first day we were out there, and that was enjoyable for us all! Delicious cheese and wine with friends! Who could ask for more?