Sunday, April 13, 2014

Back to Blogging and Foster Mommy Updates

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I didn't really mean to take a break from blogging...... it just happened in the chaos of being a working mama.  It just happened as life happened.  I did miss blogging.  The hard part was so much of "our journey" we are not allowed to share...(yet). So it was hard for me to start writing again.  I knew it was something I missed, yet I didn't know how to begin again.

So for now~~ it will be Sundays.  

Happy First Sunday of my new blogging journey.

Each week, I'll be doing recaps of our crafts and recipes at Handmade Happy Hour, sharing our journey with Baby S. and spilling the scoop on our exciting new partnership.

Today, I'll start with a few pictures of the past few months.

See ya next Sunday!

xoxo, Cathie

P.S. Follow our journey at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook too.

Little Miss S. is now almost 5 months old and she is happy and healthy.  Foster mama and daddy are doing great too.  We are sleeping through the night and adjusting well to being new parents.

Updates..... we have no "real update" other than the courts move incredibly SLOW! We are on course to being a forever family for Miss S. but we still have some hills to climb.  More to come on that after the April 30th court date.  We are still waiting on a DNA test and a few other minor things.  Our journey has been pretty smooth so far... (knock on wood).  I am forever grateful that we went with an agency.  They keep us grounded on this roller-coaster ride.

Don't heat your bottles!!!
Best tip I received. 

When we picked S. up at the hospital she was just two days old and had only been formula fed. The hospital feeds the babies room-temp bottles. As we were leaving the hospital with our 5-pound 5-ounce bundle of love the nurse said to me, "Don't heat her bottles, she has never had a warm bottle and there is no reason for her to start now."  It was all so blurry that day and I didn't really realize that she was giving me the best advice ever!

I had no idea that you could give a baby a room-temp bottle and had actually bought a bottle warmer that is now in a donation pile. Never ever used it.  Little S. is now almost 13-pounds and she eats like a champ.  The best part is that I can feed her anywhere without the worry of trying to heat a bottle.

 It's had to imagine she was this small.........

Some of her dolls.

She has been to a museum to two.

She outgrew her sneakers.

This was one of my favorite shirts on her. 
I'm making it into a pillow.

We have made several trips to Daiso, The Japanese Dollar Store, for supplies for our next book on Decoden.  Coming this fall!

Little S. took the family to see Mama's new end-cap at Michaels.

She marveled at the Endeavor! 

 Outfit for a day in Malibu!


It's been busy and full of fun.
See ya next Sunday!

xoxo, Cathie

P.S. Follow our journey at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook too.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

New Product Launches at CHA 2014! So Excited!

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Ready set go! We are off to CHA for a few days of glittery fun! We have tons of new products releasing for Mod Podge and 3 totally new lines that are up for grabs. If you are attending pop by and say HELLO!

The booth will be hopping with tons of awesome make-and-takes,
demos and good stuff all day long.

10:00 am - 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Experience Mod Podge Collage Clay with Cathie & Steve
Create a bracelet with Candie Cooper McCoart
Design a Moroccan inspired scarf with Rachel Faucett
Explore Martha Stewart Decoupage and Vintage D├ęcor with Kristin Hare

10:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Discover Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint and Silkscreens with Jen Carreiro
Stencil graphic wood tiles with Ed Roth
Glitter a Mason Jar with Justine Abbitt

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The beginning: Becoming Fost Adopt Parents to Baby S.

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It's been over a month since I have blogged here.... when I last wrote, I was in the stage of "Let's Pretend I'm 8.5 months Pregnant".  Well that ship has sailed and our lives have been blessed with a Baby Girl.  Since she is in Foster Care, I will need to keep her identity under wraps.  So no pics of her beautiful face.... just toes, fingers and hair.

She is healthy, happy, growing like a champ and a little miracle in our lives.

Here is how it all went down.

Eddie and I have been planning on fost/adopting for over a year.  We took classes, did a home study, got our home certified, filled out hundreds of papers and tried not to freak out while we waited for the phone to ring.

Our plans to fost/adopt took a little longer than the other graduates from our class.  Not that we think it's a bad thing..... for us it's all about timing and when the time is right... the time is right.  We had a few snags a long the way.  The first was when our 17-year old dog, Max, passed away on the day before we were to begin our home study.  We were heartbroken.  We postponed the meeting until our hearts had sometime to heal.  The next derailment was when I was not so gracefully thrown 15 feet from a cab in NYC.   Me with a giant black eye and a hobble was not exactly the picture of a "happy and healthy" home.  Then we had my crash and burn sickness after our baby-moon in Mexico that had me in the hospital with an IV and in bed for 10 days.  It seemed that every time we were inching closer to the finish line we were met with a set back.  Well set back no more.  We were officially certified a Fost/Adopt home on November 14th.

"I bought this just in case...."

So now what?  We waited.  Since we went with an agency we knew that the phone would only ring from 8-5 on Monday - Friday.  It was exhilarating and maddening at the same time.  As Thanksgiving approached we couldn't help but wonder if a child would be placed with us before the holiday.  It didn't help our curiosity when our SW (that is short for Social Worker) said.... "yep, it's a huge possibility that you will have a baby in the home by Thanksgiving!"  So what do I do?  Naturally, I rush out and buy a Thanksgiving baby tee and bib... and try not to freak out.

It was about 10 am on Thanksgiving eve.  Pies were baking, the turkey was being brined and the house was a flurry of fall harvest foods and decorations.  Family was arriving tomorrow for a big meal and in the Filian house that means that means we DO IT UP!

It was about 10:30 am when Eddie and I both agreed that "they" would not be calling today.  It was Thanksgiving eve and the agency and state would be shutting down early.  It would not be today.  We had convinced ourselves and settled into our tradition of watching the movie, Trading Places.

It was moments later when the phone rang...... I froze.  I looked at the number and it was a 213 area code.  We knew the call would be from a downtown number (213)...... That was it.  This WAS THE CALL.  I answered the call.  Trembling is an understatement.  

"Hello, are you Catherine Filian?" the lady on the phone said to me.  She then introduced herself and said "We have a 2-day old baby girl that needs a home and can you come and get her at 3:00 pm today from the hospital?"  Her name is S.  (S. is not really her name.... since she is in Foster Care, I am using S. for her name to protect her identity.)

She was on speaker phone so Eddie was able to hear the entire conversation.  We were in full blown panic mode...... we had been waiting for this call for over a year and right when we had determined that it "wasn't coming" ~~~ BOOM, the phone rang.  The fost/adopt protocol allows for us to "hang-up" and discuss in private and then call back.  You literally have about 5 min to make a decision.  

Of course we were calling the SW back in less than 5 min with a boasting, "YES!" and a flurry of questions.  The moments before calling back were less than two, although it felt like a year.  I was sobbing, Eddie was pacing like a lion and we were both scared to death.  We weren't scared of who Miss S. would be or what she would look like. (BTW - we were open to any child regardless of race or gender and we were certified for 1 child under the age of 1) We were scared because we knew that we were jumping on the roller-coaster ride of our lives.....FOSTER PARENTHOOD.  We were also scared because we are fost/adopting and that means that S. is in foster care with us first and then she MIGHT be adopted into our family later.  MIGHT is not because of us.... but how the system works.  Of course we would sign on the dotted line immediately... but it doesn't work that way.  We were scared of the MIGHT even though in class we were trained not to be scared.  LOL. Every single child has a different story and case.  With the first phone call it is almost impossible to know what your fost/adopt story will be and what path you will go down.   You just have to trust, believe and above all LOVE and take care of the child that is placed with you. 

On the way to the hospital.

When we rounded the corner at the hospital our hearts burst open with joy, love and pride.  There she was.  It was love at first sight.  She was tiny.  She was perfect.  I fed her in the hospital and got to hold her straight away.  The nurses were so smitten with her that they practically threw her a party. She was our Thanksgiving miracle.  

Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.

Thanksgiving ~ 2013

So now we are just loving Little Miss S.  Letting courts do what they do.  Crossing our Ts and Dotting our Is.  Documenting everything.  You should see her scrapbook!  Someday.... hopefully soon, I'll get to share all her stories and photos.  Until then, I'll be a little cryptic.  

Baby Toes!

ASK AWAY!  Do you have questions?  Wanna know more about being a fost/adopt home.  I am here.  I will answer you.  Send me an email and I'll do my best to help you with any questions you might have.  It might take me a few to get back to you but I promise I will.

She turned 1-Month on Christmas Day.

I flip/flopped on how much of our story we would share.  I knew that our path was a little different and it comes with lots of questions.  For us we have so much passion for fost/adopt and if we can spread any awareness and get more kids into homes then that is wonderful!  

First trip to Sanrio in Little Tokyo.

Foster Daddy getting S. her first bank account.

Her first dolly.... looks like her.

First visit with our new doctor.  She is doing amazing...... !!!

So far foster parenthood has been very rewarding and full of humor.... just the other day Eddie asked me, "Is that poop or chocolate that is on your boob?" I didn't do a taste test.

Wish us luck on this journey!  We had some court dates this week and I am hoping to find out what happened today at 3pm.  Until then, we march on with Love, Giggles and POOP!

XoXo Cathie, Eddie and Little Miss S.

You can follow along on day-to-day stuff.... by following my personal page at Facebook.  Sorry I can't add anymore people there but you can follow.  Instagram is another good place to see pics of our journey.  I'll be blogging big updates here and new craft projects at our new blog..... Handmade Happy Hour.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Dear Diary, Let's Pretend I'm 8.5 Months Pregnant

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 I am not 8.5 months pregnant but we do have a little one on the way and this little one will be arriving before we know it.  Our last inspection before we are certified for Fost/Adopt is happening on Nov.4.

I still have lots to do around the house so operation freak-out has commenced.  Yes, I cried at Home Depot because I couldn't find a locking box to hold my kitchen knives.  I jumped for joy at Home Goods,  when I concocted a knife solution from a cute casserole cover.  I panicked (still am) at the thought of my studio.  Today is a BIG reboot to my creative space. Everything has to be under lock and key..... yes, baby can't roll over but my scissors need to be locked up according to the state of California.  And baby gates, baby locks, etc.... don't count.

So here is the scoop.....

We decided to go the Fost/Adopt route for building the Filian family.  I am not sure why but it was like a calling.  Not from a higher power but an inner power.  I went to lots of different seminars and events for Traditional and International Adoption and when I looked around the rooms I saw so many lovely people who were in line to adopt the kids.  I knew that line would never get short.  I knew that women who wanted to place their children with other people/familes would always have a line of people wanting to adopt.  I wasn't worried about standing in the line or how long it would take ~ I just had a gut felling that it wasn't the line for us.

So we are standing in a different line.  In Los Angeles county we have 60,000 children in the foster system.  It's depressing.  Buildings in downtown are being turned into nurseries to house all the newborn babies.  We just don't have enough families to take the kids. It was a heartbreaking reality and when we learned about it, we just knew it was the line for us.

We have no idea if a boy or girl will be placed with us. 
We have no idea how old baby will be.
We have no idea when baby will arrive.

All we know is that we are going give that baby all our love.

We are a foster family FIRST and with that, we will have many challenges (trying to pretend like they are adventures) to get to the adoption finish-line. We will know sooooo much more when we know who birth-mom is and who our judge will be.  We might have one foster baby or we might have three.  Baby might have a reunification with birth-mom.  Birth-mom might hate us.  It doesn't matter right now.... all that matters now is that we are a safe and loving home to a baby in need.

Am I scared? Yes - absolutely terrified.

 Some of the challenges (minor) have been decorating a nursery that is gender neutral and not yellow and green.  (no offense to those colors - I happen to love all colors).  So we went with a rainbow of colors.  I'll be posting everything we did for the nursery in a different post.

So our baby bag is packed and the car seat is installed.... oh and I got a new MOM car! I'm a little spoiled and have no problem with that.

Now we just wait for our phone call......................................


Friday, October 11, 2013

Join me at the LA Women's Expo! Free Mod Podge Necklace Craft

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 Los Angeles crafters and Mod Podgers…. Join us at the LA Women’s Expo for goodtimes and Mod Podge necklace making.  We will be in the Michaels Craft Truck that will be located on the show floor!  Joining is the uber talented and awesome craft queen…. Jo Pearson!  So pop by and make a free necklace and hang out.  October 26 and 27.  La Convention Center. Downtown LA.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Halloween Charm Bracelet with Mod Podge and Podgeables - so easy!

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Pop on over to Handmade Happy Hour to see the full instructions on how to make this cute Halloween Charm Bracelet.

The skulls are from my supply shop and the large charms are made with Podgeables from Michaels.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

DIY: Halloween Owl Necklace with Mod Melts, Podgeables and Mod Podge.

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We love crafting for Halloween!  Pop on over to Handmade Happy Hour to see all the instructions on how to make this cute necklace!

Coming to Walmart in October, 2013 are mini packs of Podgeables for Mod Podge.  Look for them in the DIY/Crafts section at your local Walmart.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

How to Sew a Diaper Changer Cover

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I have sewn a gazillion things for the baby, quilts, soft boxes, games and now something that will be covered in baby poops and pee.  Oh Joy!  Good news.... I made 3 so laundry time will be easy.  The pattern I followed is from Prudent Baby - oh how I love them!  It was easy as pie and I even pieced a scrap of minky fabric down the center.  The chevron fabric is from Riley Blake Designs.

  The minky fabric is sooooo soft!

First I pieced together the chevron and minky fabric.  I added chevron to two sides.

 Next I cut a square from each corner.

 I stitched up the corners.

 I sewed a casing around the entire outer edge.

 I love this easy elastic tool!  I threaded the elastic through the casing. 

 I triple stitched the elastic ends together.

Here she is all ready to be used!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY Pillows and Soft Toys made from Recycled T-Shirts for Baby Filian's Room

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Turn your old fashion tees or kids clothes into funky pillows and soft toys with just a few stitches and stuffs.  Seriously this project is soooo dang easy that you will want to make a gazillion!  The owl tee was an oldie from my closet. (I bought it a Target years ago). The space ship was a design that was featured in my book, 101 Tees and the headphones tee was from the thrift shop. 

Select a graphic tee to turn into a pillow.

Cutting through both layers, cut around the design.  Make sure you leave a little border for sewing.

Pin right-sides to right-sides and sew around the edge.

Leave an opening for turning and stuffing.

Turn right-side out.

Stuff the pillow and hand sew the opening closed.

Yep - it is that easy to make a t-shirt pillow!

Ready for hugs and love!

Make soft toys by following the design shape.

Kids love them!
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