Sunday, January 4, 2015

What? An update?

Wow, I can't believe it's been two+ years since my last post.  Motherhood definitely cuts into things you used to do but I love every minute of it.  In fact, I loved it so much we've had two babies in two years!  We are so grateful for our miracle babies, one an IVF miracle and the other a very unexpected (given all we had to do to get her older sister) surprise nine months later.  M was born at the beginning of December 2012 and her sister C was born 18 months and one day later.  I love them both to distraction.

I have not been as crafty as I once was, simply due to time constraints (and a toddler who likes to be a part of everything and a baby who doesn't go to bed until way too late to start a project) but I've been doing a little sewing, including a foray into repurposing my clothes into kid clothes. It actually worked fairly well, thank to fabulous online tutorials.

My arthritis retreated again during my second pregnancy (after a really nasty flare up a few months after the first) so I've enjoyed a respite that allowed me to crochet several afghans (including the white one in the photos with C), a hobby I've always enjoyed but haven't been able to pursue much.

This year I hope to delve deeper into photography again, I've missed using my big camera but with all the gear that comes with kids, camera phones are just so much more convenient.  I did manage to do a little shoot today with each girl, one for M's second birthday portraits and the other for C's blessing portraits (both completed more than a month after the actual events but hey, it's better than never).

Jeremiah and I are finding the transition to parenthood means a lot less time together (duh) but are trying to find moments to spend with each other.  I am also slowly (very slowly) warming to the idea getting babysitters on a regular basis so we can go on dates.

The cats are fine, they feel a little displaced and I'm a little/lot less amused by some of their antics (such as dropping dead things where the girls play) but they are and will always be a part of the family.  The girls love them but they don't know that yet, they just hear gleeful screaming and see running feet or grabbing hands and head for the hills (or under our bed, to be precise).

And that's it for the update.  We will see if this is something I continue or if it'll be another two years (but not two more kiddos, please, mommy needs a break and a chance to get her body back).


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quick Recap

I am really starting to slow down now that I am in that final month.  Pretty much everything hurts and all I want to do is sleep but we did manage to do a few things the last half of October.  No crafting at the moment (although I do want to make new Christmas stockings) but some fun activities.  Here's a quick run down.

1.  Jeremiah participated in our neighborhood's second annual Quidditch match and seemed to have a really good time.  I love our neighborhood!

2.  I had my second and third baby showers:  the second one was thrown by my good friend Jocelyn for all my neighborhood friends and the third was done by Jeremiah's cousins Natalie and Geneva for family here in Utah.  They were both wonderful and this little girl is now well-stocked with adorable outfits.

3.  We went on a baby moon to Cedar City so we could attend our first (and probably last for a good long while) Shakespeare Festival.  We stayed at the lovely Iron Gate Inn, checked out the Frontier State Park, saw Hamlet (very well done) and drove through Cedar Breaks National Monument.  It was a really fun two days.

4.  We spent two Monday evenings in a prenatal class; a lot of it was a review of things I've been reading for the last 8 months but it was really good for Jeremiah.

5.  Started a home improvement project (enlarging our hall closet into a walk-in/understairs storage area so we can clear space in our bedroom closets for people stuff) that is taking a little/lot longer than expected but will be really nice when completed (hopefully at the end of the week...).

I will try to post pictures later, for some reason Blogspot is not recognizing the current photo library and I can't access them.

All we have left to do is wait for Little Miss to decide to make an appearance.  I'm kind of hoping that happens in 2-3 weeks but if she decides to take her time, I suppose I'll survive.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Back Again

Dobby thought he found a cozy little spot for himself but
unfortunately I had to make him leave so he wouldn't
get in the habit of jumping in with her.
Wow, I dropped the ball, didn't I?  Things got pretty busy and I got pretty tired there for a while.  Here's a quick update:

1.  I went home to Washington for a week in September to visit my family and have my first baby shower.  It was great to see everyone and I had a wonderful shower.  Unfortunately I came down with a cold my second day there that didn't go away until I'd been back in Utah for a week.  Being sick while pregnant is not much fun.  At least I was still able to enjoy the warm weather and playing with my oh-so-cute nephew, Phoenix.
The super yummy cake from my shower.  It was white
with lemon filling.

My grandmother crocheted a doll theater troupe.

2.  I hit my third trimester in early September and my energy boost from the second went away pretty quickly.  When I got home from Washington I was pretty drained from being sick and being pregnant so I didn't do a whole lot for the rest of the month.

3.  At the end of September, my friend Jocelyn took some maternity shots for me.  They turned out really well, in my opinion.

This photo mimics a similar pose we
did during our engagement photo session.
4.  I've had a little more energy this month and have managed to do some baking, work on photobooks and get back into Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  I love being in this group (mostly older ladies) and look forward to being able to take my daughter with me soon.

5.  As far as working on the nursery is concerned, that had slowed down considerably in September, mostly since there wasn't a lot left to do and I was procrastinating what there was.  I received a lot of cute outfits and blankets for my shower, which I have washed and organized into her closet and dresser.  I also made some art in Photoshop, printed it and framed it (along with re-matting and framing a painting my grandmother commissioned for me when I was 1).

6.  On Tuesday we went on our traditional pumpkin picking adventure half a mile from our house.  Jeremiah trooped around the fields and presented pumpkins for my approval.  We found three nicely shaped ones and decided against carving them so they'll last the whole month.  They look great sitting on the front porch.

This pumpkin is to represent the baby.
My belly is bigger. :)  Don't mind my
face, I've been in a no make up mood
for a while.
7.  Today I finally finished the last bit of decorating and got the fabric hoops up over her crib!!  I still want to add her first initial to the middle hoop and I'm going to put sticky tack on the back of all of them to give them a little more permanence but for all intents and purposes, the nursery is done!

I am very happy with it!  I need to get out my wide angle
and take a photo of the whole room next.
I am 32 weeks (as of yesterday) and most definitely feeling pregnant.  She is developing perfectly and likes to kick and stretch my belly throughout the day but mostly at night.  I have started bi-weekly doctors visits, which is crazy to me.  We start our prenatal class in a week and a half.  I have her bag packed and ready to go and most of mine is done as well.  We're reaching the home stretch!

My cats are too cute.  Dobby snuggled up so close to Simba
that Simba had to drape his leg around Dobby's back.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Almost through the second trimester

I am 26 weeks along today, I can't believe how quickly this is going.  I can feel Little Miss kicking away a lot of the time, especially at night when I am trying to sleep. :)  She'll get bunched up on one side and I can feel the shape of her head or bum (actually not sure which is which...) and that's probably the weirdest/coolest thing, actually feeling this little body we've managed to create (with a lot of help from the wonderful people at Utah Fertility in Pleasant Grove).

I am getting really excited to meet her but I'm glad we still have about three months.  I am a member of a birth forum for December 2012 babies and several of the mothers have given birth already due to complications and their babies are fighting for their lives in the NICU (some haven't made it, which breaks my heart).  It makes me super grateful for the easy pregnancy I've had (hope I didn't just jinx myself).  She has done perfectly well the entire time and except for one very minor episode of spotting early on, we haven't had to be worried about anything.  Not that we didn't worry, we just didn't really have a reason to worry.  I think it comes with being first time parents so we don't really know what's "normal", compounded with our fertility struggles and two losses.  We're getting better about that...

I continue to find things to make for her (I've made three of those little pillowcase dresses in a variety of forms and I'm working on altering a onesie into a dress) and I'm really happy with how the nursery is shaping up.  I really wanted it to be an attractive space and it's actually looking the way I imagined it would (this does not happen to me very often).  On Monday, for our Family Home Evening activity, we hung paper lantern/balls in one corner to give a little more dimension/interest to that part of the room.  I instructed, Jeremiah hung.  It worked out quite well. :)  I got them at JoAnn's with my 40% off coupon which made them about $10.  They are a Martha Stewart party product, six to a box in three colors and two sizes.  I was thrilled that the colors were a great match for the corals and pinks in the room.  We used clear 3M hooks on the ceiling and white ribbon that my Cub Scout master hubby tied into taut lines so I can adjust the height if necessary. I'm happy with, if I could just get those darned curtains done.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Owl Taggie

I was on Pinterest a few days ago and saw this adorable little owl taggie blanket from Etsy.  I thought to myself, "I can make something like that!"  So I did.  Mine isn't quite as cute and next time I'll probably find a tutorial on making a taggie blanket rather than trying to wing it (my ribbon ears fell off and I put the wings on the wrong side) but overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Here's what I did:

Cut two body pieces 12x16, one from flannel and one from minky
Cut two semi circles from the minky (7 1/2" down the long edge)
Various lengths of matching ribbon
Two circles of felt for eyes, 1 triangle of felt for beak.

I sewed the ribbons to the my front piece so they pointed inward (that way they'd pop out when I flipped the blanket later).  I should have sewn them all right up to the edges but I didn't and that caused issues.  I had a couple at the each corner for ears and feet and three down each side.  I should have done the side pieces after the wings.

For the wings I took one semi circle (more like an oval, really) and folded it in half, right sides together then sewed around the edge, leaving a hole to turn right side out.  I decided to add a little stuffing to the wings for some extra dimension/texture but I think I may have overdone it a bit.  I sandwiched the wings between the front and back pieces of fabric, with the rounded edges toward the middle and pinned.

I pinned the front and back pieces (right sides together) all the way around and sewed them together, leaving the necessary hole for turning.  I turned it and stitched up the hole.

I appliqued the felt face pieces on (helps kind of "quilt" the two pieces so they don't shift so much) and added the cute flower button eyes.  Voila!

On a non-sewing but related topic, I am 25 weeks today.  In just over three months or roundabouts, we will be welcoming our sweet little girl who likes to kick me while I sit at the sewing machine...or when I'm on the couch with a book...or laying in bed trying to sleep.  I can't wait to meet her!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Baby Project

I know I already posted three projects today but I had some time to kill after I got dinner in the oven and before Jeremiah got home so I decided to look through some of my Pinterest pins and I found this quick little tutorial on fabric blocks.  I had exactly 12 squares left from the play mat project which was enough for two blocks.  In less than 30 minutes, they're done.

What do you think?  I almost put a bell inside each one but when I realized I'd have to go through my Christmas decorations to find them, I decided against it (plus, I have no idea if she'll be one of those kids who turns out super strong and demolishes things like this, in which case I'd rather not put choking hazards in her toys).


More baby-related projects

I've gotten a little behind in blogging because of BYU Education Week.  My mother-in-law came up and we spent a week on campus going to a ton of great classes.  By the time we got home, though, we were really too tired to do anything but decide what restaurant to go to for dinner. :)

I have three new projects finished, though.  I'm having so much fun getting ready for this baby; I hope I'm able to do half as much for the next one so s/he doesn't feel short changed.

The first project I finished is a sleep sack.  I bought a minky one from Bebe Bella on an awesome sale but realized I could probably make my own for even cheaper than that using fleece and a nifty online tutorial.  This one, to be exact.

Fleece is harder to sew than I thought; I got a piece of material stuck in my machine that almost had me in tears but thankfully Jeremiah came to my rescue.  I was a scaredy cat and didn't want to try the bias tape around the arms and neck so I thought I'd just use the overcast stitch to kind of "finish" it; next time I'll attempt the bias tape.  Also, I didn't do the zipper quite right; I used a 1/4" seam allowance instead of 1/2" so there wasn't enough material to keep the flap nicely sewn down.  I decided to just cut the flap off and it doesn't look great.  Functional, but not great.  Since it wasn't shaping up so nicely, I decided to do a cute little owl applique.  I created the outline from a piece of scrapbooking clipart I have without realizing how hard it would be to go around all the little edges but it turned out ok.  All in all, I would try this project again but be a little more exact and maybe use a cute printed fleece instead of the plain.  It's quite boring.  At least she has something to help keep her warm and that was the goal.

The second project was one I started a couple of weeks ago and got finished up yesterday.  Before I made the final selection on the nursery fabric, I thought I wanted to go with this line from Moda, called A Walk in the Woods.  It was no longer in stock at the Corn Wagon Quilt Company (a fantastic quilting store here in town) so I took a gamble and ordered two charm packs online.  It wasn't exactly how I remembered it and ultimately I went with other fabric for the nursery.  I decided to use the charm packs to make an easy play mat/changing mat to keep downstairs or in the car.  I put the squares together in a pretty random fashion, six rows of six for both the front and the back.  I have some fusible batting that I cut to size, pinned the three layers together (fabric right sides together, batting on the wrong side of one piece) and sewed around them, leaving enough space to turn the whole thing inside out.  I ironed the whole thing, fusing the batting to both fabric layers so I wouldn't have to do extensive tying or quilting later, sewed up the hole for turning and zigzagged around the whole thing.  I used a satin stitch to tack down the center and four inside corners and I was done.  I probably could have done the whole thing in about 3 hours.  I'm pretty happy with it.

The last project is a "pillowcase" dress I started last night and finished in stages today in between hair and massage appointments.  Altogether it probably took 75 minutes and I'm thrilled with it!  It's my first dress and I think it's adorable.  I got the tutorial from this website.  I made a 0-3 month template using a piece of poster board and her instructions.  For materials, I used two fat quarters I've had lying around for a couple of years and about 18" of ribbon I bought a couple months ago that was a serendipitous match.  After the sleep sack debacle I decided to try the bias tape in the arm holes as suggested but I didn't have any single fold at home and didn't want to run to the store just for that (since I knew I'd leave with way more than just that).  I decided to make my own using some of the left over fat quarters.  It was actually really easy; I made the bias tape and finished both arm holes in 20 minutes.  I just love it and can't wait to go find a couple of blue, brown or cream long sleeve onesies for her to wear with it (since it will be winter).