Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Can't Tell You How Much I love This Man

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary. This year and every year following this one will mark more years together than apart. I always knew I would marry him and love him the rest of my life. Even at 16. Many would think that, that was silly or naive. But, I knew...

For 15 years we've been through it all together. And, I wouldn't want it any other way. He's my partner in life. My best friend, and other half of of my soul. Our relationship is always growing and changing. But, always in the same direction.
He loves me.... and shows it every day. I feel privileged and honored to know him and love him in return. And, I never want to take him or us for granted.
Just look at this family we have made together. I don't think life could get any better than this.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Aren't they beautiful? Seriously.... I must have taken 500 pics of them yesterday. Thank goodness we have a digital camera. More family pics to come tomorrow. Cael decided he had enough photos taken by the time his daddy got home from work.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Infant Bouncy Seat Cover Tutorial

This is a tutorial to make a cover and detachable blanket for a basic infant bouncy chair. Basically, it's a oval with elastic around it that slips over the chair. Slits are cut for the safety straps and separating zippers are added so a blanket can be zipped on and off.... Think “Bundle Me” only for a bouncy chair. This tutorial assumes that you have basic sewing knowledge and is really just a very basic tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions.

- Infant Bouncy Seat
- Approx 1.5yrds fabric. I used polar fleece that I found on sale. You will want something with a pinch of stretch that is warm and cuddly
- 3/8” Elastic – but really anything that size of wider is fine
- 2 – 20” long separating zippers – you could do one long zipper, but I like having the ability to unzip just one side.
Step One.
Lay your fabric over the seat. Press it down into the seat and pin in pleats where the bucket part of the seat is. Remove and sew the pleats.
Step Two:
Lay your fabric back on the seat and cut the excess fabric off around the seat leaving at least 4-5” all around.
Step Three:
Fold fabric over in back all around to make casing for the elastic. Thread elastic through and put cover on seat and tighten elastic until it fits nicely.
Step Four:
With the cover on the seat, use your fingers to feel around for the safety straps. Cut slits in the fabric for the straps to go through. Cut the oval for the vibration button to if you want. *note that I'm using a non-fray fabric so I just cut my slits and didn't “finish” the edges.
Step Five:
Lay your zippers on the cover and pin it all the way up. I went up approx 18”. I only wanted my blanket part to zip up to my sons chin so I don't have to worry about suffocation. Once pinned, remove the cover and sew down the zippers
Step Six:
Try it out with baby in. So cute!! Now, that baby is in measure for the top blanket part. It's basically a oval with the top cut off. This doesn't have to be exact. I layed my fabric on top and used a pen to outline the shape of the seat, then I added about 6” to the width and cut it plenty long enough. *note that I cut out two pieces here so that I could have two layers for my blanket and a nice finished zipper.

Step Seven:
Add zipper to top part of the cover. You will need to gather it down near the bottom. This will give baby room to kick legs and give extra room for bulky clothing or another blanket. Once that's done try it on the seat and make sure it fits nicely before you sandwich the zipper with the other side of the cover.
Step Eight:
Add the other side of the blanket and sew it all up.... I made the top of my blanket part have a “u” shape so it dipped a little up top.

Step Nine:
The raw edge of the zipper on the seat cover drove me nuts. So, I cut some 1” wide stripes of my fabric and then sewed it down over the raw zipper edge. Nice and neat now.

Step Ten:
Finished!! Put baby in the seat, zip em” up and oooh and awwww. Our son loves this seat. And, the blanket is so nice and comfy for him and convenient for me!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Think I Have A Problem With My Brain Being Missing.....

The past 2 months have moved by like a blowing fog. Most days I honestly couldn't tell you the date, let alone what day of the week it is. The only things that seem to be marking the passing of time are my rapidly growing new son, the weather, and my two daughters who are so very excited for the upcoming holidays.
As I sit here listening to the laundry going, the smelling the crock pot doing it's job, and watching Cael sleep, I find myself itchy to do more than just the "new baby in the house" stuff. And, yet I'm certainly not bored. Caring for my new son fills most of my days. And, he honestly gives me a sort of peaceful calm. The kind of calm that makes it hard to feel motivated to do anything else except stare at him and play with him. Things like laundry, keeping the kitchen clean, cooking, and just general house cleaning is all I've really been doing while my girls are at school. Some days those things don't even get done. Evenings are filled with homework, dinner, and the general craziness of raising a family.
I think what I'm looking for is more concentrated sewing/art time. I have so many ideas for Christmas presents and Cael really needs more diapers sewn up. Trying to find any kind of rhythm to my day so I can do those things is nearly impossible. My brain just can't keep up..... I used to be able to keep everything in order in my head. You know.... the things that your family members should do/remember but always forget so you have to remember for them. Things like: grab that extra coat , bring snacks, grab the water bottles for Ray's soccer practices, lunches in the backpacks, etc. Now it seems that if my family forgets those things that are normally theirs to do, I'll forget too. Oh well.....
For now I think I'll just feed my son (who's now awake) and maybe cut out a diaper or two if he's up for sitting and watching me. Oh... and maybe when the girls get home from school they can help me find my brain. I have a feeling that it's somewhere upstairs in the bedroom where sleep used to be.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cael James

Born August 26th, 2010 at 7:35am. Weighing 8lbs 7oz and 21 ¼” long.
Our little man has come into the world. Here is his birth story and first month of life.

I went into labor on Wednesday the 25th dinner time. I wasn't sure it was real labor until around 10:00pm or so. We decided to take nap because my contractions were still 10 min or so apart and they weren't hurting to much yet. We slept from 11:00 until around midnight. I woke up in some good pain and they were coming every 4-5 min. We got our things together and woke up the girls. My mom took the girls to my brothers house for the night and my hubby and I headed to the hospital. It takes approximately 45 min in good traffic to get the hospital. And, boy am I glad that it didn't take any longer! I was having contractions every 90 seconds to 3 min in the car. And, they hurt. When we got to the hospital my Midwife and a nurse were waiting for us. We got set up in our room and I was already 7 cm dilated. They quickly got my IV started and I soon had my epidural. Baby was still posterior (sunny side up...basically he was looking the wrong way and his head was coming out biggest part first) so my midwife had me move from one side to the other and they even got me up sitting to help him turn over. It worked and after just 30min of pushing he came out. They put him on my chest all gooey and beautiful and he just looked around in a daze. Compared to my labor and delivery with the girls this one went very smoothly. We stayed in the hospital until the next evening and then we went home.

His First Week:

Our little man wanted to do nothing but nurse during that first week. So the first few days home all I did was feed him. I wanted my hubby to be able to sleep during the night so that he could take care of our girls during the day. Big mistake there! I didn't really sleep at all that first week. Talk about sleep deprivation! His second week went better. My milk came in so he was sleeping and nursing a bit better. I was also waking up my hubby to help out more in the night. He got so much love from his sisters and family. He's such a good baby and so stinken cute!

Day 15:

We ended up at Children's hospital on day 15. He was projectile vomiting and our pediatrician said it could be pyloric stenosis and that he needed to be checked out at the hospital. I've never taken any of my kids to the hospital before so I was really shaken up and scared. The girls went to a family friends house and my mom hopped in her car and made a 4 hour drive to be with us. He ended up having an ultrasound, x-ray and catheter (to get a urine sample). His stomach looked fine, and his intestines looked fine. They said his kidney tubes thingies that were immature at 32 weeks still looked a bit small. They thought he might have a kidney or bladder infection so they took a urine sample. Everything came back clean. He said he was a real mystery to them. So, they sent us home telling us that it was most likely reflux and to keep him upright after feedings and gave us things to watch for over the next few days. Scarry....
The next two weeks:

They really flew by fast. My mom was here during week 3 when hubby when back to work. It was sooo nice having her here. She helped with the girls and housework. And, she watched Cael in the mornings so I could catch an extra hour or two of sleep. He had no more problems with vomiting. We were feeding him a bit less and keeping him upright. We think maybe he was overeating.
Love his little "pouty face". My brother made this same face as a baby.

He was a month old yesterday. And, boy has he grown. He's between 11 and 12 pounds and I'm sure he's grown at least an inch. (I'll check on that later... he's sleeping now) He's doing everything a newborn should be doing. We've been using cloth the last few weeks (more on that later) and we are loving it. The girls are doing great with him. Alaina wants to hold him and watch him. Rachel mostly likes to look at him and try to play with him. He really rounds out our family. He's got a very peaceful soul and is a very loving baby. We couldn't love him more.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

39 Weeks & Our Pregnancy Story

Here I am... 39 weeks pregnant and ready to pop.
Below is my pregnancy in all it's glory. We've had a stressful, worrisome, anxious, and nerve wracking pregnancy. I kept things simple and left out our emotions about each event. But, trust me.... There have been lots of tears and honestly, I won't really feel peaceful about any of this until our son is in our arms and we know for certain that he is healthy.
Week 8: Pregnancy confirmed, dating ultrasound done. Due date September 2, 2010

Week 12: Genetics test done. Prick on finger for blood test (ouch!) and ultrasound done. Ultrasound looked good, but blood work showed we had a .53% chance of having a baby with downs syndrome. Genetics counselor calls to talk to me about our options. Decisions made at next appointment.

Week 16: Genetics consultation and Ultrasound. Consultation with the counselor was kind of a joke. She strongly advised us that we should have an amnio done as well as a few other blood tests. Amnio has a .5 – 1% chance of miscarriage. We declined the amnio and more blood work in favor of another ultrasound. Ultrasound showed that the fluid in the spine looked ok, all soft structures look fine (nose in particular), and all other organs looked fine, but the fatty fold in the back of the neck was borderline normal. Our risk for downs is still .53%. They suggested a heart echo with our standard 20 week ultrasound. It's a boy!!!!

Week 22: Standard 20 week ultrasound and heart echo. After a 2 hr. ultrasound we were told by the gleamingly happy doctor that everything looked great and that of all the ultrasounds this one was the most important in terms of any abnormalities. She said he looks perfectly healthy, BUT..... his kidneys are more immature than normal. She said that it's fairly common at 22 weeks to have kidneys that aren't fully functioning, but that we would need to come back at 32 weeks for another ultrasound to check to see if they are working normally. It's still a boy!!

Week 24: Monthly Check up. Been having braxton hicks for almost 2 weeks. Midwife looks at my chart and sees that my first baby came at 41 weeks and the second at 37 weeks. She says that with braxton hicks so soon that it is “very likely baby will come at or before 37 weeks”. No lifting over 25 lbs. And to take it easy when I have more than normal braxton hicks.... Great.

Week 32: Kidney ultrasound done. Baby still looks great. Right kidney was easily viewable and is pushing fluids as normal. Left kidney was tougher to see, but looks ok. We were told to let our pediatrician know just so she can be aware in case he has issues in the first year.

Week 36: Monthly check up and strep b culture. Normal visit. Yeah!!

Week 36 and 1 day: Midwife called to say that I tested negative for strep B, but I have strep A. (most commonly strep throat) Didn't know how I got it, but they put me on antibiotics.

Week 37: Weekly Check up. Strep A culture taken to make sure antibiotics worked. We found out that I caught it from the hospital when we went to visit Curtis's grandfather. He had staph in his blood and a different infection in a hole in his foot due to Diabetes. Midwife said that there are lots of strep bacterias and that she hopped that mine wasn't antibiotic resist.

Week 37 and 2 days: Midwife calls and says I'm clear of all strep A!!!!

Week 38: Weekly Check up. Nothing fancy this time! I'm dilated to 1 and I'm getting close.

Week 39: Weekly Check up. I've had braxton hicks and what I call “pelvic grinding” for the past 4 days. Peeing every hour through the night. Generally big, very tired, and ready to give birth. No induction set... but I'm now 3 cm dilated and 75 – 80% effaced. Midwife does a sweeping of the membranes to help induce labor naturally. Ouch!! If my body is “ready” I may go into labor in 12-24 hours. We'll be taking a walk tonight and I'll be puttering around the house to encourage labor.

Hopefully my next baby/pregnancy related post will be our birth story and pictures of new baby!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Coming Home Outfit For Cael

This little set is for bringing baby home. Which should be very very soon! The top is made from a pattern that I made myself based on another NB side snap shirt. The little pants are from the Little One Layette pattern. The diaper is a Very Baby NB dipe. (he will most likely come home in a sposie, but I'm bringing this just in case) And, the hat I made a while back. It doesn't really match the blues in the outfit, but I really don't care. I love the hat, so it's comin along.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baby Day Jamies For My Girls

I've been making jamies for my girls since they were born. These are special jamies. Made for the day my hubby and I leave to go to the hospital to birth our son. (well....I'll be doing the birthing, he'll be doing the "hubby" thing) The girls will be spending the day and night with family. These jamies, a book, and a new duffel bag will be given to each of the girls. I hope it'll help remember how much they are loved. And, also help them be less nervous about mommy being in the hospital.

I love how these jamies turned out. First up is a nightgown for Ray. I used this pattern by Fishsticks Designs. I made the size 10 and shortened the dress length by about 5". I love love love this fabric. The little giraffe's are so darned cute! It took some digging at the fabric store to find a co-ordinating fabric for the top, but I managed to find one. And, in the clearance area!!
For Ali's jamies I made her a tank and shorts set. Both shorts and tank were made with this Simplicity pattern. For the shorts I found the softest cotton flannel that I have ever felt before. It's new at JoAnnes and I will be buying tons more of this stuff in different colors. I'm pretty proud of the tank top. I used a rib jersey knit for the body and some lingerie fold over elastic for the straps, armpits, and neck areas.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sports Bra To Nursing Bra Tutorial

I needed some inexpensive sleep nursing bras for after baby comes. But, at $20.00 a pop, I knew that I would need to come up with my own solution. I was at good ol' WallyMart the other day and saw a wall of different style sports bras in all sizes (even plus sizes!) for $10.00 / 3 pack! I also purchased swim suit / lingerie hooks at the fabric store. For a total of $14.00 for 3 bras. On with the tut!

Sports Bra
Swim Suit / Lingerie Hook
Swing Machine (hand stitching would be fine too)
Step 1:
Cut straps as low as you can. You don't want to cut so low that you don't have enough strap left to fold over and attach to your clip.
Step 2:
Thread top part of strap through the “loop” side of the clasp and sew down the strap on the back.
Step 3: (This step isn't necessary. I did two of my bras without this step and they work fine)
The lower part of bra strap here was too wide for the “hook” side of the clasp so I made a pleat and sewed it down on both sides of the pleat.
Step 4:
Fold down the top part of the bottom strap to create a “loop” that your “hook” side of the clasp can slip through.
Step 5:
Do other strap the same as the first. And, then your finished!! (finished bra pic at top of tutorial)
In less than 30 min. here is a pretty stack of the 3 finished nursing sleep bras. The top blue one does not have the pleat that the one in the tut has and it works great!
*Note that smaller size bras may need a smaller swim suit / lingerie hook than mine are. They came in 2 or 3 sizes. This tutorial will also work with spaghetti strap sports bras. Just buy an appropriate clasp to attach.