Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mike's Watercolor

My husband Mike is quite an artist. He decided to paint a watercolor for his mom, and here's what he completed in basically one evening...

It's his first watercolor... I am impressed.

The Oldest She's Ever Been

Or Threadless, Part 1...
For Christmas we bought Phoebe several Threadless shirts to initiate her into our family of Threadless shirt lovers, and then I forgot to wrap them. Ah well, she gets to wear them all the same. She didn't even notice that we forgot one of her presents...

In the background of this picture you can see our stereo, which is her buddy. That chair she's sitting in is the chair that I feed her in, and whenever she's done eating she stares, smiles and chatters at the stereo. And most of the time it's not even on (we mostly listen to Pandora), so there's no music or lights to react to. We have no idea why she loves that stereo so much. Maybe someday she'll let us in on the secret.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

3 Months

Hip Baby Bag

Every mom needs a large bag to tote around all the paraphernalia that is necessary for every possible occurrence. My purse wasn't quite big enough, and the diaper bag I made for my sister was just a little too big for me. Then I found A Mingled Yarn's tutorial for her Hip Mama Diaper Bag, and I knew it would be a perfect fit. And let me tell you, I love it. I use it every day, and it holds nearly everything I could ever need (Jess's huge bag isn't looking so over the top now that I have a baby of my own).

The tutorial was great, and the instructions were very easy to follow. The only changes I made were to use fusible batting inside the strap and to add a loop with carabiner for a key holder.

Now I just need to make a changing mat to go along with it. I love this bag!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Post Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! We did Christmas a day early so that we could celebrate with Ali & Devin (Santa even made a special early delivery), so today Mike, Phoebe and I lounged, played games, read and didn't get out of our pjs. It was lovely.
Our Christmas was a marvelous success! I ended up with a wonderful set of cast iron cookware and nearly every Nigella Lawson cookbook there is, as well as Really, REALLY Fudgey Brownies and Scottish Shortbread, with the cookbooks to go with the recipes, plus so much more! The kids got many things from their wish lists, and a couple things not on their lists that were a big hit. I made Mike a book wallet and a monogrammed card holder (which I will get pictures of later).

The Christmas knitting was mildly successful. Mike's hat was perfect. The hats for the kids were ok... they have bigger heads than I thought! They've both grown into adult sized hats all of a sudden. Ali's hat looks pretty good on her, but kind of creeps up a bit, and Devin's hat doesn't get very far down his noggin... it makes him look like a fisherman.

Ah well, at least they humored me for a picture... Phoebe didn't get a Christmas hat since she got so many of them when she was born, but she will definitely be getting one next year. I really like this tradition.

The pj's were more of a definitive success. The pants fit everyone so well! It really helped that I measured them against pants that I knew fit them as I was cutting out and sewing them together, which curbed my tendency to make things roomier, just in case.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas PJs

It's Christmas PJ time, and I got them done before Christmas Eve! And since I was so ahead of schedule, I decided to make some matching slippers for Phoebe (using this pattern)...

And don't worry, the rest of us have new slippers too... fuzzy Crocs for the kids and LL Bean classics for Mike & I. I can't wait!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

2 Months


And now...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We like milk

Baby 1980
Baby 2009

The Nursery

Finished just in time!

Though the word "finished" is being used loosely because the crib still doesn't have a skirt (but it is cut out and in my sewing room), and the quilt I made is still waiting to be quilted. The quilt on the crib now is a gorgeous one my Aunt Terry made for Phoebe. But Mike got the trees painted on the walls the day before she was born. It's like she was waiting for that to happen before she came. "Nope, I cannot be in an undecorated room... I shall wait."

The art on the wall is all from Etsy. From left to right: Sharon Montrose, The Black Apple, Berkley Illustration, & Belle and Boo.

There is another smaller tree by the cradle that my dad made when I was a baby. He apparently designed it from these dishes. The story goes that when he was making it, he wanted to see what I (as a baby) was going to see, so got into the cradle, and got stuck. Now, I'm not sure whether he got stuck first, or fell asleep first, but thank goodness a photo was taken...

It has always made me smile to look at this picture and imagine my pregnant mother trying to hoist my father out of the baby cradle.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Almost 6 weeks old

I just can't believe it...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Cloth Bum

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper my baby. The thought of throwing away that much trash, as well as spending thousands of dollars over the diapering life of my child didn't appeal. Now there are a LOT of choices out there for cloth diapers, and a whole code that goes along with them. AIOs, prefolds, pockets, one-size... it's a bit intimidating. And then once you decide on a kind of diaper, there are a TON more brands of each kind.

So luckily, after researching cloth diapers online I came upon Soft Cloth Bunz (now Diaper Junction), and their exhaustive resources. They have articles on every kind of cloth diapering method you can think of, how many you need and how to take care of them. And their customer service is fantastic. Simple Mom also did a week-long overview of cloth diapering, and got me over my fear of prefolds and covers.
After reading up, we decided that we liked the sound of the one-sized All In Ones (AIOs). They seemed to be the option that we would most likely be able to stick with: the perfect balance of convenience for mom & dad and comfort for baby, and we would only have to buy one set of diapers to last from newborn to toddler. Our first purchase was a medley of different kinds of AIOs, and then after looking them all over, we decided that the BumGenius diapers were the ones for us.

Like I said above, I also got over my aversion to the prefolds and covers, so we picked up a couple of those as well. They're much more economical, and you can sometimes use the cover for more than one wear. So after testing those out, they work just fine too, but when it comes time to change a diaper, I find myself grabbing the AIOs instead of the prefolds. They're not that much more work, but they are kind of a pain to rinse.

And speaking of rinsing, one tool we picked up that makes cloth diapering even more manageable is the mini sprayer. No toilet dunking for us!
So after a month of cloth diapering, I can happily say that: 1. we're still cloth diapering (and have yet to use a disposable), and 2. our baby seems to love them. It takes a little planning to make sure that she'll have a clean diaper to wear, which means we do a lot more laundry, but it's easy laundry. And best of all, she's just so cute with her big poufy cloth diaper bum!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

She's here!

Phoebe Jean was born September 27, 2009 (her due date) at 10:24 p.m.

She was 8 lbs 6 oz, 20 3/4" long, and completely perfect.

more photos here...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

34 Weeks

Near constant baby aerobics... swollen ankles... feeling like she'll be here before we're ready... but so excited to meet her, I almost can't stand it!

Ali's Designs

Ali is becoming a prolific fashion designer. She's very organized about it, creating seasonal lines and keeping them all in books she makes herself.

I was once myself a prolific fashion designer (my mode of organization being clipboards filled to the brim with designs), and a current sewing/fabric-aholic, so I've been very excited to encourage her. So when we were planning our trip to New York, we decided we had to visit the Fashion District. For Ali. And, well, maybe just a little bit for me.

We took her to the Museum at the Fashion Institute, where she took photos and sketched her favorite designs.

And then went to check out some fabric stores, like real NY designers.

Luckily we were prepared with a project at the fabric stores (or at least Ali was), because it can get easily overwhelming being face-to-face with all that fabric. On the plane on the way over, Ali designed a skirt she wanted to make (though by the date in the photo below, I think this may not have been the original drawing)...

...carefully picked out the fabrics, and then made it when we got home. All by herself (with just a bit of guidance from me).

And it fits. And she loves it. I couldn't be a prouder step-mom... :o)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Knitting for Baby

With the belly expanding daily, I have been feverishly knitting. I did quite a bit of knitting at Ali's swim meets, which is cool because when I pull these sweaters and such out in the cold months it'll make me think of sitting by the pool in the 105 degree summer, slathered with sunblock, resting my swollen ankles on a cold water bottle. Ah, good times...

First it started with an accident...

After knitting this hat for myself over a year ago only to realize that I am a tight knitter and it didn't fit, I passed it on to a coworker's daughter. She loved it, and then it was accidentally washed. So before I even knew I was pregnant, it was returned to me "just in case".

When I had officially made the announcement, my mom sent me this hat made for me when I was a baby by my grandmother. It was knit flat and then seamed, and it looks like she may have run out of yarn at the very end, and thus the little snow cap on the top, which is completely adorable.

Then my own knitting started in earnest. I scoured my knitting books and Ravelry, and the knitting marathon began with a Placket Sweater, and then a matching hat...

Then I had booties on the brain, so I made these...


And felted...

Now I'm working on two sweaters simultaneously, a February Baby Sweater, and a Stripey Sweater. In my queue, with yarn a-waiting, are some Leg Warmies.

Um, yeah, so I guess you can tell we're having a girl, right?

Baby Shower Catch-up

Checking another item off my Catch Up post...

My sister decided on a train theme for her new baby's nursery since they live right down the road from a train museum, and hear the old steam trains puffing along all through the summer. So for the invites for her shower, Mike and I collaborated and came up with a little card on brown cardstock with a little hint of a train.

For the bedding I tracked down some old timey train fabric, and made a simple fitted sheet (using this fabulous tutorial) and skirt to match. Now I left the quilt to the last minute, so when I finally sat down to design it, simplicity was key. I decided to use as much whole cloth as possible, so this is what I came up with. I used the train fabric for the bottom, the blue and white stripe is a seersucker I got from Mood when we were in NYC, and the top is linen and felt for the appliqued train. I'm actually quite proud of the train, because I drew it myself, and it came out pretty much exactly as it was in my head which, with my paltry drawing skills, never happens

So technically, the bedding wasn't the shower gift, so I decided to make a diaper bag. I made the Modern Diaper Bag from Little Stitches.

And the inside view...

Ok, so this bag is HUGE. Ridiculously huge. Like you could fit the baby in here, along with all of his stuff. And it will totally stand up on its own with all the layers upon layers of interfacing. It is definitely a sturdy bag. But my sister uses it, and that makes up for all the swearing I did trying to get the sewing machine to growl over the thick seams when I was topstitching.