Monday, January 31, 2011

Sewing for baby

We are waiting on "snowmageddon" here. Heavy ice, sleet, and up to two feet (!!) of snow in some areas. Which areas? No one knows. The tv is full of panic talk - national guard, what to do when you are without power for days on end, how to feed yourselves, what to have on hand, etc.

It's a good time.

I am REALLY hoping we don't lose the power. With a three week old baby the idea of days of no electricity is slightly terrifying.

So I am doing whatever other totally irrational mother would do, sew for the baby!
I started with this Martha Stewart baby kimono . Which in typical Martha fashion took me DAYS to complete and made me want to poke out my eyes with a fork.

You know a project is not going well when the EASY part is sewing on the world's tiniest seam binding.

It looks sweet though. And now I have the bug. I want to sew more cute things for the baby!

Have any good links to share?

(I would show you a photo of it on the Junebug, but Lord almighty she has had a rough two days and I will not be waking her up for a photo session.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Love for Sammi

The heart to heart boxes are arriving and many of them are stuffed with love for Sammi.
Tiff sent this gorgeous doll quilt for her doll quilt wall, made with lavender and green reproduction prints! Love it.

It's already hanging above her little doll bed. :-) Thank you Tiff!

Sammi has had to go be weighed every.single.week at the ped because she is not gaining weight. Apparently most babies gain one ounce per day and our little spitfire is only gaining 1/2 an ounce PER WEEK. She is still 5 ounces down from her birth weight.

We have another appointment on Weds (which we will likely miss to due to a huge winter storm that should be barrelling down on us by Weds), so I have been giving her formula every single time I feed her. Even if she already seems satisfied with breast milk. And I have been waking her to eat every 2 hours.

All of which goes against my usual "feed on demand" philosophy.

And yet, the baby still does not look fatter to me. She still has that very lean newborn look to her arms and legs. And I am (more than) terrified that she is going to be labeled "failure to thrive".

Maybe if we all think "fat baby, fat baby" thoughts she will pass her test this week?


A mother can hope, can't she?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Musings on the journey

At some point near the end of my pregnancy, I thrifted this new with tags pottery barn kids pillow cover. I knew I wanted to put the baby's initial on it, but with us still not having chosen a name it had to wait.

I finally finished it yesterday. Because the baby has a name now. I think it wasn't obvious to a lot of folks (including a rude, scolding midwife) that the lack of a name for the baby was a self protection mechanism. Not naming her somehow was shielding me from the fear of the loss of her.

While I was sewing Dave mentioned a co-worker's wife who is struggling right now. She has a newborn, a 3 year old and a travelling husband. And she is crying a lot.

I couldn't help but remember how much I cried when Jack was born. And I couldn't help but notice that at 16 days out this time, I feel no need to cry. In a way I am finding myself in a strange place.

I snuck out yesterday (the ped wants Sammi and I to be quarantined in the house until March!) to look for a special box for Sammi's mementos which are piling up on the counter and as I was wandering Homegoods with her in a sling someone stopped and asked if that was my first baby.

I just smiled and said my first was 6 years old now. She replied "I knew it couldn't be your first, you look way too relaxed."

And for a brief moment I thought about what it took to get here.

Except that like with many things about pregnancy and childbirth, some of those things are starting to seem like a dark and distant memory. They are becoming that hazy shade of gray that starts to get really fuzzy around the edges. They are fading into that place where you start to wonder if that really DID happen or if you just imagined it did.

I didn't anticipate that.

I kind of figured my journey over the last two years would be this big scar that I had to keep working to get beyond.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice that it's fading into the world of baby grunts and groans and up all night nights and the loss of that newborn umbilical cord and big gummy smiles, but it is also a bit surreal.

My mantra through all of this has been "it's all temporary." If my time with Jack has taught me anything it is that. I know that just as soon as I start to think I cannot take one more minute of the current state of things it will change and it will be okay again.

I reminded myself of that every single day that Samantha was still in the belly. Every day was a day closer to the end of that worry, every day was a day closer to a baby.

I guess every day now is a day farther away from the hardest days we have known thus far.

And it really WAS temporary.

That wasn't just some bullshit lie I was telling myself to get through another day.

And I AM more relaxed. But not because she is my "second child", but because she is the second in a string of many. And that string of many taught me there is so little in the world that I have actual control over. Because of that there really is nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.

And what a crazy ride it is.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Around here

It's been snowing.
And then it snowed some more.
And then it snowed yet again. Something like 12 inches and 5 days in the house with all 4 of us.
Sammi is doing her best to sleep all day and stay up all night. And eat every.single.hour. (I hate breastfeeding. I really do. I can manage it for awhile, but wow, it just plain sucks for me.)

She is already changing so much. And I still continue to marvel at the fact that we actually have two kids. I made it to the end and I made another baby. Whoa.
I had Jack make some felt hearts to entertain him for 12 minutes. He does all the work himself now - the cutting of the patterns, the pinning to the fabric, the cutting of the fabric, the stuffing, etc. He can sew them together too, but to lessen his frustration I just whipped them together on the machine.

Now I need to convince him to make some more so my big bread bowl thing is full of his hearts!
I've been trying to finish some of the projects that were *this* close to finished when I started having to walk around in labor for days on end. This little yo-yo doll quilt took the longest time!
But it is super sweet.

The yo-yo's are about quarter sized.

I have one more thing to finish in her room then I can get some photos of it up.

I've been wearing my regular pants for a week now. Amen. At about week 37 I started crying for my regular pants. (Don't be too jealous, it's because I am a fat girl to start with. Ha.)

Sammi has not been gaining enough weight for the ped's liking, so we are having to go there every single week and have her weighed. I had a massive freak out over this on Wednesday. I am ready for that to be over. Hopefully this Wednesday will be easier.

The Valentines have started arriving. And they are wonderful, as always!

And that's about it for what's going on over here. Junebug is getting hysterical, so I am off to feed her. Again. :-)

Happy Monday to you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

One week later

Can it have been a week already? Today was your due date!

Samantha dear, you are fabulous. At one week old you are:
a suckaholic! fingers, paci's, your clothes, you name it, if it gets near your mouth you will suck on it.

pretty mellow. You cry when hungry or poopy, but otherwise there is very little drama.

wiggly! trying to change your diapers is like trying to wrangle an octopus.

a party all night kind of girl. (Which frankly sucks since your brother rises at 6 am every day.) But I did know that was coming. Even in the belly you were up all night.

the softest, sweetest little girl I have ever known. I am completely in love with your downy little head.
BIG! This little outfit I bought for you is dangerously small already. (And it is 0-3 months. Wowzer.)

But look at that sweet baby yawn.
totally enthralled with all things sparkly. Look Mom, I see that sparkly chandelier.
a smiler! You have been smiling since the moment you came out. (You make even bigger smiles than this, but they are hard to catch.)

Tomorrow Daddy goes back to work, Jack resumes his regular kindy schedule and mama here gets to juggle you and Jack, carpool, the house and life as the mama of two for the first time on my own.

Yippeee! :-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

As the world turns

Well, we are never without some drama over here.

Last night, after going to bed, Jack somehow managed to hit his head on the corner of his night table. There was plenty of blood (hello head laceration), a trip to the urgent care (again*), and two staples in his head.

And then I was up all night. Because there is nothing like your bleeding child to kick off your "OMG THE CHILDREN!" fears. LOL

At least we are consistent. We had to go to the ER when Jack was only 6 days old and Dave says there are no babies for us without multiple hospital visits. Ha. Wise acre he is.

Let the good times roll.

* That's our fifth hospital trip in 3 weeks. 3 for me, 1 for Dave (7 stitches), and now 1 for Jack.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The magic of ordinary days

Thank you all so much for all the warm wishes!

In my fuzzy new mommy brain, I remember those early days with Jack as being killer hard. I was scared and nervous and frantic and he cried so much. I found myself unable to feed us or dress us or even know my head from a hole in the ground.

I don't know if the difference this time is experience or my "advanced maternal age" LOL or just that every kid is different, but I find myself MUCH more relaxed this time. And actually able to get stuff done, just as I would any other day.

So for today:
Jack is out playing in the snow

and the Junebug and I are watching HGTV, making dinner in the crockpot and doing lots and lots and lots of laundry. Man alive! she and I are making a lot of dirty laundry.

I couldn't resist taking her photo like that, I am pretty sure we have one nearly exactly the same of Jack around here somewhere. She is even wearing his little sleeper. :-)

Anyway, her little baby belly is calling. Off with me again!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Meet our little Junebug

We had a baby. :-)

And we are all over the moon. Madly in love with every inch of her 8 lb 12 ounce (big!) little self.

A few quickie photos of our little Samantha:
Jack wants to hold her constantly.
After being in labor for 4 days*, once my water broke the hospital started pitocin and she arrived rather fast and furiously. (7 minutes of pushing out a transverse baby. Whoa.)
The hospital staff was FANTASTIC and worked hard to get us home after 24 hours when I told them Jack was REALLY not doing well without Dave and I at home. (Oh there were many tears.)

She has loads of REALLY dark hair.

And she is gobbling up formula like there is no tomorrow. (Unlike Jack who really only eats to live and was always that way.) If mama here doesn't make milk soon there may be no going back from the bottle. But you know what? I don't even care this time.

Samantha my darling, you have been in the making for 2 very long years. I am so overwhelmed with how amazing it is to be blessed with you. When they put you on my belly I felt this big rush of love and there is nothing on earth like it. I would go through every single moment of the heartbreak and scariness again to have you. (And I promise to try and remember that when you are three. LOL) We are ever thankful to every doctor, to every tech, to every little pill, to God and modern medicine for bringing you to us.

Welcome home baby girl. We love you.

*However, I never want to be in labor like that for days on end ever again. For real.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Still here

But not until at least one trip the hospital had been made. Yesterday I had HORRIBLE back pain which eventually convinced I should go to the hospital. I was having contractions every 8 mins, but still only 3 cm dilated, so I chose to go home.

I got a good night's sleep and feel loads better today.

Except I do not feel close to a baby today and I did yesterday.

At least there is time to round up a swing to replace my non working one, a breastpump and get some groceries.

C'est la vie.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Baby Watch

I had my 38 week/3 day appt today and I am 2-3 cm dilated and Miss Thing (the baby with no name still) is at a minus 2 station. Plus I am having contractions. And pressure. And generally feeling very crabby and achy and in pain and ready for this to be over.

My OB said he thinks we should have a baby over the weekend.

So I am packing a hospital bag, rounding up childcare for Jack, letting my dad know he needs to pack his bag so he can stay with Jack and otherwise wrapping up odds and ends here.

I know it could still be 11 days or more, but I am going to be positive and hope that this weirdness I am feeling means she is coming sooner rather than later.

So many of you have been with us on every step of this two year journey and I know you get it when I say this is both an exciting and yet very anxious time for us. I could use all of your good thoughts and prayers and positive energy that she will arrive soon (very soon!) and without too much drama.

Thank you! (Hopefully I will see you on the flip side with a new baby very soon. Otherwise I will be back to show you her room and continue to moan about my increasing discomfort. LOLOL)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ooops, I did it again

Really I am posting to let you all know that the heart to heart swap is FULL. All participants should have received a welcome email this morning. If you think you should have been in and have not received an email saying so (or that the swap is full), please let me know. There were a few of you I had to say no to since we were already full. :-(

My Feb issue of Country Living came this week and I fell madly in love with that blue rug in the corner. A rug from Urban Outfitters. Where I nearly had to go on a postal rampage to get the rug for the baby's room (which I ended up hating).

And what did I do?

I ordered that blue lacy rug immediately.

Let's just blame it on my hormones. Or let's hope this one is a home run. Ha.

If you never browse the Urban Outfitters website, you should. Really. Lots of "anthro-esque" style with much more affordable prices. (And no, they don't pay me to say that. Remember, they are the ENEMY*! LOLOL)

I mean how awesome are these?
Ruffle Quilt
ruffle curtains
candle holders
rose mirror
awesome letters

Oh, I could go on and on. :-)

*Their on line customer service is total crap. The manager at my local shop is awesome.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Rocking chair - from scary to sweet

First, if you have emailed about the swap, do not panic! I have to create a group file so I can just email everyone at once and that is taking me a little time. I have a bit of a headcold which was making me dizzy and as my time carrying my gigantic Miss Thing around is winding down I am just plain winded, weak and exhausted. 38 weeks today!
Near Labor Day, Dave and I went on one of our 100 mile yard sale things and I found this rocking chair. (I tried REALLY hard to buy everything for this baby second hand.) It was god awful ugly, but I like the rocking mechanism (hate those gliders!), and it was less than $10.

I had already picked up a super cute vintage chenille blanket first thing that morning and I thought I could just paint it, cover the cushions and be good to go.
Except when I washed those horrible 1980's cushions they sort of EXPLODED in the washer. (And nearly ruined my brand new washer. There were tears.)

So in early August I painted it white and decided I would buy some foam when it went on sale. (Foam is so expensive!)

I finally bought foam just before Christmas and while we have all been at home on Christmas break I cut and covered the foam and made a new skirt for it.

It turned out better than I had imagined. Even Jack said "this is the best chair in the house!"
On New Year's Eve it was a wild 70 degrees here. I thought the three cats looking out the window was just a cute photo worth taking. That is actually grandpa's "feral" cat in the middle. She was SO tiny when we took her in and wild as an old wet hen, but now I can't remember life without her. I think the whole baby thing is going to be hard on her, since she is my lap cat and unlike the other cats, she has never been around a noisy, screaming, fur pulling baby.

I am desperately trying to finish making the basket liners for the nursery (too freaking big to get close enough to the counter to cut the fabric, sigh), and I thought the mess of tiny pink socks and pretty little blankets and bits of shabby sheets was too pretty.

Now if I could just start winding the clock a little faster. Time is starting to slow down a bit too much!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Heart to Heart swap

So, all the Christmas decorations are down and your house is feeling a little empty and sad? Maybe you are looking for something to reignite your creative spark after months of busy, busy, busy?

Have no fear, the Valentine swap sign up is here! (I LOVE, LOVE pulling out my Valentine's every year. This swap is a truly fabulous way to fill up a Valentine tree or just add plenty of love to your house after the Christmas season is over.)

Here are a few of the Valentines from last year:
awesome cones that were filled with delicious candies;
sweet little chalkboards;
super fantastic little valentine girls;

and the sweetest mini banners!

The details:
I will accept up to 14 participants. Sign ups will close on Jan 5th, the Wednesday after the holidays or WHENEVER THE SWAP IS FULL. Please do not wait if you think you want in. This isn't a secret club. You don't need to be a blogger, be friends with a blogger, live next door to a blogger, have picked the nose of a blogger (heh), have participated before, show your i.d., be willing to sell your children, etc. I only ask that you are willing to commit in order to join.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make 14 Valentines and have them in the mail by Feb 1. (Sooner if you are an international participant.) You can make whatever kind of Valentine makes you happy. Use fabric, paper, buttons, clothes pins, paint, felt, etc. I made beaded flowers last year and you can see we had a wide variety of valentines. (Feel free to search "heart to heart" on the blog to see the rest of the valentines.) I generally will find packaging that can accommodate them as long as they aren't HUGE! :-)

Please enclose $4 to help cover the return postage. (More for international participants.)

I will mail you a lovely little handmade Valentine package containing one Valentine from each of the participants. When everything goes as planned that means you get 14Valentines.

PLEASE, PLEASE remember that other participants are busy making a Valentine for you and there really is no room for flaking out in this swap. Only sign up if you are serious about the commitment. If you are already known to have flaked on the heart to heart before your request will be denied. Sorry to be blunt, but it's frustrating for everyone.

To sign up email me at Include HEART TO HEART SWAP in the subject line for me please! THE SWAP IS NOW FULL, THANK YOU.

I cannot wait to see what everyone makes this year! (And I confess I bought something to make mine with months ago already. Why yes, I really do love this swap.)