Friday, August 26, 2011

check it off the list...

cell phone pic = poor quality, sorry

It is finished.  Finally.  The quilt I decided to make for Lily for her first birthday is done and on her big girl bed.  Did I mention that I decided to make a quilt with little to no actual sewing experience?  I mean, I can handle your average button replacement but quilting?  Nope.  Never done it.  How hard can it be right?

Epic Quilt Saga…

Sometime last year, I came across this fabric on Etsy I fell in love with.  I love fairies and I loved the retro-ness of this particular fabric from Alexander Henry (Sprites of Tillbrook).  So what could I do with it?  I thought about making Lily a quilt out of it.  It would be something she could keep forever and how special would that be?  We could put it on her first big girl bed when the time came.  It was the perfect first birthday present.  Done.  Now… how do you make a quilt?  After some research, I decided a puffy, soft tied quilt was the way to go.  My inspiration was the sunny tied quilt from The Purl Bee.  What’s that you say?  Your quilt doesn’t look anything like that one?  Well no, of course it doesn’t.  I had to change it in almost every way and make it harder.  Why?  That.Is.What.I.Do.

I decided on all the fabrics I wanted to use and even did the math to figure out the design and layout of my quilt and the necessary amounts of each fabric I would need.  This probably took me 10 times longer than it would take a normal person, but again, I wasn’t going to ask for help.  I will figure it out on my own.  Help, schmelp.  Once that was done, I had to find the fabric I needed.  It’s not like I could just pick a nice fabric from Joanne’s and go buy it.  Nope.  I chose a designer fabric that had been out of print for a while and wasn’t available in stores.  What I could find online either wasn’t in a large enough quantity or it was too expensive.  Finally I think I found some on Etsy and some on Ebay and I was ready to start.

Did I mention I had no sewing experience?  Even cutting the fabric was hard for me.  Using a rotary cutter, mat and ruler thingy, I think it took me a couple long sessions of just getting the fabric cut.  The sewing wasn’t too bad.  I did a pretty good job and before too long the quilt top was done.  I think I finished that sometime last fall… probably after her first birthday in October.

For almost the past year, the top of the quilt has sat in our bedroom on my sewing table waiting patiently for me to finish it.  Did I mention that I love to start projects and not finish them?  I am a procrastinator and I only work well under deadlines.  Well, baby sister needing the crib and moving Lily into her big girl bed was the final kick in the ass deadline I needed to get the job done.  But sewing with a toddler around?  Not really possible.  “Doin’ Mama?”  Sewing Lily.  “Lily sew?  Lily push it?  Mama… Lily do it please?”  How about we play blocks instead?  Some day Mama will teach you to sew.  “Ok Mama, let’s play blocks.”  I needed the entire living room floor to lay out, measure and cut the back of the quilt fabric.  Then, it had to be secured to the carpet with pins and the center batting and top laid out.  This was no something that could be done with Lily around.  So Lily went to Grandma Becky’s and Grandpa Tim’s for the past weekend and I spent all of Saturday crawling around the floor of our living room getting the pieces put together.  The fabric I chose for the back is a silky soft minky dot fabric.  It’s amazingly soft, but super stretchy and very hard to work with.  Of course it is… I wouldn’t have picked something easy to use my first go around at this quilt thing. 

I had to tie all three sections together, trim the edges and then bind and pin them together.  It took all day and by the time I gave up it was after my bedtime and I could no longer walk.  I then told my husband to please add making a quilt to the list of things I am not allowed to do while pregnant.  It is second only to making jam.  I tried that with Lily and it was torture… and I love making jam.  A couple times this summer I’ve thought about making some jam.  Then I remember Jeff reminds me how badly my back and feet hurt after I was done.  No homemade jam for us this year.  Anyway… back to the quilt.

I was hoping to finish it Saturday so when she came back on Sunday it was on her new bed and done.  Have I mentioned that I always think I can do things faster than I can?  Another one of my quirks.  I had to “let go” of that idea.  She loved her bed even without the quilt.  But thankfully I was able to finish it this week after she went to bed one night.  Did it turn out perfect?  No.  But I am extremely happy with it anyway.  A big step for a perfectionist like myself.  The quilt went on the big girl bed last night.  What did Lily think?  She loves fairies too and every time she’s seen it in our room over the past year, she pulls it down, says “fairies Mama fairies!” and get’s so excited.  What does she say last night when I show it to her?  “Grass!”  She thinks the green ties are grass.  Awesome.  Well, she’ll appreciate it someday… right?

So let’s review…
  • I like to think I can do anything, even with little to no experience
  • I like to make things harder than they need to be
  • I don’t like to ask for help
  • I like to start projects and never finish them
  • I procrastinate and do not work well without deadlines
  • I always think things will take less time to finish than humanly possible
  • I am a perfectionist who is trying really hard to learn to let go… sometimes

big girl bed - I also refinished the headboard in the past couple weeks... I know, I know it was one more thing... but I really wanted it to be white and distressed... it's cute

close-up of the fairies
close-up of cute zig-zag stitch in green thread
close-up of ties - "grass"
she wanted her hoo-hoos in the picture but wouldn't stop trying to look at the picture on my phone before I could take it :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

things that make pregopotomus happy...

Mango Chobani: The 2% version is so creamy and wonderful.  My second favorite is pineapple

Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap: Even on the hottest most humid days, this and a cool shower is the only recipe for comfort – pregnant or not

Nutella and white bread sammiches – yes I said white bread

Smoothies from Tropical Smoothie: I currently can’t get enough of the following
    • Orange Dream
    • Cranberry Truffle
    • Strawberry Lemonade

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The husband and I decided that it was time to move Lily out of her crib and into a big girl bed. 

Did she complain about her crib?  No. 

Is she too big for her crib?  No. 

Was she sleeping just fine in her crib?  Yes, for the most part (teething is mostly to blame for an off night).

However, with her sister due to arrive in 10ish weeks and in need of a place to sleep, we felt it was important to make this transition far enough in advance for Lily not to associate getting kicked out of her crib with her baby sister.  Why set a negative tone for their relationship from the start, right? 

So over the past few weeks I’ve been buying bedding and we’ve been discussing room layouts etc.  We live in a two bedroom townhouse, so baby sister will be sharing a room with us for a bit and Lily will keep her space.  I refinished an old headboard that Jeff’s parents kept from when he was little and we bought a new twin mattress set.  Everything was ready.  Lily went away to stay with Grandma Becky and Grandpa Tim for the weekend and Jeff did all the set up on Sunday before she got home.  He removed the crib and stored it in the basement and moved the rocking chair into our room.  She was very excited about her big-girl-bed and the first thing she did was jump up and down on it – so cute.

However, the love affair with the big-girl-bed promptly ended when she realized that the new bedtime process would no longer involve rocking in the rocking chair with one of us before bed time.  A meltdown ensued, I caved and rocked her for a bit in our room and then ended up holding her in her room till she fell asleep.  I laid her down blissfully unaware of her big-girl-bed or anything else till 4am.  Repeat rock - fall asleep - back to bed unaware process while I laid awake unable to go back to sleep at all and feeling awful.

To back up for a second, here is the logic we initially thought made sense… 

When baby sister arrives, we will clearly need the rocking chair more often for feeding.  Leaving it in Lily’s room just doesn’t seem feasible as we will need it all hours of the night for baby sister and we don’t want to wake Lily to use it; she is a light sleeper.  So since we will need to move it at some point into our room, why not just do it now and make the transition swift and complete?  She will be so excited about her big-girl-bed, she won’t mind the change.  Will I miss rocking?  Yes, but creating a new routine is probably best right?  How very, very wrong we were.

Last night’s meltdown was even worse.  I am adamant about not laying down in her bed with her.  That is one habit I refuse to create.  She needs to be able to fall asleep on her own and she’s been just fine with this in the past.  I don’t want that to change with a new bed.  So we read books and sat together in bed and sang countless rounds of twinkle, twinkle.  Again, I caved and we rocked in mama’s room for a few minutes and headed back to the big-girl-bed.  She wouldn’t lay down and wasn’t near enough to falling asleep for me to hold her.  She’s heavy.  We thought we would just try the leave quickly and cry it out method.  I lasted 20 minutes.  She didn’t just cry… she screamed.  I cried.  She called out for Grandma and Grandpa.  Anyone who may be listening.  She wanted to rock–rock.  I went back in her room to find her sitting at the end of the bed sobbing and screaming like I’ve never seen.  I held her and cried with her till she fell asleep next to me on the bed.  Gently I laid her down on her pillow once again, blissfully unaware of her big-girl-bed or the drama that she’d just been through.

Pregnancy causes me to be emotionally unstable as it is and I feel drained.  I will not do this again tonight.  She isn’t a big girl yet.  She needs to rock-rock and I need to rock-rock.  Jeff has to work late, so when we get home, Lily and I will be removing my bedroom door from the hinges and moving the rocking chair back into its rightful place in her room.  And tonight, we will rock-rock before bed.  Hopefully this will help her love her big-girl-bed and I won’t feel like the worst mama ever.

Anyone have a rocking chair you aren’t using?  Baby sister may need her own…

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blown Away...

Is this really my daughter?  When I look at this photo I feel like I am looking at her 20 years from now.  She is 22 months old. I have no words for how much I love this photo.

Kellee Laser took this amazingly gorgeous photo of my daughter a couple weekends back.  It was a beautiful (and hot) Sunday morning and we went to the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg.  I found Kellee over four years ago when I was working for Make-A-Wish.  She had taken photos of one of our cutie-patootie wish kids and the mom had shared them with us.  I knew then… before kids were even a part of our picture, that I wanted Kellee to take photos for us when the time came.  I have been waiting for the right time and debating spending the money on this for a while.  What happens if we book a session and nothing comes out?  What happens if Lily doesn’t want to have her photo taken that day or doesn’t warm up to Kellee?  What if it rains?  The what ifs were many.  We have only had Lily’s pictures professionally done one time so this was a big commitment financially for us.  But a dear friend said to me… “It is a lot of money, but they are only this age once.”  Done.  I haven’t even seen all the photos or decided on which ones we’ll keep, but I could not be happier with the sneak peak I have seen.  This one photo is worth every penny for me.  See more on Kellee’s blog.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dear Third Trimester...

Wow.  Where did you come from?  It seems like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant.  Suddenly here you are, marking the beginning of the final stretch of this journey.  It has gone so fast.  Of course, finding out you are pregnant when you are already almost nine weeks along probably also contributes to things feeling quick (more on that story to come)

Regardless, third trimester, please feel free to take your time.  I am not ready.  There are so many things to get in order still.  The end of summer is going to be busy with family, friends, projects and work.  As usual, I want to do more than I feasibly have time for.  There is less to buy this time around, for which I am so very grateful, but I still want to do some special things to get ready for this baby girl.  She needs some things of her own outside of Lily's hand-me-downs to help welcome her into the world.  On the list:
1.      Crocheting her a blanket - in process
2.      Making her a mobile for her "space" which is the corner of our bedroom
3.      Sewing her a taggie blanket out of the cutest fabric ever - see here
4.      Oh... and the small detail of her daddy and I deciding on her name...

Outside of feeling like I will never be ready, I am enjoying being pregnant.  I know, I know... it's hot, I'm big and I can't enjoy my favorite summer sangria, but still... I know this is the last time I will ever be pregnant.  This baby girl has been a joy to carry.  I have had a relatively easy time with her so far (knock on wood) and love that for whatever reason, I feel so much more this time.  I love that when I wake up in the morning, or her big sister wakes me up, she wakes up as well and starts her morning stretching.  I love that during the day while at my desk, she entertains me with her dancing.  She loves listening to Mumford and Sons.  I love that at night daddy and I watch as my entire belly shifts while she plays and grows.

It is all a little bittersweet and while I am so excited to meet her, I am just not ready.  So here is to hoping the days move slower as the summer winds into the fall... and that I will find more time for the things on my list.