There is nothing quite like the reassurance of a new baby learning to smile. It says “I see you!” “I like you!” and “I’m truly human!” all in one little muscle movement. I tried for a couple weeks to get one with the camera before I figured out that I had to walk away for a few minutes, then come back to him, camera in hand. He smiles because he’s glad to see me back (I fancy). Awwww…
When I’ve not been coaxing smiles out of the wee-est member of our family, I’d been busy with my other roles. First, nothing has ever made me feel more like a real mom than this project above. Dorothy refused to put on the ballet recital costume that she will be wearing this coming Saturday because it was itchy. I bribed her to wear it long enough for me to take a cute picture of her, but she wasn’t willing to wear it for dress rehearsal or the real deal. So I cut up an old t-shirt and made a full lining for the costume out of the soft knit. Now she’s totally happy and the other moms at ballet class are pretending to hate me. And I feel I should be getting the Fixed Recital Costume merit badge.
Another of my “jobs” is less mommyish, and that is the role of household tech support. The hard drive of our 6-year-old desktop crashed last week and I did the totally middle-America thing of driving out to Costco and loading a new one up in my SUV. (If I laugh about it I can still feel edgy, right?) Unfortunately, my hasty purchase did not actually return us to tech status-quo, as the new computer does not recognize the old printer, the old scanner, or the video camera, and it does not have the Lightscribe feature I’m fond of for etching the labels into the front of DVDs. So I’ve been trying to deal with these issues one at a time, and it’s really been cutting into my crafty time, and I think my soul. Oh technology, I can’t live with you and I can’t live without you…
No crafties for show and tell, just two cute kids. We’re loving having the windows open and being able to live indoors and out, in spite of the thick layer of pollen over all the furniture that I’m going to have to wipe up before we show the house (again) tomorrow. Here’s Dorothy picking violets for me in the back yard (for love, she says….awwww), completely unaware of how charmingly Austen she looks out there in her dress and hat.
And here’s Baby, not quite showing us his budding smile. He’s still pretty stingy with smiles, but his sister has better luck coaxing them out than anyone else. I haven’t managed to get a full one on film yet. (On digital? What is the word for that now?) He’s still got the baby acne pretty bad, but I tell him he’ll feel worse about it when he’s fifteen.
The booties fit! Worth Robert was born on Saturday at 12:39 pm, weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs 5 oz! We’re both doing fine and are home resting, relaxing and feeding. I had a natural birth and felt fine afterwards–the nurses don’t quite know what to do with an unmedicated patient after it’s all over. You can pee unassisted? Use your own legs? That’s crazy!
More posts to come as we’re settling into life as a family of four. So far things are going well, with Dorothy hovering over brother in sweet ways, wanting to take part in every aspect of baby care. It’s so nice to be home and not pregnant!
So Dorothy spent a long time being very quiet behind our big chair today, and I wondered what she was up to. But what could she be doing right there a few feet from me? I figured she was reading a book, and (sorry, but parenthood is gross) maybe picking her nose. After a while, however, she ran quickly from her hiding spot into the kitchen, then yelled, “Mom, don’t come into the kitchen!” Never a good sign. So of course I went into the kitchen, and confronted a small child with a really bad hair cut. I wasn’t sure what to do. I walked back out of the kitchen and inspected the crime scene (above). It was kind of funny, but I couldn’t laugh, right? I went back in and matter-of-factly told her we’d have to go immediately to get her hair cut at a hair-cutting place, since we don’t cut our own hair, and it doesn’t look okay unless someone else does it. She burst into tears even though I didn’t get mad (ahh, the guilty conscience!). I took money from her piggy bank to pay for the outing, and off we went. The result is below. I think I’ll take her to my own stylist next week (or let someone else if I’m tied up with a new baby) and have it shaped up a bit–I’m not crazy about how it looks, but then, I’m sure what we came in with was a bit difficult to work with! The self-haircut is a right of passage, right? But then, I never did it myself.
One more project snuck in at the end of my day. I was awake from 4 to 6 a.m. this morning, too uncomfortable to go back to sleep. During the time I spent awake I decided I really wanted a new spring handbag, but that such an endeavor was really not practical given that I already have made a new messenger bag to carry both my purse items and a few baby things as soon as the little guy makes his appearance. But after we got back from our family walk this evening and I was still feeling all energized from the warm weather, I decided to go ahead and make one anyway. Maybe now that I’ve done something silly like this I’ll go ahead and go into labor! Or maybe I’ll get to carry this cute new bag for a week or two, then transition over to my messenger bag at the point I start needing to tote diapers. Either way, I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s from Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing, and I felt like the pattern was good except my bag appears a bit smaller than the one in the book’s photograph, although I followed the pattern and directions as listed. Now that I have this cute and impractical item on hand, I think I’ll go ahead and call my hair stylist tomorrow and try to move up my next hair cut and color to this week if possible. I’d made the very practical decision to schedule this one a few weeks after my due date, but for pete’s sake, I’m showing my gray and I need a hair cut, and I’m about to be in a bunch of family photographs holding my new baby–I think I need the hair boost now!
A very nice Valentine’s Day (thus far) for us, and I hope everyone else is having the same! Dorothy is modeling her new Valentine’s dress here, but today she actually wore it over a pair of pants and shirt so that she could also wear her new sparkly Valentine socks. I did not make the socks, but the little dress is out of the same pattern and former bedsheet as her cousin’s (below) with a clip-art transfer image ironed on the front. It’s cute on her, even over a full other outfit!
Dorothy and I went to church and then out for Indian food with my parents this morning and gave Rob some quite time at home to catch up on work. While we were walking through the mall with my folks, Dorothy saw the LUSH store at Macy’s and announced, “Mom! That’s where Daddy and I bought your Valentine surprise!” She’s not really so good at keeping surprises, that little one of mine.
So hopefully I’ll enjoy a nicely-scented bath tonight after we polish off our mama-made heart-shaped pizzas and pink cupcakes, decorated by Dorothy.
Today was a homey day of small projects and staying in. Dorothy asked first thing this morning what we were doing, and when I told her we were staying home all day she said, “yippie! I will not change out of my pajamas ALL DAY!” And thus far she hasn’t. I’ve been at the sewing machine all day, wrapping up a series of small projects. (For the record, I did get dressed.) These little shirts are mostly hand-me-downs that I decided to embellish. I’m not really into the sports-themed clothes for baby boys, so over generic sports slogans and pictures of balls I stitched fun vintage advertisements and clipart. (The Volkswagen ones are scans of ads I bought on eBay several years ago, when we were decorating Rob’s home office in Chicago. The others are Dover clipart.) I used printable fabric and fusible webbing.
Next project was a new cover for my nursing pillow. Dorothy was never very spitty, so I wasn’t going to make (or buy) a change for this one, but since I still have time left and fabric on hand, I went ahead and made an extra case. If the new guy is spitty, I’m sure I’ll be glad I have one for the wash and one on the pillow. I also like that this fabric looks pretty good in my living room, which is where the pillow mostly hung out before, so it doesn’t scream “BABY THING HERE” when one walks into the room and sees it on the sofa. (I know, it’s an uphill battle, but I like to pretend I can keep a house that at least still looks like grown-ups live here too, maybe?)
Today’s other project was Rob’s new baby sling. It’s the plaid, and I hung it up on the closet door next to the bag my new mei tai is in. I think the fabric looks very fatherly. I made Rob a camo sling last time, affectionately known as the “baby holster” and it got great use, but I was never very happy about the coarse fabric on that one. This one is much softer and should be easier to wear. I hope he likes it! One of my favorite photos from Dorothy’s infancy is a picture of Rob in hiking gear walking down a woodsy trail with his “baby holster” on, and Dorothy’s tiny little toes just peeking out as she naps on Dad’s chest through Bernheim Forest. More fun baby-wearing times ahead, I hope!
Finally, this is what Dorothy worked on for most of the day. Amazon.com recently sent me an enormous and wonderful cardboard box, and Dorothy transformed it from car to animal cave to cozy bed and more over the course of the afternoon. Here she is with markers making the initial transformation (box to car) before she drove off.
So my husband turned 40 and the cake and our little celebration were a success. I took this picture of the card we gave him, on which my daughter meticulously copied his name. The whole scene just seemed a little like a sign of the times around here. Decadent chocolate cake and wobbly new handwriting, hooray!
One of today’s projects was a little flip book for me to take to the hospital when I deliver the new guy. I was trying to think of things to help me through labor, and I decided that some pictures to help keep my eyes on the prize and remind me of how the whole thing ends might be helpful. I had some of my favorite pictures of the first hours of my daughter’s life printed out, then sewed some typing paper together with a little paper cover and stuck the pictures inside. Nothing fancy and nothing that can’t get accidently thrown away at the hospital after the birth, but hopefully it will help provide a reminder of what I have to look forward to when I need it.
Finally, this project was actually yesterday’s, but had to soak in plastic bags until today. I was probably a little nutty to think “oh, a day of being snowed in at 35 weeks pregnant with my 3-year-old. Let’s use permanent dye
in our kitchen!” But it turned out well, and she had a blast. I had purchased a Jacquard brand tie-dye kit a couple months ago, wanting to make some things for the new baby that weren’t the hopelessly bland boy clothes available in the stores, but hadn’t gotten around to using it yet. We dyed a whole pile of clothes (some favorites pictured, I couldn’t get them all in) and my more methodical efforts at pattern and color were equally matched by Dorothy’s haphazard wads of rubber bands and dye in final beauty. They all turned out great! I’ve already washed them twice, so as not to accidently contaminate our other laundry later, and the colors seem to be very fast. I was really pleased with the kit, which was easy to use and not expensive. In addition to shirts for the baby, of course we did a shirt for Dorothy and a tank top for me, and even some little baby pants and one gown that had ugly-color issues. I think I might embellish a few of them a little more with some iron-ons or some stamps (I already did the fleur de lis above), but even if I never get around to it the project was worthwhile. And Dorothy told her dad, “it was FUN!”
Today’s project was a quick quilt for the little guy’s crib. It’s just 3 inch strips, and I’ve used the machine to “quilt” it to the back. It feels like a nice outcome for the (short) amount of time it took. The back is a soft blue flannel and I put an extra layer of flannel inside instead of batting. I’m not sure of the finished size–30 x 30, maybe? But it’s a decent size for a baby blanket, and I’m happy I got it done. Nana is making a beautiful quilt for him that she and Mamaw are hand-stitching, so this one wasn’t really necessary, but I’d planned to do it if I had time since I had plenty of extra fabric left from his other crib projects (sheets, ruffle).