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A Quarter of a Year

August 8, 2013
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My little newborn is no longer a newborn. This Tuesday marked 3 months since her arrival in this crazy world. Hard to even imagine what my life was like before those chubby cheeks entered my view. Before those little coos filled the rooms of our house. She’s the answer to prayers I never knew I had. My greatest joy and my biggest challenge. It’s hard to believe this is just the beginning. There is still so much for us to learn about her. So much personality we’ve yet to witness.

I keep saying ” I can’t wait until she _____” inserting what ever milestone I think of. I can’t wait until she helps me pick green beans from the garden ( sampling more than picking, I imagine). I can’t wait until she learns the joy of elmer’s glue, and a big jar of glitter.  The feeling of running through a sprinkler, or pedaling her bike so fast the momentum of the pedals spin faster than she can move her little legs. But right now she’s working really hard on rolling over. I’d kind of like to pause this moment. The gardening and glitter can wait.  Today is pretty great.

 

Baby Bloomers

July 18, 2013

 

 

 

 

so…. I need to warn you. This post, like every post since Little Miss has arrived, will be full of baby photos. Like, LOTS of baby photos. She will be modeling some recent projects, but let’s be honest, I am more interested in her chubby little cheeks that just about anything right now. But a close second place goes to anything handmade that can adorn her chubby little self. I think we need a play by play.

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Baby and Mommy enter fabric store. Mommy stumbles into fabric store. Mommy picks out a few different kinds of fabric. Mommy picks up this amazing sewing book. Decides that she doesn’t have the budget for any new sewing books, no matter how amazing. Mommy thinks hard, and finds an area of the budget that has exactly enough money for the book. It’s meant to be!

I let Iris have a look at what I’m dying to make her:

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Iris: I don’t know Mom, are you sure they would over emphasize my um… assets? 

Mommy: Trust me child…

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Iris: You were right! I love them! I love Bloomers! Make me a hundred pair! In ever color and pattern! ( Mom is always right! A good lesson learned)

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I mean… seriously?

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SERIOUSLY!

I am dying of cuteness. One of the most satisfying things I’ve ever sewn. I honestly have no affiliation with Ms. Lotta Jansdotter ( except for the fact that I want to be just like her when I grow up)  but you should really get her book, and check out her other designs. She really nailed it with this book. All very simple, fast, and adorable projects to make for your own baby, or baby in your life. First of all, babies grow. Fast. You don’t want to spend so much time on something that they will outgrow before you can finish! This was a one nap project. Well, one nap while daddy played ” human baby monitor” while I finished the last seam. But still. I honestly can’t stop thinking about making more. 

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See! She loves them! I think they even boost her baby confidence and self-esteem. And that’s a lot to ask from a pair of baby bloomers.

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And Here’s proof that I do exist, and do hold my baby, not just subject her to photo shoots. And no, I don’t have a black eye, just fair skin, under eye circles, and no make-up. I knew you all would understand.

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and one more, just because…

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A Sad Day

July 4, 2013

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Late last night we got a call from our vet, where our kitty Molly had just gotten emergency surgery. She had swallowed the rubber baby bottle nipple from one of Iris’ bottles and it was stuck. I never thought I’d ever give the OK to give a Cat surgery, but she was so young ( only 3 years old), and the surgery seemed very promising. When the vet called and said she was having trouble breathing that night in recovery, we rushed to the Animal Hospital with Iris, who, slept the whole time in her car seat carrier. The vets ( a sweet husband and wife team) tried everything they could to get her stable, but in between tears, and stories about all Molly’s brushes with her 9 lives, we decided it was best to let her go. I’ve never had to make that call before, and it was every bit as difficult as I imagined it would be. 

I find myself saying ” I know she’s just a cat”, but I’m not sure why I feel the need to apologize for feeling so sad. Maybe it’s that there are many worse things, like human family members lost, or wars and turmoil going on all around the world. Of course, there is always something worse.  But maybe that’s exactly why it hurts to bad to lose a pet. They are a simple, pure, escape from all that is wrong with the world. Their needs are usually quite simple. Food, shelter, and attention are really all they ask. As any animal lover can attest to, they give so much more in return. I swear I heard the sound of her cleaning her paws this morning, at the foot of the bed. All the little sounds and rhythms of Molly that were so intertwined in our daily lives, I didn’t even realize. You were so naughty Molly, but the best Cat. A really good cat. We miss you.

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Life as we know it

June 25, 2013

Iris 1

Iris 2

Iris 3

Iris 4

Iris 5

Iris 6

Iris 7

Iris 8

Iris 9

Iris 10

Iris 11

Iris 12

Iris is 7 weeks old. It sounds so long, yet so short all at the same time. How is that?

I have a tough time describing life with Iris, in a way that doesn’t sound cliche. She has changed everything about our lives. What time we wake up, where we go, what we bring, what seems important, etc and so forth. She’s the hardest job, and the easiest little face to kiss. I literally can’t stop taking pictures of her. I want to bottle up the smell of her sweet baby hair and sell it. She is changing by the minute, and starting to get rolls around her arms and legs, which look ridiculously delicious sticking out of her little summer clothes. Is it weird to describe your baby as delicious? Sometimes when I admire her toes, I want to eat them.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s hard. real hard. I’m tired, and my hair desperately needs to get “did”. All my non-maternity clothes suddenly seems very frumpy and sloppy. But I don’t want to focus on stuff like that on the blog. There are too many momma’s out there that would trade anything for a healthy, happy baby, so for that I want to remember to be thankful, especially in writing. I’ll save the complaining for my friends and family, when I see them in person 🙂

We are starting to get into more of a groove here. Honestly, the first 6 weeks have but mostly a merry-go-round of feedings, changing, and putting her to nap. Everyone told me the first 6ish weeks would be like that, but I still felt frustrated not being able to do all the things I was used to cramming in my day, including running and biking. But thanks to my family, I’ve been very slooooowly starting to run and bike again, and it feels soooo good. It’s nice to do the things that make me feel like ” me” again.

I was especially proud of myself for finally finishing her alphabet pillow! Bear in mind, I worked on the actual embroidery through the entire last trimester, and all I had left to do was sew the four side seams into a pillow case. I do’t want you to think I am some sort of crazy lady that can embroider an entire alphabet while taking care of a newborn. Hardly. The fabric was even cut out, and the pillow form was purchased. Still, I felt so accomplished finishing it! I used Aunt Martha’s iron on embroidery transfers. You know, the kind your grandma used to make day of the week dish towels? I spent waaaay too much time at the ironing board, pregnant belly in the way, arranging those letters. But in the end, the pillow turned out just as I’d hoped. I have a weakness for Alphabet items for a nursery. I’m not sure why, it is just to timeless.

Now I just need a knitting project to work on. Iris is in want of very little in the wardrobe department. We didn’t have a stitch of girl clothes until she was born, (since we didn’t know her gender ahead of time), but wouldn’t you know it, her  little closet puts mine to shame right now. And I’ve hardly bought any of it! What is more irresistible than baby girl clothes? Of course I could knit something for myself, but being summer, there really is nothing made of wool that I need urgently. If you have any good project ideas, send them my way!

Happy making, knitting, and/or baby snuggling.

Love, Devin

Iris

May 20, 2013
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She’s here! She’s two weeks old, and I’m just now getting a chance to write about her arrival. That’s pretty normal, right? Everything taking about 10 times longer when you have a newborn in your arms?

The last few weeks were a blur. My due date came with little fanfare. However, a few days after that we had 5 days of intense contractions, no sleep, and a drastically altered birth plan. Finally we had her in our arms. I never knew that you could be completely exhausted, and on an adrenaline high all at the same time. Well, at least, I’d never experienced it.

I struggle to find a word to adequately describe Mark’s devotion to me through the whole event. He was so patient and supportive through everything. Through the whole nine months. I still can’t quite believe we have a daughter. A daughter.

I’ll never forget Mark announcing It’s a girl! I looked at him and said ” It’s an Iris?” with tears in my eyes, so relieved that she was finally here.

“Do you still want to use that name?” I asked

slight pause 

” Yes” he said. 

So we named her Iris. Not a family name. We just liked it because it was simple, pretty and classic. I hope she likes it as she grows up. I hope she has a childhood filled with sunny days, bike rides, sandboxes, and finger-paints. I hope she never gets her heart broken, or gets picked on by a mean girl. I hope she never IS the mean girl. I hope she never feels ashamed of her body, or wishes she were someone else. I hope that her mother can come to terms with the fact that disappointment and pain will be inevitable in her life. But there is plenty of time for worrying about that. Now is the time to stumble around in my PJ’s, let the dishes pile up, and admire the miracle of a new life in the spring. Not a bad gig. Not bad at all.

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April (snow)showers

April 25, 2013

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April has been the strangest month. All of us Minnesotans had such high hopes for some spring weather, but we’ve been slammed with snowstorms almost every week! To top it off, I spend a good 3 weeks feeling really sick. I won’t go into detail, but for this normally super healthy girl, I had a cold that turned into all sorts of super painful, uncomfortable other things, and more trips to the doctor and midwife than ever! I feel like I am an expert on natural remedies that are safe during pregnancy. Not sure how many of them actually worked. I think the only thing that truly helped was rest and time. Luckily, nothing I’ve experienced over the last three weeks has been dangerous to me or the baby, and I count my blessings for that. Every time I had a little pity party with my box(es) of kleenex, feeling like I’d never feel well again,  I tried to remember how many other Mama’s would gladly trade their pregnancy complications for any combination of my ailments. Perspective can dish out a healthy dose of reality. 

However, I am glad to finally becoming out of the haze of feeling sick, and welcoming the sun and warm temps that have finally decided to arrive. I supposed the cocktail of sickness and blizzards really does make me appreciate normalcy even more. My sewing and knitting and making has literally remained untouched until this last week. Boy, does it feel good to get back at my routine again, just in time for my “normal” to be completely flipped upside-down by Baby Joesting. Our due date is Sunday!

The nursery is ready to go, complete with a hand made origami mobile made by Daddy Joesting. I absolutely love it, and it makes me smile every time I look at it. I also took a little time to make a cosmetic bag, and eyeglass case for myself. A special little something to pack in the hospital bag with my personal items. It’s been so long since I’ve made something for myself, but I am pretty smitten with this little bag. I feel like writing up a simple pattern and set of instructions for this little bag for you all. Not promising, but if this baby comes late, I might have some time on my hands. 

I guess I must be back into the nesting/domestic kick, because I saw this lemon cake recipe on pinterest, and I couldn’t get it out of my head! It was sooo good, and looked so sweet and summery! I highly recommend giving it a try. 

I also included one of our maternity photos with the amazing Emily Steffen Photography. I know my facebook friends have seen these already, but I thought I’d include one here to. I debated whether or not to have some pictures taken of the baby belly. It’s an odd thing to have your appearance change so drastically, some changes are fun, some cause you to pause at your reflection and think, “oh dear, is that really me?”. But after dealing with my fear of being photographed, Emily makes us feel so at ease in front of the camera, and snapped away so many great shots so quickly! She is a magical combination of artist/friend/miracle worker. Anything she takes a photo of turns to gold! I’m so glad we did the photos, and that Emily squeezed in my last minute request.   It’s such a fleeting moment. Now it’s just time to hurry up and wait.

tick. tock.

 

Spring Things

March 20, 2013

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Little projects are everywhere these days, “decorating” our house.  I’m attempting to tackle an embroidered  alphabet pillow for the rocker in the baby’s room. One of those totally unnecessary projects, but a nice little something to work on in the evenings. I was inspired by my  world traveling/living abroad friend Bethany, who decided to take up embroidery as the perfect little transportable art form. So far, it has me a little smitten. 

I’ve been knitting this little cotton romper for Baby J. I am hoping it will be the perfect thing to bring our little one home in. I debated long or short sleeves/legs, but remembered newborns generally need to stay warm, and it will only be late April or Early May when we bring this kid home.  I LOVED this pattern by the way. It’s raveled HERE.  I think I will end up knitting the sweather verison at some point too.

I had to trick myself into thinking it was spring today. Because with a temp hanging in the teens, it sure didn’t feel like the first day of spring.

With the huge mountains of snow still filling my yard, it hardly feels that way. It seems as though most of my posts mention the weather. Is that silly? Well, when you live in Minnesota,the weather really defines your days. That’s why we relish spring so much. It’s glorious, when it finally decides to come around.

Luckily today did bring a healthy dose of sunshine, which led to an incredible craving for a smoothie, and for blueberry muffins.  I needed some summery fruits. I chopped up a pineapple and threw it in with strawberries and a banana for the smoothie. I attempted a blueberry/orange zest/banana muffin. I used a new recipe that I found and tweaked. I of course added some sugary glaze, because what is pregnancy, if not an excuse to take something healthy, and make it a dessert? While the flavor was great, and they looked fantastic, they were rather, um, dense. In a way that they seemed underdone, but weren’t. I don’t know what happened. Baking is a fickle beast, I’ve found. I give a lot of credit to anyone that can make up their own baking recipes. You really have to know your chemistry!

How have you been tricking your mind into spring thoughts? What do you knit/make as the weather gets warmer?

 

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