Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dress and Bloomers: A moment in the life of a newborn.

Inspired by Max California's gray knit version, I just whipped up the "Infant Peasant Dress" in a teal knit for baby Maggie, and paired it with some owl bloomers that I sewed for Joe when he was an infant (but never blogged). The bloomers were made from a pattern in Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing For Baby. Both of these patterns are easy and fast, and both fit my teeny newborn with some room to grow. Yay!

So then I tried to photograph Maggie in her mama-made outfit. First, let's try some tummy time!

Owl bloomers

I managed one shot before Maggie took an intense dislike to being on her tummy. So then I comforted her a bit, and tried her on her back ... 

An unwilling model

Uh .... you'd think I casually put her down on a stray leaf in the middle of the jungle where she is being sniffed by cougars, right?

Of course, I immediately put the camera down and picked her up to comfort her. (Well, okay, not before I got one good shot of her screaming. She is just so cute when she's mad!)

Whereupon she snuggled into my arm and promptly fell asleep.

Ah, that's better.

That's my girl: Goes from 80 to zero in ten seconds flat.

Mama and Maggie.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two Weeks!

Miss Maggie Joy hit two weeks old yesterday! In the six days since her tongue-tie was snipped, she regained her birth weight plus, amazingly, another half pound! Breastfeeding is getting easier every day, baby girl is chubbing up like a champ, and this mama is feeling a bit more relaxed.

I did make Maggie some pants from the coral knit I used for my Pina Dress. I loosely borrowed the shape from the Knit Newborn Pants pattern and a pair of pants that (almost) fits her. These are so teeny, it was really hard to get them under the sewing machine foot to hem them! They're a little short, but basically fit.

Miss Maggie

(Yes, that's the beautiful quilt that my friend Christine gave me.)

Little Maggie is just a peach. We are relaxing and spending a lot of time sitting in the garden while Joe plays and Maggie sleeps. Or while Maggie looks around and Joe harasses dotes on her.

Joe and Maggie

Joe and Maggie

Hope you all are having a lovely week!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baby Pants Sewing Spree, Part 2

On the weekend before Maggie was born, I was inspired to sew a few more pairs of baby pants (I was also inspired to scrub the exterior of our dishwasher - nesting is intense!). Of course, I didn't get a chance to blog about these before Maggie surprised everyone by arriving on the scene two weeks early.

Baby Pants Spree, Part 2

From left to right, these are Knit Newborn Pants, Rae's Basic Newborn Pants (complete with adorable, useless pockets), and a pair of shorts and a pair of pants made from Rae's Big Butt Baby Pants pattern. Of course, it's the backside of the Big Butt Baby Pants that really steal the show.

Baby Pants Spree, Part 2

Baby Pants Spree, Part 2

Now that Maggie is here, you can see what Rae's Basic Newborn Pants look like on my teeny little peanut.

Newborn Baby Pants

She is barely 7 pounds now, and even "newborn" sized clothing is pretty roomy on her. Rae's Newborn Pants are no exception - they are pretty baggy! Same goes for the Knit Newborn Pants I made for her. They are a couple of inches too long. So all of my mama-mades are too big for this little mouse!

Intellectually, I know that Maggie won't be this tiny for very long. But my emotional side is telling me to make this teeny little girl some pants that will fit her right now! If I could just get a break between feedings, etc., to do a little sewing ...

(For those of you following our breastfeeding adventures, Maggie got her tongue-tie clipped on Wednesday, and thankfully, things seem to be much improved already. Now I just need to fatten this little girl up a bit!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I've been very busy tending to important matters, like making sure that Maggie is exposed to Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Doc Watson, and Emmylou Harris while she is still young and impressionable. (During these musical sessions, I have momentary regrets over not naming her "Joni" or "Emmylou" or "Shady Grove"; however, on more sober reflection, I am happy with our choice.)

We're all adjusting to life as a family as four (plus two housemates and two dogs, of course). Joe refers to Maggie as his "Baby Friend" (not sure where he got that, but it's cute!) and asks me to bring her outside where he's playing. But until today, he was too shy to touch her, and I didn't want to push it. After all, getting used to a new sibling takes some time! I am the eldest of three, so I should know.

But today, Joe decided he might like to try holding Maggie. 

Let's just say I'm surprised I survived this photo session with my heart intact. I was pretty sure it was shattering into a million little love-filled pieces.

Joe and Maggie

Joe and Maggie

Of course, while I was exploding with pride, Maggie was, understandably, a bit worried. Smart girl.

(Thank you for all of the breastfeeding support! You ladies are awesome! I was disappointed when the ENT called yesterday afternoon to reschedule Maggie's tongue-clipping appointment from today at 3 p.m. to tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Waaaah! But the pain has actually improved some on its own, and of course we can get through another day. Hopefully tomorrow's appointment will make a difference for us!)

Friday, July 13, 2012


I know you all have been dying to know whether baby Maggie arrived with a mullet, as promised. Yes. Yes, she did. And it is rockin'!

Rockin' mullet.

It makes her look a little like David Bowie, huh? It will be interesting to see whether it sticks around. Joe's baby hair fell out and he was bald as a cue-ball for a while before his hair grew back lighter and curlier. I expect Maggie's hair will follow the same plan, but you never can tell!

Ring sling.

And here I am, looking like a happy but disheveled new mom on a hot day.

We've been home a few days now, and things are going well. My milk is coming in and Maggie is almost back to her birth weight. Joe is a little crazed and attention-starved, but seems to love his little sister and talks constantly about how she's "pretty, and cute, and pretty cute."

The only bummer is that nursing this baby really hurts. From the first time she latched on, I felt like something was seriously not right with her latch (which looked fine, by the way). I saw a lactation consultant yesterday, and it seems Maggie has a tongue tie, lip tie, and high palate? I had little knowledge of these things, but the gist is that these conditions can make breastfeeding excruciatingly painful. I managed to get through labor and birth without any drugs, but I'm wishing I had a little morphine to help me through feeding sessions right now! I have an appointment with an ENT on Tuesday to see about getting her tongue tie snipped, which should improve matters some (the lip tie doesn't usually cause pain, and there is no fix for a high palate except time). Until then, I am gritting my teeth and soldiering through. It's good that I have already breastfed one child well into toddlerhood; at least I know it won't be like this forever. (And if this were my first baby, I might have thought/feared that this much pain was normal?! Ouch.)

What is that ring sling I'm wearing, you ask? Why yes, it is the craptastic sling that I made a while back. I had planned to rip out some of the stitching and redo it before the baby came, but she surprised me with her early delivery. It's ugly, but it functions well - I love how adjustable it is compared to a pouch style sling.
I was a little embarrassed yesterday when the lactation consultant said, "Wow, your sling is really interesting! I've never seen anything like it!" Uh ...

And, here's a photo where you can see her cute little squashy newborn face.

Hanging out on her lovely quilt.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hi Margaret Joy!

Apparently I had reason to feel nesty on Saturday, because baby girl decided to grace us with her presence a couple weeks early! Margaret Joy (named for my two grandmothers) was born this morning at 9:17 a.m., weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and measuring 19 inches long.

Maggie's birthday

What a happy surprise! My labor was fast and smooth. Maggie was born only two hours after we arrived at the hospital (and when I arrived, my contractions were still pretty manageable). Labor came on very strong, and was very intense, but it was over so fast, I didn't have time to get discouraged or exhausted. Maggie came out pink and crying, there were no complications, and I'm feeling great (and yes, a little bit proud of myself)!

And now I'm going to try to get some rest. Cheers everyone!

P.S. She's a Cancer but her rising sign is Leo.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

38 Weeks?


  1. My dilly beans are delicious! Crunchy and pickly. (Is "pickly" a word? It is now!) The "regular" dilly beans turned out tasty, but I gotta tell you guys, the "spicy dilly beans" are better. They're not actually spicy, but they have a lot more flavor. My housemate Rebecca, an expert in pickles, informs me that the regular ones might get a little more flavorful as they age. But in the meantime, if you plan to make fridge pickles, it seems that adding more flavoring components (onions, garlic, peppercorns, dill, etc.) is the way to go.
  2. I thought that I was going to be 37 weeks pregnant this weekend, but then I looked at a calendar and realized that my due date is just a little more than two weeks away. No matter how you do the math, folks, 40 minus 2 does not equal 37. So, eek, I am actually 38 weeks pregnant this weekend?
  3. Two reactions to this discovery: (a) Holy crap, I'm going to have a baby pretty soon, people! (b) Wow, that is not a mistake I would have made in my first pregnancy, when I could have told you at any point, to within five seconds of accuracy, exactly how many weeks, days, hours pregnant I was. This whole second pregnancy has been different than my first in several ways.
  4. My midwife sent me to get an ultrasound last week to ensure that the baby is head down. She is, and all is well. Whew! Also, she is (still) definitely a girl, and she apparently has a long mullet? The hair on the back of her head was waving in the amniotic fluid like some kind of sea creature. Joe was born nearly bald, so it will be really interesting if this baby is born with a ton of hair!
  5. Suddenly, it dawned on me that my house is not nearly clean enough
  6. Yes, yes, folks, I might actually be nesting!
  7. I still need to buy a carseat. I still have some work assignments I need to finish up. I still need to get those little baby hand-me-downs and figure out whether this child will have adequate clothing. Maybe Steve should refresh his memory just a tiny bit about coaching a woman through birth before I go into labor? After he vacuums the whole house, of course.
  8. I'm starting to panic just a little bit.
  9. Better make some cheesecake using my mother's recipe, which doesn't have any quantities and requires the chef to rely entirely on instinct (and frequent tasting) to achieve results worthy of a lifetime of Mom's.
  10. Mmm. Cheesecake.

    38 weeks!
    This "relaxed" photo was taken right after a mad cleaning session.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Shorts on the Line!

shorts on the line button

My guest post (featuring chambray cargo shorts with pops of color) is up at Imagine Gnats today, and there is a line-up of awesome guest posts scheduled for next couple of weeks! Go check it out!

Joe with broom.
Gratuitous photo of Joe's cute tummy.

week one: imagine gnats
7.2 Rachael (imagine gnats) and Melanie (A Sewing Journal)
7.3 Courtney (mon petit lyons), Inder (Inder Loves Folk Art), and Nicke (Kiss Kiss... Quilt)
7.4 Rashida (i heart linen) and April (Sewing Novice)
7.5 Andrea (the train to crazy) and Kristy (Hopeful Threads)
7.6 Shannon (luvinthemommyhood) and Erin & Carla (Clever Charlotte)
7.7 Emma (Hello Beautiful) and Cassandra (Cass Can Sew)
7.8 Gail (probably actually) and Becky (Owly Baby)

week two: small + friendly
7.9 Carla (small + friendly) and Sophie (cirque du bebe)
7.10 Ros (Sew Delicious) and Veronica (sewVery)
7.11 Shelly (Figgy's) and Alyssa (Pile O'Fabric)
7.12 Jessica (a little gray) and Diane (from blank pages)
7.13 Kristin (skirt as top) and Kelley (Casa Crafty)
7.14 Katie (There and Back) and Tara (girl like the sea)
7.15 Alli (B. Yazoo) and Jennet (Feathered Nest Studios)

week three: Designs by Sessa
7.16 Vanessa (Designs by Sessa) and Jessica (Me Sew Crazy)
7.17 Cherie (You and Mie) and Jane (Buzzmills)
7.18 Karen (Sew Well Maide) and Stephanie (The Crafty Kitty)
7.19 Bianca (Sweet Diesel Designs) and Tara (true, pure, lovely)
7.20 Jenny (Stumbles & Stitches) and Susan & Adrianna (crafterhours)
7.21 Danny (Mommy for Reals) and Marian (Lady Face)
7.22 Jill (Made With Moxie) and Christina (2 Little Hooligans)

features and deadline
7.23 sewalong features, Rachael's favorites
7.24 sewalong features, Carla's favorites
7.25 sewalong features, Vanessa's favorites
7.26 final deadline for shorts sewalong entries
7.27 viewers choice voting begins

winners annoucements
7.28 judges' choice third place announced
7.29 judges' choice second place announced
7.30 viewers choice winner announced
7.31 judges' choice first place announced

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dilly Beans.

Our pole beans are doing great, and I have been picking handfuls of green beans every day or two. Today I decided to try an American classic I've been wanting to try for a while: Dill-pickled green beans, a.k.a. "Dilly Beans."

So I gathered up a few big handfuls of beans and trimmed them.

Green beans from the garden.

The regular green beans are "Lazy Housewife"; the purple-streaked beans are "Rattlesnake Snap" (unfortunately, most of the beautiful markings fade when you cook them).

Then, following this recipe, I made a brine with vinegar, sugar, salt, water, and garlic. I chopped up dill weed and onions (scallions and regular) and put them in a mason jar, adding some peppercorns and red pepper flakes.

Dilly beans.

I blanched the beans, packed them in the jar, and poured the brine over the top. Voila!

Dilly beans.

We had some extra beans, so I had my brother Harpal do a second, smaller jar of spicy dilly beans, adding more onion, more garlic, more peppercorns, and a whole chile to give these pickles a bit more "kick."
Dilly Beans

Since I only had enough beans for two jars of pickles, I didn't process them; they're "fridge" dilly beans. Supposedly they will be good for a couple of months in the refrigerator, but with this pregnant woman in the house, I doubt they will last that long!

(Now I just have to wait two days before snacking on them! That will be a challenge!)