Thursday, September 27, 2012


Remember this little t-shirt?

Smiling in her owl tee

It fits (almost)!

This is the "Envelope Tee" from Growing Up Sew Liberated. I made a few of these in the smallest size (a vague "0-6 months") while I was pregnant. At that time, they seemed so teeny! But when Maggie arrived, she was a lot teenier!

But as you can see, baby girl didn't stay teeny tiny for long.

Owl tee

Seeing Maggie grow into these tees makes me want to make a dozen more in every color of the rainbow. They are so cute! Seeing her in her "Big Butt Baby Pants" has a similar effect on me.

But honestly I'm in a bit of a sewing rut right now. It's not that I haven't been sewing at all, but I sure haven't been sewing very much. I'm trying to finish up a couple of projects for other people so that I can do some fun Maggie sewing (and some selfish sewing), but I haven't really figured out how to sew with both Maggie and Joe constantly tag-teaming me with their (perfectly reasonable) demands for milk, food, attention, and love. When I do get a short break, I usually spend it doing dishes or laundry ... or collapsed in a heap, rotting my brain on the internet or watching television.

My evening time ... oh, right, I have no evening time now! I try to go to bed around the same time my kids do, so that I'll feel as well rested as possible the next day.

And I go back to work in just a couple of weeks, so I am going to have even less time for myself pretty soon. For this reason, I'm pretty sure I won't be participating in Kids Clothes Sewing Week, Fall 2012. Just too much going on this year. Sigh.

But of course, I know this is just a temporary setback. I really miss sewing, so I'll find a way to carve out the time for it when things settle down a bit. I miss being creative, but hey, I created a baby (and I am still creating a whole lot of food this baby), and it's a major project! The rest will fall into place in good time. In the meantime, this little girl has plenty of mama-mades (and other hand-mades) to grow into.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This morning.

This morning I find myself alone with both of the kiddos while Steve visits his dad in Davis. I think I may be coming down with a cold (we have all been sick thanks to Joe's preschool adventures). Murphy's law of parenting multiple children says they will both need something very intensely at the exact same time, right?  So I just cut myself because I was trying to slice a bagel for Joe while holding a crying Maggie. Not my brightest moment (but the sound of my children crying makes me do stupid things). Don't try this at home, kids! I'm glad it was just my finger and not Maggie's!

Maggie and me (in all of my no-makeup, hair loosely yanked back reality).

I think the Ergo is going to really come in handy today. With my second child, I'm getting it: babywearing is not just a fun thing to do or an easy way to put a baby to sleep; it is a survival tactic. So I finally got over my fear of the Ergo infant insert (silly, right?) and tried Maggie in it yesterday. I love that it is truly hands free (the insert supports her floppy head) and it is even possible to nurse her in it. She fell asleep approximately one minute after this photo was taken, which signified her approval.

I'm still figuring out this whole "having two kids" thing. All of you parents of "even more than two kids": I am in awe of you!

It is getting easier. And it has many wonderful moments too. But in the meantime, I need a band-aid! And another cup of coffee!

Just keeping it real, folks. Just keeping it real.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Maggie's Crocheted Wardrobe, Part 1 (0-2 months).

My mom Kamalla, a.k.a. "Gramalla," has mad crocheting skills. She can whip things up in just a few hours and rarely uses patterns. And she loves to crochet baby things for her grandkids! So she crocheted piles of things for Joe, then she crocheted piles of girly things for Helen, and of course Maggie got a few things of her own as well. As a result, Maggie has the most fabulous crocheted wardrobe ever, and I have been collecting photos of her many cute Gramalla designed outfits.

This is only a drop in the bucket. There are tons more things that she still needs to grow into. We will really be appreciating all of the warm hats and booties this winter! Thanks Gramalla!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Months!

Yes, you read that right. As of a couple days ago, Miss Margaret is two months old! In the past month, she has been busy learning to smile, coo, squeal, and suck on her fists. The whole family agrees, she is the sweetest, loveliest baby in the universe. She gets kissed so much, I'm surprised her little cheeks aren't chapped.

Here she is in her 2 months onesie and denim and mustard linen Big Butt Baby Pants.

Two Months!

Maggie is losing her newborn looks and starting to look like a chubby baby. I think she just gets cuter with each passing day!

Two Months!

She still has awesome hair. Check out that faux-hawk/Tintin tuft! We keep waiting for her newborn hair to fall out, but it hasn't happened yet. Maybe it will stick around?

We're taking bets on what color her eyes will be. They are not as light blue as Joe's were at this age but they don't seem like they're going to be brown either, so we are thinking they may be darker blue, green like mine, or hazel like Dad's. Or something else altogether? Who knows?

Two Months!

Oh. My. Goodness. I can never get enough of that smile!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First day of school, etc.

Joe had a great time today at preschool! Steve stayed with him most of the day, but did leave him on his own for an hour or so, and Joe did great. There were no tears, and Joe even asked if he could go back soon! What a relief! I know that there will be probably be harder days, but I am so glad things are off to such a great start.

In other news, Maggie finally fits into her 0-3 month sized Big Butt Baby Pants. Her wardrobe just got a whole lot cuter.

Big Butt Baby Shorts

Big Butt Baby Shorts

Horsy pants

Horsy pants

Exciting topics of conversation in our house: Will Maggie's hair keep growing? Does her faux-hawk make her look like Tintin? What color will her eyes be? Could she be any more freaking adorable? Is she ever going to take a nap? Did you see that big smile she just flashed us? Etc.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Getting Ready for Preschool: Toddler Backpack.

Hi readers! How are you? I've been living in la-la land the past month (where did August go, anyway?), enjoying Maggie, adjusting to life with two children, and desperately trying to keep up with our tomato harvest. September, and the start of school, seemed so far away. But last week, we attended a new-families picnic and several parent orientations at Joe's new preschool, and it hit home: My baby is starting school! On Tuesday! Whoa!

I am excited and nervous for him. I hope he'll have a great time. I hope he'll make friends. Okay, mostly, I'm just hoping he'll be okay with us leaving him there on his own.

Like any good seamstress mama, I channel my parental anxiety, concern, excitement, and pride into sewing projects, right? (This is just as good a method of dealing with anxiety as any other, I find. At least you end up with a handmade project at the other end.) So this week I decided that Joe must have a mama-made backpack for his first day of school.  Never mind that I had less than a week to sew it, a 7 week old baby, and we were babysitting my niece for the better part of the week, leaving me with exactly no time to sew. The child needs a backpack, and that backpack needs to be made by me.

Sometimes you just have to make the time.

Toddler Backpack

I used Rae's Toddler Backpack pattern. This pattern has been on my to-sew list forever and a day, and it is indeed wonderful. This was actually my first time working with piping (I know, I know!) and it went remarkably smoothly and turned out uber-cute. I'll be honest and admit I don't really love sewing bags - I find them fussy and a bit involved. But this backpack is really simple, basic, and doesn't require a ton of special hardware (just a little strapping and some strap adjusters). It's really the perfect size for Joe, too. (And the pattern includes instructions on enlarging the backpack for a school-aged child.) The only changes I made were to interface all of the outer pieces with heavy interfacing (I would highly recommend this, by the way), and to add a few extra pockets. Because toddlers/preschoolers universally love pockets.

Toddler Backpack

For the side water-bottle pocket, I copied the style of the elasticized side pockets in Joe's Treasure Pocket Pants. Joe loves this style of pocket. I should put some on everything I make him!

Toddler Backpack

I also added a few smaller pockets (and a name tag) on the inside. The backpack is mostly denim, and the bikes are Echino (of course). All of the fabric and interfacing in this project came from my stash, so that was cool.

Toddler Backpack

Joe seems really excited about his new backpack and his new school. I've been prepping Joe for his first day at school by talking about the school routines: "You'll put your backpack in your cubby, play, eat snack, listen to your teacher tell a story, then say goodbye ...", etc. So now Joe tells me that toys go in the "tiny pockets" and lunch goes in the "big pocket" (er ... otherwise known as the main compartment of the backpack?). Then the backpack goes in his cubby. So we're getting there!

Toddler Backpack

Of course, it was critical that the backpack pass Joe's "jumpability" tests.  It did. Whew.

And because I know I haven't shared any photos of Maggie here in a while, let me conclude with a completely superfluous photo of sweet baby goodness. As Joe says, she is "tute, tute, tute!"