Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pants, pants, more pants, and pumpkins.

This is the project that took up most of my maternity leave. Not because it was hard, mind you, but because I kept trying to work in three minute increments with a tiny baby in the house. I'm still trying to figure that whole thing out ...

Heartbreaker Pants and Big Butt Baby 

Anyway! Matching pants for my friends Robin and Melissa's little guy Miles and their little guy on the way. Miles' third birthday was a week ago, and his little brother is expected any day now. They live in Brooklyn, where they have real seasons, so I figured some nice autumnal corduroy pants were in order.

I tried a new pattern for Miles' pants - the "Little Heartbreaker Pants" from Sewing For Boys, by Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage. These pants have a lovely, old-fashioned trouser silhouette: high, pleated waist, wide legs, and deep cuffs. I think they have a 1930s gangster vibe (some suspenders would look cute!). Sewing-wise, they were pretty straightforward, if a bit fiddly. But the hardest part was that Miles lives in Brooklyn, so I couldn't try them on him to make sure they fit! I did have a few measurements to work from, but it's always hard sewing for a little person you haven't seen for months.

Heartbreaker Pants and Big Butt Baby Pants

Yes, the tiny pair are Big Butt Baby Pants with a contrasting orange bottom. Miles and his little brother will be styling for Thanksgiving!

Thank goodness, Miles' pants fit him perfectly! Melissa sent me these adorable photos of Miles posing. With a block. Of course! And here is the back.

Eek! These are so cute!! I totally cut out a pair of pinstriped ones for Joe, which will probably take me another three months to sew.

After sewing up those corduroy Big Butt pants for Miles' brother, I decided that Maggie needed a pair of orange cord pants too. I even busted out a scrap of my precious orange faux-bois so that she could have woodgrain butt. Woodgrain butt!! Gah.

Big Butt Baby Pants

In other orange-related news, check out these pumpkins we grew! They're huge!! They are a French heirloom variety called Rouge Vif e’Etampes, or French Cinderella Pumpkins, because they look like the pumpkins that Cinderella's carriage was magically made from.


The vegetable garden is winding down as we move from summer into Indian summer (which is undoubtedly the best time of year in the San Francisco Bay Area) into autumn. The tomatoes are still producing here and there and the basil is still glorious, but in general, everything looks messy and terrible back there. It's just that time.

But we are going to have the best Jack o'Lanterns ever this year.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three Months!

Here we are: Three months!

3 Months!

Maggie seems to get more talented (she can grab things and stuff them in her mouth!) and social (she can engage BART passengers in staring contests!) every day. She is a fairly serious baby, normally quite observant and contemplative, but when she smiles, it is with her whole body!

3 Months!

Here she is in her three month tee and her deer/mushroom Big Butt Baby Pants. She is now in 3-6 month clothes, just in time for three months! (I think Joe was wearing 9-12 month sizes by this age. Our arms and backs thank the universe every day for our nice, average-sized Maggeroo.)

Big Butt Baby Pants.

We are adjusting pretty well to my return to work. My first day back, Maggie hardly drank anything from the bottle and didn't sleep much. When I got home, she had dark circles under her eyes. She latched on to the breast and stayed there for about two hours, just snoozing and nursing.

For his part, Joe brought me his Lego guy and told me "The boy misses his mama." When I suggested that the boy go find his mama and give her a hug, Joe said, "No, his mama is gone. He misses his mama."

Well, shoot, bring on the mother guilt, why don't you!

Thank goodness, the second day went quite a bit better. Maggie is taking the bottle a bit better, and seems happy and contented (but still happy to see me) when I get home. And last night, Joe and I built a Lego house, and he put the boy and his mama in it, so I think we're okay! Whew.

3 Months!

I love my kids. I have to work, and I really want them to be happy at home with their daddy, who loves them to bits. But I sure do miss them.

Look at those cheeks! Smoochy, smoochy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ring sling.

This ring sling - yes, the one I made when I was pregnant and just hated, because the topstitching was messy and almost busted my machine - has turned out to be super useful. Yeah, okay, I cringe when people inspect it too closely, but it is super washable, it packs down tiny and can be folded into a diaper bag, it's endlessly adjustable, and most importantly, Maggie likes being carried in it.

I guess it just goes to show: Sometimes it's all about the professional finishings and sometimes, it's just not.

I used it all the time during Maggie's newborn phase in a basic snuggle hold. I still use that hold a lot, but Maggie's getting bigger now and one of the great things about a ring sling is its versatility. So I decided it was time to learn some new tricks. (Where does one learn these ring sling tricks? YouTube, of course! I love the modern world.)

Maggie is really loving this new hold, which is aptly titled the "kangaroo hold," because it allows her to look around and check everyone out.

Ring sling
My little "Joey" (oh wait, I already have one of those!)

Maggie is getting to be such a roly-poly baby! Her little rolls and bracelets just kill me. She weighs almost 13 pounds now!

It's hard to believe, but she'll be three months old next week.

Ring sling
Do you see my other Joey?

I start back at work on Monday. I'm sure going to miss hanging out with my kids all day, every day. Maternity leave has been lovely. I wish I could stay home longer, but alas, the mortgage does not pay itself. Ms. Margaret will be staying home with Joe and Steve while I return to paid work.

Yesterday I left Steve with both kids and did a little retail therapy in an effort to psych myself up for my return to the office. I'm still a few (cough cough) pounds above my prepregnancy weight. I had hoped to sew myself a few things (and I still hope to!) but realistically, I need some clothes that fit my current shape and make me feel good right now.  There is a reason that most of the photos of me that I've posted on this blog have been in this same dress - it's one of the four or five things I am wearing right now!

The good news was that I found a bunch of cute tops at H&M and didn't break the bank. Yay!

The not so good news is that Maggie cried the whole time I was gone and refused to take a bottle of expressed breast milk. Noooooo!

This girl loves her mama, and her mama sure loves her. It was hard leaving Joe at this age to return to work, so I know it will be a big adjustment for both of us, but I also know better the second time that it will all sort itself out. Maggie will learn to take the bottle, and she'll have all kinds of fun with her dad and her brother. And I'll settle back into work shortly. It will all be okay.


I better go enjoy my last few days of leave!