Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My crazy life

Well, I've been away for a while! There has been so much going on!

First of all, me and the fam went up to Guttenburg (above Dubuque) to take my maternity pictures. We stayed at the Hotel Julien in Dubuque the night before and then drove up the next morning to see Stephanie. She's a photographer friend that I hadn't had the opportunity to meet yet and I was as excited to finally meet her as I was to have the session. And she was sweet enough to fit us in on the day that she was having her son's birthday party. She's such a sweetie!

The girls went crazy as soon as we got to the hotel. They love staying at hotels!

Unfortunately, I only have crappy cell phone pictures. I wish I could show you all the details at this place. It was beautiful!

We took a few pictures around Stephanie's property and then drove down to the creek for the rest. It was pretty hot that day and the cool creek was a welcome relief! The girls didn't complain AT ALL (they're water babies for sure). The only problem were the minnows (thankfully, Iowa doesn't have Cotton Mouths like they do back home in NC) - they loved my toes and thought my dress was a cool cave...

This is where the fish attacked...

Stephanie is so talented!

These images belong to Stephanie Strader of Funny Gal Photography in Guttenburg, Iowa. Please do not copy or distribute them without her consent. She's super awesome and should you be in the area, you should SO TOTALLY look her up!

So then, we came home and the very next day packed up the car to go to Des Moines. The hubs had to be up there for a couple nights for some Marine stuff and I was scared to stay by myself with everything that's been going on with this pregnancy. I have to say, it was actually pretty fun (aside from the random "Active Shooter on Base" drill that they forgot to tell us was a drill...). We got to spend some time with Josh when we normally wouldn't, I got to finish reading "The Help" (which I highly recommend) and I got to try Bandit Burrito, which apparently my husband is crazy about. He makes a point to go there every time he's in Des Moines. It was pretty tasty - like Pancheros - and Gestational Diabetes friendly :). We even found a little park at a beach on a lake that we plan to take the girls back to once the water warms up some more. After I have this baby...

We got back Friday night and I had planned to get everything finished for the baby on Saturday. I was a mad woman. Can we say "Nesting"??? Yeah... I got it bad. Of course, Josh was more concerned about the yard being three feet high since we'd been gone for so long, so the yard took priority. Then he wanted to cook out (the girls kind of pushed that issue too...), but he vowed to finish everything on Sunday. Sunday we got up and went out for breakfast, then to Target to get a few more storage thingies for the baby. The whole time I was having contractions and by the time we left Target, I couldn't ignore them. I called the doc and they said to come in to L&D.

Did I forget to mention my oldest was having her preschool graduation at 2? Yeah. Missed that :(.

So I'm hanging out in L&D while the hubs takes the girls to the graduation. I was beyond upset. However, I was also 4 cm dilated at 35 weeks and 5 days and having contractions 4-5 minutes apart... No Bueno. This turned into a very bumpy ambulance ride to Iowa City in case I delivered and my baby needed to hang out in the NICU. Long story short - the contractions stopped, but they had me chill out with them until I was safe to deliver here. The girls didn't care... they thought they were at another hotel. One where Mommy didn't get out of her nightgown or leave the room or look like a member of the living world for two days... 

My hubby was so concerned - he rented a PS2 from the patient library and played video games. In his defense, he waited for the girls to go to sleep and was super awesome at taking care of them and letting me rest.

They gave us a very nice room so that everyone could stay with me. The bed was big enough for me and my husband and, as you can see, the girls shared the couch. They actually loved it. (And used their quilts a LOT :) )
I'm happy to be home now, but it was really comforting to know that, should anything happen, there were 30 doctors and nurses available to come help me. The little one pulled the cord in the bathroom one time the first morning and it got crowded real fast! That door stayed closed the rest of the time!

I've been home for a solid day and it's been nerve-wracking. I'm constantly afraid of going into labor, but I have to take care of the girls and do housework. I was able to get everything finished for the baby, for the most part, and am now just finishing up laundry. I'm safe to deliver at this point, but I want to make sure Josh is around to take me to the hospital and I would prefer having my family and bestie here. I just don't think that's going to be possible though. Also, my other photographer friend here in town is supposed to be doing my birth photography, but she's got a wedding in the Dominican Republic (I know right? How cool is that???) next week, so our dear little one has to come either before or after that trip... Grr.

Waiting for baby #3
 So that has been my life for the past couple of weeks. It's been a little fun, a little scary and a whole lot crazy! I can't imagine what the next couple of weeks will have in store...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finishing up

Well, I've been working my tail off on this stuff! I've got my burp cloths, swaddling blankets, fleece blanket and a sheet done. All that's left is two more sheets. I keep procrastinating on those last two for some reason. I have  a "rib out" as my OB says and boy is it painful! I can't sit at the sewing machine for very long, and as this baby gets bigger, just sitting up in general is getting difficult. At least I've not got much longer to go!

Finished burp cloths. I used THIS tutorial.

After the first couple cloths, I decided to not sew down the lines of the diaper. I don't have a walking foot so the ones I did do like that got bunched up.

Satin trimmed blanket. I loved mine and the other girls have one, so I had to make another. They are possibly my favorite thing to make! I love the orangey color with the fuchsia!

Fitted pack n play sheet using THIS tute.

Hint: Make your hem wide enough and use the largest safety pin that will fit! It took forever to thread that elastic using a little basting pin... especially since my hem line was a little wonky.

My growing stack of finished items :)

My last two sheets and my nighttime reading...

So, that's what I've been working on this weekend while Josh was working. I just hope my rib will stop hurting long enough for me to finish those last two sheets so I can get on to the fun crafts I want to do with the girls.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

WIP it!

I've got a lot of WIP (works in progress) going on right now. I know I sound like a broken record, but it's really all I can think about until it's done! Just some sheets, burp cloths and swaddling blankets to go. At least they go together a lot faster than a quilt - but cutting them isn't exactly easy when you have a giant belly and can only cut in the floor!

What's left of my Heather Ross stash...

Flannel waiting to become a sheet

Lots of flannel for lots of goodies!

Burp cloths, swaddling blankets, sheets and a fleece blanket with satin trim.

I hope the girls like their fleece blankets as much as I did. Mamaw made one for my brother when he was born and he gave it to me when I was born (10 years later) and I carried that thing with me wherever I went for years. Okay... I was a little TOO attached to mine, but it got me through many break-ups and tornado warnings. It was just so special for me to have something that 1) was made by Mamaw and 2) had belonged to my brother. I still can't walk past the girls' blankets without winding the satin around my finger...

Yeah, I know, I have a problem.

Anyway, that's what I'm working on right now. Hopefully everything will be done soon. I've got a few little things planned with my girls to help them get ready for the new baby. I found some things on Pinterest that look really interesting...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Getting ready for Baby #3

I am so ready to name this baby! Me and my husband, Josh, have been going back and forth for what seems like forever about what to name this baby. My favorite is Harper, but he doesn't like that. We've talked about Scarlett and Haleigh - along with thousands of others - but just haven't made a decision. Given the fact that we KNOW this baby will be born early, I'm getting a little nervous!

With this baby, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and, so far, have been able to control my sugars with diet and exercise, but our dear little one is still measuring very large. We'll find out in just about 3 or 4 weeks whether I'll be having her naturally (well, with the help of early Pitocin) or by C-section. I'm really not worried about that part, I just hope she doesn't have any issues with sugar or jaundice. However, needless to say, I'm getting close to panic mode trying to get everything done for our new little girl!

The first thing I've done is make a giant quilt. Well, it was supposed to be giant. Josh wanted a larger quilt so that it could be tucked into the bed at night. He likes to put the girls to bed every night, so that was his one request... the other girls' quilts are just too little and they end up wiggling them off at night.

I used fabric from Heather Ross' Mendocino and Far Far Away lines (I, II and maybe one or two from FFAIII) for this quilt. I LOVE Heather Ross fabric! It is so luxurious and soft and the designs are perfectly suited for a little girl. I have been all about some fuchsia and fairy tales with this baby, so I'm really hoping she ends up liking this.

I ended up messing it up pretty badly when I was squaring it up. It's a scrappy quilt and I didn't really follow a pattern, so the measurements were off. I was trying to keep the edge straight, but ended up messing it up BAD. So, naturally, I burst out into tears and sobbed as I cut another few inches off the side to make it square. Josh couldn't understand why I was crying so much, but guys never do...

I just love the fabrics on this quilt! Each fabric tells a different tale and all the stories that are woven into the stitches just make it so special. I can imagine her lying there, looking at the mermaids and the princesses and making up stories of far off lands just like I did as a little girl. At least I hope!

This is the first time I've pieced a back together and used flannel. I have to say, I'm in love! The softness of the flannel, the color and the little snippets of fabric is just so lovely to me. I really hope this little girl likes her quilt!

I had so much fabric left over from the first quilt, that I couldn't resist making some more goodness for this baby! I made another, smaller, quilt (the same size as the ones the girls have now), and a lovey with a teething ring. I've got some other items that I'm working on (burp cloths, swaddling blankets and sheets for the pack n play) that I'll show you next time. I'm staying very busy! I just hope it's all done before she gets here!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Welcome to my corner of the web!

Well, hello! Welcome!

I have decided to jump on the blog train and share what I've been doing. I was bitten by the quilting bug and have been going crazy making quilts and other goodies for my girls. I have loved making bedding for them and I would like to start making bedding for others as well. I have never liked the options on the market, so it's fun to be able to give my girls something unique and pretty that doesn't have "Dora" plastered all over it!

I want to start by showing the first quilts I ever made. The first one is Ashlyn's. She loves purple and I've been in a real Miami phase (I'm obsessed with the bright colors) so I used Amy Butler "Soul Blossoms" and Tina Givens "Opal Owl" to make this bright and colorful Pinwheel Quilt.

I hand quilt all my quilts. This is half because I really like the look of hand quilting and the nostalgia of it, and half because I don't have a very large machine, a walking foot, or the extra disposable cash to send them out. Besides, I think it makes the quilt special for the girls knowing it has my blood, sweat and tears (literally) sewn into it!

The back of Ashlyn's Pinwheel quilt, showing the hand quilting.

A few of my favorite fabrics. I think Soul Blossoms is one of my all time favorite fabric lines!

The next quilt I made was Micaela's. I made it before she had really discovered her favorite color, so I might have to make her another one (she LOVES pink). Lesson learned! Still I like it a lot. I really loved Zig Zag quilts at that time and was dying to make one. 

I really like how crinkly the quilts start to look over time. Unfortunately, this one has a nasty stain on it. The girls had been playing in a hamper in the kitchen and Ashlyn dumped Micaela in the floor, busting her mouth open. It continued to bleed a little after she went to sleep and, of course, she drooled all over the white part. Oh well... just adds another story!

I think I did pretty good for these being my first quilts! People ask all the time who taught me, and as much as I'd like to say my mamaw, she never actually taught me about quilting. She and my Mom taught me how to use sewing machines, but it wasn't until I discovered the joys of YouTube that I figured out quilting. I will say, The Missouri Star Quilt Company has some AMAZING tutorials on their YouTube channel! They are very well done and easy to follow. For the hand quilting, I just searched Google and if I use patterns, my favorite shop is, hands-down, Cluck Cluck Sew. I bought a Modern Chain Quilt from her a while back that I'm itchin' to start on. It might have to wait, though. I've got my eye on a Wonky Star quilt that I want for my bed...

Seriously... quilting is addictive! I've got a lot going on right now with Baby #3 on the way (name still to be determined), so I'll be posting pretty often. Check back soon and be sure to check me out on Flickr and Facebook for the latest updates. I'll be opening an Etsy shop soon, so be on the lookout for that as well.