31 July 2008

too much HGTV

So, I am a horrible patient when it comes to recovering from the trauma of natural birth. I was ready to leave the hospital about 12 hours after Avery was born and I was advised to "slow down" by my midwife at my first postpartum appointment. "Slow down", if I slow down anymore, I would be dead. Or so I thought. So instead of weeding my garden, running around town on errands and fun, and working on those house projects I had been saving up, I have been playing with my baby, taking some nice naps and watching HGTV. Alot of HGTV. (Now, I am going to be honest, I haven't stopped doing all of my projects and gardening, just a lot less.)

So, with inspiration from Design on a Dime, I went through this week and repainted a bunch of mismatched furniture in my living room to make everything match a little bit more. Our favorite pieces in the space are dark stained wood, so I grabbed a quart of a rich chocolate paint to do our updates. I painted my $5 thrift store coffee table and an old side table that I have had for years. Both were stained, scratched and various shades of stain that didn't match anything. I also updated the woodwork on my favorite vintage chocolate velvet lounge chair with the same brown paint. Everything looks so much better. Here are a few before and after pictures:

(end table, before & after)


(chair, before & after)


(coffee table, before & after)


Now, I just have to do something about that ratty, dirty couch...

30 July 2008

mama's got a brand new bag

Awhile back I posted about the stellar sewing class I took last spring. We made several great projects, including loungey pants, pillow cases, little zippered bags, and a final project of our choosing. Each project was chosen to teach us a specific skill, including various seams, zippers, button holes, drawstrings and hems.

For my final project I chose to make a bag that could be a funky, stylish diaper bag. (The store bought options are not appealing to me at all.) So, using a vintage barkcloth tablecloth I had thrifted the week before for the main fabric, a light cotton for the lining and a heavier contrasting fabric for the handle, I set to work. I made a few adjustments to the pattern, See & Sew #B5124. I put additional pockets inside, made the handle wider and skipped the cardboard base that they suggested. All choices I am very happy I made. The result is a casual, funky hobo-style bag that is roomier then it looks. I really like this bag. Oh, and the exterior fabric's riotous pattern hides any grubbies I encounter.

So, here's a few shots of the outside:



And the inside pockets:

(Two big pockets for random diapering supplies)

(Cell phone and key pockets so you can find the buggers)

29 July 2008

mom for a month or "what I've learned"

This past month has been so fun in so many ways. I love being a mom, love, love, love, that little bean and I don't even mind getting up in the middle of the night. That being said, some things have been a little harder then I thought they would be. Here are a few things that I have learned or that have been punctuated for me over the past 4 weeks, the good, the bad and the ugly.

#1 - I love that little baby more then I ever thought possible. i have always liked kids, but I had no idea just how much I could be smitten with this baby. I love watching her facial expressions, talking with her, laughing at all of her crazy stretches and grunts as she wakes up. It has been crazy to see how much she has grown and changed already. I can't imagine not having her around.

#2 - Breastfeeding may be natural, but it ain't always easy. This was something I thought would be a no brainer with a few of the usual challenges (chapped nipples and the like). I never expected it not to work... at all. About 5 days after Avery was born, we realized that she wasn't eating properly. She had lost a pound and a half from her birth weight. She was tiny and had no energy. So, we did a crash course in bottle feeding overnight and put on 6 ounces in 18 hours. We then spent the next week doing this crazy cup feeding thing in combo with the bottle, meeting with lactation, pumping every 2-3 hours. Final diagnosis, small baby, small mouth, big nipples, in conjunction with a bad sucking habit too. So now, 4 weeks later, I am still pumping and bottle feeding, trying to get that stinker to latch on. Oh, and this week we had the fun of a breast infection. Woo-hoo. Hopefully things will get easier soon.

#3 - Small newborns with cute skinny thighs do not always work with cloth diapers. I had everything ready, but as they say, "the best laid plans...". So, until she plumped up, we had to use disposables to prevent yucky leaks and blowouts. She is now big enough, so now I am just getting the best combo worked out so they are not too bulky.

#4 - Everything takes more time then I thought it would. Getting out of the house, pumping all the time. I don't have nearly as much time as I thought I would and time goes soooooo fast. I seem to be getting more efficient as time goes by, so hopefully by the time I have to go back to work, I have things a little bit more under control. But I don't know if time is ever going to slow down.

#5 - I am more forgetful then I thought I would be. Everyone says that children kill brain cells, but I didn't believe them. I still don't completely agree, but the pot of melted breast pump parts is a good indication that I am not as sharp as I once was. Also, despite the crazy pumping schedule, I still manage to forget to eat all of the time. Getting better, but still not always there.

#6 - (I knew this before, but it has been reiterated over and over.) I don't want to go back to work in a few weeks. I just want to stay home with that little baby and work on my house and projects (some of which I will blog about soon).

#3 -

01 July 2008

introducing...

Avery Charlotte

born 6/26/08
6 lbs. 3 oz.
20 inches
super duper cute and cuddly
extremely kissable
our teeny, tiny little bean