This morning it became even more apparent to me why it is so hard to craft when taking care of a baby. After getting Henry dressed and ready for the day, I laid him down on our bed for 2 minutes and when I went to pick him up…This is a pee stain. Poor little guy. He’s been fighting a contact/allergy rash and peeing himself apparently. In between last minute doctors appointments and napping on the go…I finally got to work on my next crafting item, fabric scrap cards! I have loads of scraps laying around. I keep them on the back of my crafting room door….…and in a very messy drawer.The best is when you have scraps already cut into perfect triangles!All you do is lay them out onto a blank card (I buy mine in bulk at Hobby Lobby).Then, you stitch them down however you’d like. I decided to do a zig zag pattern this time. I love making these cards because they are very inexpensive to make and who doesn’t love a homemade card? This craft took less than 10 minutes and you can have a great set of 4 or 5 ready to go in 20 to give as a gift!
Day 1 of the Crafting Challenge is officially underway! About 8 months ago, I purchased Amy Gibson’s “For Keeps” quilting book. She’s by far my favorite quilting blogger and I love her style and teaching methods. I want to make everything in this book, but one quilt that really caught my eye is her paper pieced hexagon Popcorn Quilt shown on the front cover of the book.
Maybe it’s just the many different colors that drew me to this quilt or the possibility of 4 kids of my own snuggling underneath it for Family Movie Night while eating a big bowl of popcorn. Either way it spoke to me and I began gathering my supplies which included ordering 360 paper hexagons. I’ve always loved working with hexies, as I like to call them. I’ve used them in numerous projects, one of which was this anchor pillow for Henry’s nursery. The thing I love about hexagons is you can work on them while on the go. I pieced all of these together while on a road trip back in January. (Huge thanks to Paul for driving so I could accomplish this!) These are just 3 out of the 6 color families I chose to complete this quilt. In the mean time I have 3 more color families to complete and next on my list is green.
Each hexagon consists of a piece of paper loosely sewn to a 3.5″ square fabric piece. Then, 3 of these hexagons are stitched together using a whipstitch. It took me about 15 minutes to complete this one popcorn unit consisting of 3 hexagons. I’d say that’s still a success for Day 1 of our challenge…baby steps people, baby steps. Speaking of babies, Hank is totally satisfied sitting under one of my first ever completed quilts until this popcorn quilt is completed. Thanks for the support Hank!
Hey Strangers! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. In fact, my last post was about Hank’s birth story and truthfully he’s been my main focus for the past 4.5 months (as he should be!)He has grown so much over the past 4 months and I can’t believe how fast time has gone by.
Motherhood is truly a blessing and I love every minute of it. Over the past few months I’ve put my own personal projects on hold as I tried to figure out what this little man needs. With a days that revolve around unpredictable baby naps…breastfeeding sessions…walking off the baby weight…
…not to mention all the extra laundry and house cleaning! I just haven’t had as much time to do very much crafting. Now, that Hank is becoming a little more predictable and sleeping better at night, I have more energy to attempt some projects so I’ve decided to challenge myself over the next 10 days to do something crafty. Thanks for the idea Aunt Rachel! I’m not able to dedicate hours on end to a project like I could when I was pregnant with our little man, but I know I can commit 10-20 minutes a day to accomplish something on my crafting “to-do list”. While accomplishing this task, I don’t intend to neglect my motherly duties at all. I just plan to try to use my down time more wisely (i.e. giving up a little TV time to do so). I hope that you will follow along with me as I attempt this and maybe even challenge yourself to chip away at something that’s been on your “to-do list”! Check back on Monday to see what my first project is! Hank sure is curious about it!
Happy Friday everyone!
It’s officially been 4 weeks since we welcomed Henry (a.k.a. Hank, Little Man, Handsome, Hankster) into our lives. It’s been a wonderful month of snuggles, spit up, tired nights, naps for both parents and child, family visiting and just learning to go with the flow or with Hanks not so much of a schedule. Since giving birth, I’ve received a few notes from people who were curious about Hank’s birth story so here goes. P.S. Please bear with me because Little Man is sleeping for I’m not sure how long so I’m going to try to get this down as quickly as possible!
As many of you know my due date was October 19th. Everyone knows due dates are just estimates, but for 9 months you picture that day in your head and think no matter what baby will be here by then. No matter how many people tell you that first time mom’s typically are “late”, you still think you are exempt from this because after all your mom and sister were both early right? Wrong! October 19th came and went and still no baby boy in sight. The good news is Paul was home to endure the waiting with me because his squadron left him behind from a 2 week detachment in order to ensure he was home for the birth. We ended up getting a lot of quality time in that week with morning walks, last minute projects and forced labor. Yes, Paul made me mow the lawn to try to induce labor. FYI it didn’t work, but I hear it does work for some people.
Anyway, October 19th came and went and we had no signs baby was even thinking about coming until October 22nd hit. Paul and I were watching a movie on the couch in the afternoon and all of a sudden I started to feel what I would describe as light menstrual cramps. I had been experiencing lots of Braxton Hicks that week associated with a lot of belly tightness, but never any sort of pain. My radar was up and I started to look to see if these pains were coming in any sort of pattern. They were at first. Every 7-8 minutes I would feel a little cramp, but then it would go 15 minutes so I knew this pattern wasn’t enough of anything to really get too excited. As the evening went on, we settled down to some Thursday night football watching and the cramps were still coming, but still no pattern. It was finally time for bed (around 9p.m.) and I was still having cramps. They were strong enough that I really wasn’t able to fall asleep. Plus, we have one of those crazy clocks in our bedroom that reflects the time onto the ceiling so of course I was staring at that trying to see if these pains were coming in a pattern yet! 10 o’clock went by, then 11 o’clock, then midnight. I started thinking “alright, if this is going to happen today I have got to get some sleep so I’m ready to push this baby out.” Sleep, however, never came.
At 2 o’clock I got up to use the bathroom and I realized I had lost my mucous plug. Those of you who have had children, know what this means. Everyone else can google it if you are curious, otherwise I’ll spare you the details. Needless to say things started to progress quickly after that. The cramps became a lot more painful and started coming every 5 minutes. I decided to go watch some TV to pass the time, since I knew we needed to monitor them for an hour before we could even think about going to the hospital. Unless your water breaks, the hospital doesn’t really want to see you until you are seriously in active labor. I turned on Law & Order S.V.U., an episode I’d been saving for a rainy day and began timing the duration and frequency of the contractions. One Law & Order episode complete and I had noted contractions were every 5 minutes, for at least 1 minute for an entire hour. Time to wake up Paul.
I told him he might want to get up and shower because we should get ready to go to the hospital. He showered, I showered, we fed the cats, I continued to monitor contractions, we packed any last minute items, I packed a food satchel for Paul (which he gets a kick out of me making a PB & J for him while I’m having contractions). It helps to stay busy okay?!
Around 4:45 we left to drive to the hospital about 15 minutes away. We got to the check-in counter and they asked some questions, then decided to put us in a room to start some monitoring. After about an hour, the nurse could definitely tell I was having contractions, but I was only 1cm dilated. She called our doctor who decided it was best for us to go home to labor some more because she knew I wanted to have as few interventions as possible and being admitted this early as a first timer would mean they would definitely have started me on Pitocin or something to speed things up. I’m going to be honest, I was pretty devastated to be sent home, especially when the nurse said it could still be days until our little man appeared. What? Days!? Please, tell me this is not going to last days! I shed a few tears to Paul and then he helped escort me back to our car and drove us home. They said to come back when I’m actually in active labor (i.e. contractions 3 minutes apart, getting stronger and more intense). Roger.
We got home around 7 AM and as soon as we got there things definitely got more intense. Paul put on a Harrison Ford classic, The Fugitive, to help pass the time, but there was no way I could focus on the movie. All I could think about was getting through the pain, but I couldn’t find any position to make me comfortable. Walking around helped the most, but I knew I was supposed to try to relax through contractions. It’s pretty hard to relax when you are walking around. Before I had ever felt a real contraction, I really wanted to try to go as natural as possible with childbirth (i.e. no epidural, no Pitocin, no C-section, etc.) However, from the moment we got home and the contractions got more intense and closer together, all I could think about was that epidural. I asked Paul if he’d be upset with me for getting one when we got back to the hospital and he of course said “Sweetie, anything that is going to help you and our baby is fine with me.” Love him. I had originally told him to not let me do it no matter what I said, but I think he realized how delirious with pain I was and that I was going on no sleep. He knew I needed to rest before pushing out this baby.
After me writhing on the floor every 3 minutes in pain, telling Paul how much it hurt we decided this HAD to be active labor and we needed to head back to the hospital. It was around 10:15am. They definitely received us differently this time. It was now obvious I could not answer any questions, I could not even look them in the eyes. Any surface I could lean on was my new best friend and they got us to a room quickly to start more monitoring. This time we had a different nurse, Martha, who actually was our birth class instructor. She was excited to get assigned her former students and we were excited to have her! She immediately checked to see if I had dilated anymore and I was now at a “stretchy 3cm” and 90% effaced. Wow! That was definitely progress. She called our Doctor again and she still didn’t want to admit me! She wanted me to walk around outside the hospital to get a little further along. In her defense, she still thought I was thinking “natural” childbirth at this time, but I assured her I wanted the epidural as soon as possible. In this case, she was willing to admit us. Martha got the blood and urine sample started and then notified the anesthesiologist that she was wanted in our room, stat. It took about 30 minutes for the samples to go through, and then it was epidural time, around 12:30 pm. I always heard how amazing this was, but seriously, I felt nothing from the time they administered it, until it was time to push. I think Paul was just as relieved as I was. There’s really not many things more difficult than to see your mate in so much pain.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty relaxed. That was probably the best thing about the epidural, the ability for me to sleep. Up until this point I hadn’t slept in 36 hours and had technically been in labor for about 16 of those hours. After giving me the epidural, they said they might have to give me Pitocin if I didn’t progress far enough at their next check. Luckily, my body continued to progress on it’s own. Martha came in to check me at 2:30 and I was 5 cm, then again at 4:30pm and I was 7cm, then at 6:00pm I was at 9cm. They came back to check me at 7 and I was still at 9cm so the doctor recommended starting Pitocin just to give my body the extra kick it needed to reach full dilation of 10cm. After about 15 minutes, I had the urge to push. Unfortunately, the doc was on call and had gone home for the evening. The nurse said legally they couldn’t let me push until the doctor was there so I had to wait. At this point, I wasn’t in pain, but was able to feel the pressure from each contraction, which was great because I knew exactly when to push when the doctor finally arrived. Doc got there around 7:55pm. It’s amazing the amount of people who suddenly show up in your delivery room when it’s time to push. I seriously think there were like 6 people cheering me on, including the lady who gave me the epidural.
It took pushing through about 5 contractions for Henry to be born at 8:16pm and it was truly amazing. Paul was by my side the entire time and got to cut the umbilical cord. They placed Hank on my chest as soon as he came out, but quickly swept him away to the incubation station in the room to try to get him to cry loudly. He was breathing fine, but they really like to hear a loud cry to ensure the lungs are clear of fluid. Meanwhile, the doc started stitching me up since I had a little bit of tearing (understandable when you just pushed a tiny human out of the smallest opening possible). Paul likes to compare it to toothpaste coming out of it’s bottle. I know, thanks for the visual Pauly. I was definitely a little worried for out little man because they kept trying to get him to cry and even called in some specialists from the NICU. I really hadn’t gotten a good look at him either because they no sooner laid him on my chest and then swept him away. At around 8:45pm, they got the cry they wanted and were able to continue with getting little man’s birth stats: 6lbs 1oz and 19.5″ long (such a little peanut). The room cleared out pretty quickly after that and Paul and I were left alone to get acquainted with our new little dude.
It’s amazing how quickly you forget about all of the discomfort and pain your body just went through when you finally get to see the little face you’ve been picturing for 9 months or longer if you’re the type whose always dreamed about what your kids would look like. For those of you currently expecting and nearing your delivery date and/or those of you who would like to some day, please don’t be scared by anything I’ve written here. Everyone’s experience is different and pain is only temporary. God fearfully and wonderfully made the female body to endure the amazing experience of childbirth. You can do all things through Him who strengthens you!
(Photo credit for above photo goes to Savanna Morgret, Birth Services & Photography).
Car seat is installed and stroller is put together! Had my 36 week appointment this week. They were a little worried I was measuring small due to low weight gain in a month and my fundal height being the same as it was at 32 weeks. Got to have one final glimpse of baby “D” on an ultrasound and they think he’s 6lbs 2oz which is right on track. The ultrasound did give them a chance to see that he is in the frank breech position so we will have to wait and see what they want to do about that. As far as baby is concerned his digestive system is finishing it’s final developments and from the ultrasound I could see that baby “D” is going to have a nice set of hair on his head at birth! Next week we will be early term!
We’re early term! Yay! But baby is still breech. After much debate and talking to lots of friends, we decided to schedule an E.C.V. for this week. For those of you who don’t know, an E.C.V. stands for External Cephalic Version and really just means a manual flipping of baby. It’s a procedure they have available these days to try to turn a breech baby to the head down position by pushing on mom’s belly. There are definitely some risks with the procedure with the worst case scenario ending in an emergency C section. Not ideal, but with a 60% success rate we figured the odds were in our favor and if it would avoid scheduling a planned C section at 39 weeks, we felt it was worth it. After much prayer and me doing lots of exercises recommended by my doula friend, Savanna, from the spinning babies website baby “D” was head down the day the version was scheduled! Praise God! Thanks for all of the prayers. Now we just pray he stays that way! This week he’s about 6.5 lbs and getting bigger every day!
Baby is still head down and Paul and I were thrilled to get a nice long weekend in before baby comes. We took a day trip to Morro Bay and Cambria (Definitely had our hospital bag in the car just in case). We also went to an 80’s themed murder mystery party and got another trip in to Lowes to finish some house projects and the last baby project for Henry (see Nursery post). Baby is producing a lot of surfactant this week so his lungs can expand with those first breaths!
Baby is considered full term this week! We are all ready for “H” day (our term for Henry’s date of arrival). Paul finished up one more qualification he was hoping to get done before Henry arrived so we are definitely ready now. Had our 39 week appointment as well and were told that not only is Henry still head down, but his head is low and engaged. (This is good for labor!) Baby’s lungs are fully developed now and the main thing still growing and developing is his brain!
Well, I wasn’t sure if we would make it this far or not, but yesterday, October 19th, was our official due date so we are officially over due. 50% of pregnancies go past their due date, especially since it’s just an estimated date to begin with. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our sweet boy. I think Henry is just delaying his all milk diet and I honestly can’t blame him. Good news is I’m still feeling good and he seems to be happy in there still. The next post should include a picture of our sweet little boy and oh are we ready to meet him!
When people would ask what our nursery theme was, I had a hard time putting all of the elements into words. I would say, “It has a vintage feel with lots of primary colors, but also kind of a rustic tone with lots of handmade items.” It wasn’t until I Face-timed with Baby “D’s” Grandma “D” (soon to be called Nana) that she came up with the term “home spun”. I thought, “That’s it! Home spun!” It seemed fitting that the entrance to this “home spun” nursery should have a homemade name plate. Welcome to the nursery of Henry Paul Dixon, aka “Hank”, coming October 2015! Living in a mostly farming community it seemed only natural to incorporate some barn themed items like this barn quilt hung above a quilt ladder full of homemade blankets and quilts. I swapped the old 70’s closet door knobs out for some burlap ones. Hanging above the closet is a sign made out of metal letters found at Hobby Lobby and some stained wood. On the next wall over we have a rustic bookshelf that definitely has a barn-wood feel with a sweet sign hung above with the lyrics to a song from a favorite musical, Guys & Dolls. With a Daddy who loves musicals it seemed like a must! Thank you Hobby Lobby!Right next door is our Jenny Lind style crib with the homemade bumper blogged about here. Hung directly above is the banner used at my family shower back East with some vintage alphabet cards pinned on that I found on Etsy. In the next corner we put an antique red wagon with a chalkboard made from the end of an old antique crib. Inside of the wagon are some Boyd’s Bears from my childhood and they are farm animals!Hung directly above is the baby mobile I made from a Pinterest tutorial found here. I loved the primary colors a nd the sweet airy feel of the hot air balloons.
The next wall is the changing station. We picked out a changing table that matched the crib. The nice thing is the changing table portion comes off so later it can just be a plain old dresser. The fox bin is made by a company called 3 Sprouts and can be found on Amazon here. I love all of their stuff. So cute!The next little area I like to call the “nursing station”. This is where I plan to spend a lot of time, especially at night, holding little Henry and yep, you guessed it, letting him nurse his face off as my brother-in-law, John, likes to say. The chair was a splurge from Babies R’ Us. A piece of advice I received from many people was to not skimp out on a nursing chair and to get something that swivels AND rocks so that you have more mobility. The quilt and the pillow I made some time last year before we even knew baby was coming and they seemed to fit the “Home Spun” feel. The lamp was made on a date with me, my hot glue gun and some thick twine. The original shade was sparkly gray and while that would’ve been adorable in a little girl’s room, it just wasn’t going to fit the feel of this room. The burlap look of the shade now goes perfectly with the barn feel.The next wall contains yet another dresser. I know what you are thinking,”How much clothing storage does this child need?” The truth is we just didn’t have anywhere else to put it, but it’s such a great piece I couldn’t part with it yet. Also hung on either side of the dresser are more barn quilts that I made 2 summers ago. I hope he likes them because they are all over this room!Hung directly above the dresser is a wooden letter “H” Paul made specifically for this spot (and the reason this blog post is just now being posted). Paul has been working on it every weekend for about a month now and it’s finally done! I love it! (Also pictured is the 2015 Longaberger Easter basket that Grandma Phillips loves to give each grandchild, a Brio plane bought by Henry’s Papaw Phillips, a wooden train piggy bank found by Henry’s Nana at an antique store on the Eastern shore of Virginia and cowboy boots crocheted by Henry’s Great Grandma B.J.!) A new addition to the quilt ladder will be this beautiful embroidered Noah’s Ark themed quilt Great Grandma B.J. just finished. She said she was thinking about Henry with every stitch she made…that’s a whole lot of time thinking about little Hank! Well, there you have it! A “home spun” nursery. Now we are just waiting for baby Henry’s arrival (39 weeks today). Any day now!
Went to first birthing class and Paul completed his last det before baby comes. Yay! Also, the store I have been working at through me a baby shower in an adorable vintage/baby book theme. Each item of food coordinated with a book a co-worker brought (i.e. Green Eggs & Ham was represented by deviled eggs with avocado & bacon bits). Thanks Decor a Lemoore for a beautiful shower and Katie Mitchell for hosting!Baby is developing his own fetal immune system this week so he can fight all of those germs he will get exposed to once he’s outside the womb.
Baby proofing has begun! Paul installed a dead bolt to our front door this week and he changed out some outlets to make them child proof so that baby “D” can’t get hurt putting his fingers in the outlet. Speaking of fingers…Baby’s fingernails have reached the tips of his fingers by now!35 Weeks
I’m starting to have trouble taking my wedding bands off at the end of the day and Baby “D” sure does like to do his water aerobics between 9 and 10 at night. I complain but I secretly love it. I’m finding it harder to sleep at night because of the back pain and I keep waking up at 3AM like clock work to empty my bladder. Funny how God starts preparing us for those sleepless nights! Baby should almost be done growing tall at this point and should be busy just putting on some chub (about 1/2 a pound a week)! Grow baby grow.
Can’t believe there is only 1 month left! Excited to see when this baby boy decides he wants to meet us. Until then, I’ll be looking forward to my first blind date ever and I know I’m going to love him!
Paul and I have been busy getting the nursery put together. Yes, blog post soon to come on that, but before we could tie up those loose ends, I’ve had a few items on my “get done before baby comes” list. Here are a just a few and I’m still working on many of these:
- Finish any books people lent to me and give them back (yes, I’ll have plenty of time to read while nursing, but I don’t want to lose track of any borrowed books).
- Find a cloth diapering detergent (you would not believe the options out there and all of the opinions! Very overwhelming. We decided to try Country Save because it’s economical and supposed to be good for sensitive skin.
- Wash cloth diapers. Check.
- Put inserts into cloth diapers and put away neatly for use after baby is around 2 months old. Check.
- Wash baby clothes, blankets and sheets. Check.
- Make some meals ahead of time to freeze for easy breakfast, lunches and dinners. Can’t wait to eat this breakfast burritos!
Realistically, all of these items could get done after baby comes, but the one that was on my list that will definitely not get done in those first couple of weeks is:
7. FINISH T-SHIRT QUILTS!
I had 2 on my list that had to get done, both for fellow squadron mates. The first one was a Harley Davidson themed quilt. Using black and orange was a no-brainer. I decided to add a checkered square into the grid pattern to add a little more Harley flare to the project.
Adding these really made this one pop!
The second quilt was for a University of Florida grad so blue and orange were the main colors in this one. I wasn’t able to make all the blocks the same size since the shirt patterns were all different heights. It took a little bit of measuring and laying things out to get this one right.
Felt baby’s hiccups for the first time! Probably one of my favorite things. Also, visited six flags with Uncle Aaron and Uncle Evan (couldn’t ride anything, but was fun to spend time with family.) Back pain is definitely a more prominent symptom. This week baby can open and close his eyes and he sleeps and wakes at normal intervals.
Officially started the third trimester this week! In the home stretch. Finished a lamp shade and baby mobile for the nursery this week and we picked up a comfortable rocking chair for me to nurse in. This week baby is blinking and is now experiencing the REM portion of sleep.
We spent this entire week at Big Bear Lake with my immediate family. Baby “D” went on numerous hikes, spent lots of time in the swimming pool, partook of lots of good food and went kayaking! Can you spot Baby “D” in this family photo?It’s hard to get the whole gang together so we were thrilled to capture this moment. This week his muscles and lungs are continuing to mature and he’s soaking up lots of calcium, which means Momma needs to drink her milk.
Went on numerous walks this week and attended a baby shower thrown by our squadron friends. Baby “D” is spoiled already with so many nice things. This week baby’s brain is continuing to develop and he can regulate his own body temperature. Good thing because it is hot here in the Central Valley of California!
Mommy turned 28 this week! Daddy took her out for dinner and it was then that we realized this was our last birthday celebration where we won’t need to get a babysitter if the parental unit wants a night out. Baby can turn his head this week from side to side and all of his other extremities are beginning to plump up.
There is a lot of speculation on baby bumpers these days. Back in the day, just about any crib you came across had one, but now S.I.D.S. is a concern and people don’t think they are the safest thing to have in a crib. Keeping that in mind, I designed this colorful crib bumper that isn’t too thick, but provides enough padding to soften those crazy rolls in the middle of the night. I utilized the same concept as the cathedral window baby play mats that I love to make by Amy Gibson, but only did one row and stuffed each circle with poly-fill to give it some extra cushion.
First, I found a ton of fabrics that I liked at the local Hobby Lobby. Unfortunately, they don’t sell fat quarters the way Jo-Ann’s does, so I literally took 20 bolts of fabric up to the counter and had her cut 1/4 yd of each. Yikes! We bonded though so it’s all good.
Then, I cut all of these fabrics into 9″ circles using my handy dandy circle rotary cutter. I cut out 28 batting circles into 9″ pieces as well to help stabilize the circles.
Then, I put the circles all around the crib so I could make sure I separated stripes from polka dots, chevrons from geometrics. This way it would be more visually appealing overall.
Once I was sure of my pairs, I laid them on the floor in the order I wanted to sew them together with a batting circle. I also made sure I put the ribbon with the correct circle pair so that the bumper can be tied on correctly. After pinning all of the circles to make sure the ties would end up on the outside and the batting on the inside, I got to sewing all around the edges.
Next, I cut a hole in each circle and flipped it right side out. I was sure to check that the ribbon ties were also on the outside.Then, I ironed all the circles flat and started stuffing and sewing the circles together. Once I had all the circles stitched together, I laid it out to see how it looked before stitching down all of the flaps. Just in case I had a last minute change, it would be easier to pull them apart at this stage. Once, I was satisfied, I stitched the flaps down. This part was a little trickier than the play-mat since these circles were a lot puffier, but it still worked out.
Then, I marveled at the sewn flaps. Here’s the front:And the back:This crib is definitely going to be fun to look at for baby. Hopefully it isn’t too stimulating! Guess we’ll find out soon enough! Here are a couple of close ups: