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6 months down, 3 to go!

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22 Weeks

Baby’s eyes are developed but his irises lack pigment. He’s finally reached 1lb in weight! Such a big boy! This week was spent in Annapolis, MD where Baby D got to spend time with both sets of grandparents, almost all of his aunts and uncles and his cousins! Too bad he wasn’t fully aware of this cool visit 😉

My family also managed to throw a surprise shower while I was home.  My 7 year old niece CAN be trusted with a secret! They got me and threw an adorable aviation themed shower (how could they resist when this boys Dad and both Grandfathers are pilots). imageThanks Grandmas for all the coordinating and secret keeping!image

23 Weeks

This week baby’s hearing is much better developed and he has a sense of movement (I.e. Can feel anytime his mommy decides to get up and do her “Abby dance”). His lungs are also beginning their developments so he can breathe outside of the womb in a few months!

24 Weeks

Baby is gaining at least 4 ounces a week and his brain is growing rapidly. I’m excited to have my baby Daddy back from almost 3 weeks in Alaska and baby sat through some loud 4th of July fireworks with limited kicks. I’m hoping this is good sleep training.  imageAlso, at the end of this week we watched the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup against Japan. Sherlock was happy to watch while keeping baby warm. 

 25 Weeks

Belly is the size of a soccer ball this week and we painted our nursery! Baby’s nostrils are fully developed and he’s taking his first breaths of amniotic fluid through them.  

 

26 Weeks

Got baby a crib and nursery preparations are well underway (photos soon to come). This is significant because this week, baby can open and close his eyes which means he will be able to SEE the nursery when he’s born!  Also, made a trip to Hume Lake with Uncle Evan (Fred). Baby “D” may be attending camp there some day!

 
Now onto the 3rd trimester! 

Baby “D’s” Playmat

I gave you all a sneak peak of the fabric I bought for Baby “D” in my 4 month post. I instantly fell in love with the colors and patterns on this Riley Blake fabric called “Oh, boy!”. The name just fits right?

imageWell, I love Amy Gibson’s Cathedral Window baby playmat tutorial.  I’ve probably used it 10 times now, when making gifts for people. It involves a lot of cutting, mainly 10″ circles of fabric and batting.imageThen, pairing up fabric circles and batting circles in a nice pile for quick sewing. imageThen, turn these circles inside out and lay them in a pattern you like and start stitching row by row.imageThen, the other rows. image
The fun part is stitching down all the flaps to make a beautiful cathedral window.image And the finished product.If only we had our sweet bundle of joy to model for you, but we do have his little shoes to imagine him filling soon :)image

5 months down, 4 to go!

18 Weeks

Got my first official belly touch this week! Crazy that this is really the only time in life where that wouldn’t be totally offensive. Also, felt Baby “D” move for the first time. So amazing to know he’s moving around in there.  Paul was able to feel him too which was even better. What’s happening with baby? Well,  a protective covering is forming around his nerves and his ears are finally in place on the sides of his head. Yay!

19 Weeks

Baby is making lots of developments this week. First, his sense of smell, hearing, taste are in full throttle. A waxy coating is beginning to develop on his skin AND his arms and legs are finally in proportion to his body. Speaking of proportions, my belly is finally showing enough that people are noticing. So I guess I don’t just look 8 lbs overweight anymore! Also, at the end of this week we got to see baby on ultrasound and received further confirmation that he is certainly a boy.

That was the last ultrasound before we get to meet our little bundle!

20 weeks

We are officially halfway! Apparently this week baby is no longer measured from crown to rump but from crown to heel since his legs are finally moving around a lot more.  Baby is swallowing more as well and producing a black, sticky by product of digestion. Mommy and Daddy “D” went on a trip or a “baby moon” down to Walt Disney World for 5 days. We celebrated 6 years of marriage and decided to go where it all began.  Disney dates

21 Weeks

Baby’s eyebrows and eye lids are now present and he is really packing some powerful punches. I have begun experiencing some lower back pain but nothing too terrible yet. Got asked for the first time by a Walgreens clerk when I am due. Guess the belly is starting to show enough to remove any doubt.

Only 4 months left! These weeks are really starting to fly by.

4 Months down, 5 to go!

I’m not very good at journaling, but I really want to document the next couple of months since pregnancy doesn’t come around all that often (for most people anyway). I thought writing a monthly post of memories, cravings, and belly photos would be a nice way for me to remember this experience later.  I decided since there isn’t much to see in months 1-3 that I would start with photos of month 4 and go from there. Today officially marks the end of Month 4 so here’s a recap!

14 Weeks:

Baby can now make facial expressions and pee (very important).  Baby “D” may even be able to suck a thumb.  Oh and we found out Baby “D” is a boy so we can start saying “he” officially! Side note: Paul is already a very proud father.  During the ultrasound Baby “D” used his legs to push off of my bladder and move around a lot. Paul’s response? “Yeah! Practicing those flip turns.” He’s so proud already.  Let’s seriously hope Baby gets his Daddy’s swimming skills because mine are non-existent.

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15 Weeks:

Baby “D” can sense light and his respiratory tract and lungs are in full development.  Yay for breathing! My belly finally feels hard this week and doesn’t feel like the soft pudge of a very large dinner. On another note, I’ve been craving protein! Ok, maybe a little bit fitting since we are baking a little boy in our oven, but seriously.  These In N’ Out burger cravings have to stop. Someone help me pleeaassee!

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16 Weeks:

This week Baby “D” is able to make facial expressions and can recognize voices. Ok, seriously how do they know that? Paul is skeptical as well, but it’s a sweet thought. I officially can’t wear pants anymore.  Okay, no one freak out.  I’m still wearing pants, but I can’t wear them without a belly band.  Even the hair tie trick is failing me.  I was hoping to prolong this moment for at least another month, but alas, it has come. On another note, we heard baby’s heartbeat this week.  Always a favorite of mine.

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17 Weeks:

The cats know there is a baby in my belly. Sherlock wants to sit on me ALL the time and Watson snuggles up to my belly at night. Little do they know what is actually happening in there though. Baby’s sweat glands are starting to develop and the skeleton is hardening. Baby is practicing sucking and swallowing, which is a very important skill for later. Confession: We had a lot of pasta this week. Call it a pregnancy craving or just a love of carbs.  Pray for Paul.  He may gain some sympathy weight based on the meals I’ve been preparing.  Bless him. Also, I caught myself singing baby to sleep already.  I really got to thinking about this baby recognizing voices and sounds and thought “here’s my chance to introduce lullabies!” I even googled the song my Dad used to sing to me and still sings to his grand kids whenever he puts them to bed. Dad sang a lot of Barbershop and he would always sing “Little Piggy Went to Market”.  It was my favorite and I had him sing it to me even when I was getting ready to have surgery on my small little ear canals.  Can’t wait for you to sing it to Baby “D” some day Dad!

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More growing to come and a lot of nesting! Speaking of…I finally found the perfect fabric to make Baby “D” a Tummy Time Mat. imageIt’s called “Oh Boy” by Riley Blake and has planes AND whales on it. So sweet.  More updates to come so stay tuned.

Very 1st T-shirt Quilt!

Amidst all of my nesting projects for Baby “D”, I also promised a friend of ours from the squadron that I would make him a t-shirt quilt.image He’s a fellow Naval Academy Alum and wanted to do something with all of his college tees. Well, a t-shirt quilt is perfect for making something functional out of keepsake items that are just taking up much needed space. Those soft shirts can be kind of flimsy once you finally get them cut out. My Grandma recommended ironing some interfacing to the back of each square to stabilize them so after cutting out 40 12.5″ t-shirts, I used my nifty quilting block and rotary cutter to do the same with the interfacing.  There are so many different ways to make a t-shirt quilt and I decided to go with a method that I’m most comfortable with and that is making 12.5″ squares and sewing them together with sashing in between. After cutting out all of the squares and ironing the interfacing to the back of each one, I got to work laying out the blocks. I realized my friend had given me just enough to make a lap size quilt and do a front and back.  After much rearranging….sewing sashing in between all of the blocks…IMG_3438The quilt is finally complete! Here’s the front…image

and the back!imageYay! Another quilt complete and a keepsake for years to come! Thanks for giving me this opportunity Alan!

Baby “D” Gender Reveal

As many of you already know, we’re having a baby in October!Dixon Announcement-8We are so excited and can’t wait for all of the changes ahead! We’ve been calling our little one Baby “D” since it’s pretty gender neutral. Dixon Announcement-3I’ve already begun to nest a little bit in some of my crafting. Remember these?imageWell, I may have already been “expecting” baby to be here for next Easter and stitched up 2 extra for our sweet bundle of joy. Before we knew about baby, Paul and I had made this pallet sign to sell in the store I work at. IMG_2933Since it sold (yay!), we will have to make another one for baby! In addition to crafting, baby has been growing! While a little progress can be seen on the outside…imageimagea LOT of progress has been happening on the inside! Here was our little gummy bear at 6 weeks:image

Here is baby at 14 weeks!imageAmazing right? It’s unbelievable what God created our bodies to do. Well, we just had our 14 week appointment this week and I was so glad Paul was actually home and able to come! We have a great photographer friend, Savanna Morgret, who takes amazing photos and she suggested doing a Reveal Photo session to capture the moment of finding out baby’s gender. I wish we had the patience to wait for delivery day, but let’s be honest, I’m a planner and we were just too excited to not know! We thought about having a gender reveal party, but things have been a little crazy in the squadron life AND family is all too far away to have made it to something like that. We thought doing a photo session would be a fantastic way to share the memory with our family spread all of our the country. I almost gave in during the appointment because it was killing me every time the nurse would turn the monitor away so we couldn’t see any sneak peaks. We thought 14 weeks might be too early to see anything, but the nurse said she wouldn’t have sent us home with a sealed envelope if she wasn’t sure.  Plus, the doctor came in and approved her findings. Now, to the reveal:dixon-8666

We decided to use silly string as our method of revealing since Paul’s family Christmas tradition is to put silly string in stockings and have a giant silly string battle before opening any presents. We had to reveal our baby this way, just had to! It’s a Dixon tradition!

Supplies:

  • 4 cans blue silly string
  • 4 cans pink silly string
  • 2 bandanas (1 pink, 1 blue)
  • white shirts to show color better
  • sealed envelope with baby gender result
  • photographer friend (of course!)

Method:

  1. Stand opposite of each other and put on your blindfolds.
  2. Have a friend look inside the reveal envelope for the answer and then hand each person 2 bottles of the same color silly string (corresponding to your baby’s gender of course!). Make sure the nozzles are pointing forward.dixon-8671
  3. Wait for the count “3, 2, 1” then spray away! Note: Paul is a pro, I’m just bracing for dear life. dixon-8673
  4. Remove blindfolds, while keeping eyes closed and wait for another count of “3,2,1” to open your eyes and see the surprise!dixon-8695Wait for it….dixon-8696
  5. Celebrate with the one you love…dixon-8716

This little gem was hiding in the reveal envelope…the proof of Baby D’s manhood! dixon-8722Thank you Savanna Morgret for your beautiful photos.  Please check out her website or her Facebook Page to see more of her work or to hire her to capture your next big moment! She’s amazing…obviously.

Completed Quilt and Bunny Bags!

Happy Friday Friends! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been working really hard on finishing my Sugar Block of the Month Quilt from Amy Gibson’s Quilting Blog Stitchery Dickory Dock. I left you all with this photo of just the quilt top completed.imageIt may look completed in this photo, however, the pride and joy of a quilt is not only the design of the blocks, but the beautiful stitching that holds all of the layers together (top quilt, batting and back of quilt). This is just the top quilt. I finally got the motivation to baste the layers together with pins and began stitching. imageI may have developed a mild case of “quilting shoulder” while working on this, but I’ve recovered much quicker than the last epidemic. Also, a note of encouragement to all of you sewers out there:  this was attempted on a Singer Stylist machine. You don’t need a thousand dollar quilting machine to make intricate designs.  Okay, I’m off my soap box. After hours of quilting and a few territorial battles with the cats… it was time to trim the edges. imageimageSherlock prefers the edges trimmed as well. (Always battling the cats with these quilts). After attaching the binding…it’s done!imageimageHere’s some up close images of some of my favorite blocks:image image image image imageAnd that’s not all….this quilt is finished just in time for Easter! I’ve also been “blog silent” because I’ve been working on some little bunny bags for my niece and nephews. imageI found this adorable free tutorial on Stitched by Crystal’s blog. Just stuff with your favorite candy and place in your kid’s Easter baskets! It’s a really easy tutorial and takes just a few hours to complete. imageHappy Easter!

 

Sugar Block Top Quilt Complete

In my last post I gave you all a sneak peak at the completed Sugar Blocks from Amy Gibson’s Sugar Block Club of 2014. This was the last photo I shared with you. imageWell, I told you all to stay tuned for what I decided to do with these beauties. I decided to create a big star to put in the center that is the size of about 4 of these 12 blocks. Here it is!imageI used this nifty quilting program I have called EQ7. Paul bought me this awesome software for my birthday one year and I love it. EQ7-Generic-front.pngI was able to create the block, make it the size I wanted and then printed out a template so I could cut the fabric into the correct size pieces.eq7 demo

Once I completed the block, I laid out all 12 Sugar Blocks around the star like so:imageThen, I cut my gray sashing strips and stitched them in between the right most row of blocks. imageI continued to sew in my sashing until all the blocks were stitched together. image imageThe last step to complete this quilt top is to add a thicker sashing around the outside edge of the entire quilt top. imageTah dah! Soon this quilt top will be a completed quilt that will reside on our couch. imageBut for now, Sherlock likes it right where it’s at. imageWord of advice: It’s pointless to keep a cat from laying on your sewing projects. They are drawn to them like peanut butter to jelly, ham to cheese, me to Chick-fil-a (cough, cough). I digress. I tell myself to just embrace the moment!

Vegas & Sugar Blocks

A week ago I was talking to Betsy Ross on the phone and mentioned to her that I may have the opportunity of tagging along with Paul on a work trip he had at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. I wasn’t sure if I should go because I didn’t know what I would do during the day while Paul went to class, but she ensured me there would be plenty to see and encouraged me to take advantage of this opportunity.  I mean seriously, do you really need to twist my arm to get me to Vegas? imageNope! We checked into our hotel on Monday. The good old Treasure Island hotel. imageThen, we went to see Terry Fator, winner of America’s Got Talent in 2007. imageTerry FatorOk, I admit at first glance this looks a little creepy and who doesn’t think ventriloquists are a little corny, but seriously this guy is amazing! You have to YouTube some of his stuff because you will never question the talent of a ventriloquist again. We also went to a Cirque du Soleil show and sorry no picture. Flash photography is dangerous to the performers. During the day, I’ve been doing a lot of walking around and you would not believe the malls here! Most of them have some sort of theme. Like this one…imageIt makes you feel like you are walking around Italy. While shopping all day could be dangerous to our bank account, most of the stores are too expensive for my taste, but still fun to look at all of the beautiful things. The food here is amazing as well. I took a little trip to Carlos Bake Shop. You know? The guy from Cake Boss! Of course, I had to try a cannoli. imageMmm…so good. Now, as I’m sitting in the hotel Starbucks writing this post.  P.S. Starbucks spelled my name right AND I love these new destination mugs they started carrying…image

I can’t help but notice amidst my flurry of typing the different languages being spoken…French, Spanish, German.  I mean Vegas is a destination city around the world so I don’t know why I was so so surprised at first to hear someone speaking French in front of me in line. Languages are a funny thing and are a lot like quilting. Corny Alert! Yes, I’m about to get corny again, but bare with me.  In some ways, I like to compare quilting with all of the different types of people in the world. Quilts and on a smaller scale, quilt blocks, are made up of many different fabrics and they all join together to create a beautiful masterpiece. imageAll of the people of the world are unique and different in many ways, but we all make up God’s masterpiece. Just before we left, I finished the last of 12 total quilt blocks that were part of Amy Gibson’s Sugar Block of the Month Club at StitcheryDickoryDock. Each block is uniquely beautiful, but overall very different from the others. image imageimage image image Once you put them all together, they create a beautiful masterpiece!imageWouldn’t life be so boring if we all looked the same, talked the same, had the same jobs?  This quilt sure would be boring if I stitched it up as pictured above.  I mean it would still be a nice piece, but I’m going to spice it up a bit….like Vegas! I hope that today, more than ever, you embrace your uniqueness because after all, the world would just be too boring without it!

House Update #13: Hodgepodge turned Craft Room Makeover

Recently, my husband and I played a game of Scrabble and yes, I took a picture of our accomplishment.  imageWhen your brain works that hard for an hour you have to snap a photo! Well, since that Scrabble game, I’ve been using words that I’m not sure are actually words like hodgepodge. So I looked it up and yes, it IS a word.  In fact, good old Webster defines it as a mixture of different things. Well done Webster, so simple yet so descriptive.  Well, we’ve all got one space in our house we could describe as the hodgepodge space right? Whether it’s a closet or an extra bedroom you don’t need, I know you’ve got one! Ours is bedroom #4. Where do I put the desk I got with my Mom as a kid from an ad in the newspaper (yes this was before Craig’s list)? imageThe hodgepodge room! What about the desk your husband bought back when he was living the bachelor lifestyle? imageThe hodgepodge room! Where do I put all of my crafting items? imageYou guessed it. Hodgepodge room!  With most of the other rooms in the house complete it was time to tackle this hodgepodge room and make it a more attractive hodgepodge. Over New Years weekend we repainted the room Valspar Notre Dame gray. Then, I spent the next week repainting my childhood desk using chalk paint.  I painted the entire desk white and then painted the back of the shelves yellow.  Desk before afterThen, we spent an entire Saturday reorganizing the room and throwing out any of the hodgepodge we didn’t want anymore. Now this hodgepodge room is the perfect craft room. imageimagePaul made me this sign as a belated birthday present. He’s so talented! imageI put all of my fabric on the newly painted desk,image organized all of my ribbon on a cork board, imagehung my cards on a Pier 1 photo organizer,  image imageand organized all of my other crafting items in various containers across my crafting table. imageMy Grandma’s smocking machine is proudly displayed beneath a beautiful ABC cross stitch I found last Summer. imageOh and don’t worry! Paul got some man space as well. One wall…. imageand a sliver of another wall. imageI’m not sure we can call this room a hodgepodge anymore, but I probably will just because I like saying “hodgepodge” and it’s a word!