Monday, May 25, 2015

Baby Ella Kaitlyn

Well, back when I wrote my last post on April 27, I thought I had another two days before my repeat c-section. I had great plans about writing a blog post about being pregnant and taking some very pregnant photos to remember that time in my life. However, Ella had a different idea and she arrived a little bit later that day at 12:47 p.m., weighing 6 lbs. 11 oz. and 20.5 inches long.

I woke up on the 27th at 3 a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep. So, at about 4 a.m. I got out of bed and went downstairs where I wrote the blog post dated the morning about what's been going on the last nine months. I got Hannah ready for school and drove her to daycare around 8 a.m. As soon as I walked in the door from dropping her off, my contractions started. At first I thought they were just Braxston Hicks contractions and I thought nothing of it because I'd been having them pretty consistently since about 22 weeks. I scrubbed the kitchen, cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floors. I looked at my to-do list and crossed off what I could. By 9 a.m. I realized my contractions were pretty regular and I was feeling them down low and around to my back (which was different than the Braxston Hicks contractions I'd been having that were up high). They also felt better if I got up and walked through them. By 10 a.m. I was pretty sure this was actual labor and they were now 5 minutes apart. I didn't call the doctor because I already had an appointment at 10:30 for my pre-surgery exam. Mike came home, picked me up and drove me to our appointment.

My doctor took one look at me, called the hospital and had my c-section scheduled for 12:30 p.m. He told us to go right there - no stopping at home. I may have argued with the doctor at this point, insisting that I had planned my c-section for Wednesday the 29th and I couldn't have one today because I still had things on my to-do list (like return my library books and buy stamps). I may have told him I was sure my contractions would stop if I went home and put my feet up. He looked at me like I was a little crazy and reiterated that we needed to go straight to the hospital. At that point, Mike talked some sense into me and we headed out the door to the hospital. By the time we got there my contractions were really painful. I debated sending Mike back home to grab our camera, but things moved so quickly I decided I was going to have to be happy with whatever photos we could get with our iPhones.

We registered, walked up to labor and delivery and the nursing staff completed the admission process and got my IV running. They tried giving me some medication to stop my contractions, but it didn't work. By the time 12:30 rolled around, my contractions were every couple of minutes and so strong and painful it was all I could do to breathe through them without crying out. I managed to walk back to the c-section room and, fortunately, they allowed me to lay on my side for my spinal. Once that kicked in, I could no longer feel the contractions. A few short minutes later, my baby girl was born.

Ella came out pink and breathing well on her own (a nice change from my first two deliveries). Her Apgars were good at 7 and 8 and I was able to see her while they finished sewing me back up. We all went to recovery together where we got to do skin-to-skin and she was able to nurse for the first time.

Even though her delivery was unplanned and earlier than I'd expected or been prepared for, it couldn't have gone better and the end result - a healthy baby - made everything worth it. I am beyond blessed to have three healthy, happy children.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Life these past nine months

A lot has happened over these last nine months since I've been on here last. I found out at the end of August that I was pregnant, expecting my third child. I'm not going to lie, this has been a rough pregnancy from the start. Being pregnant at 36 is a whole lot harder than being pregnant at 24. The last nine months have been nothing but survival, with little time to indulge my creative side and thus the lack of blogging. I'm hoping that after this baby girl arrives and things settle down, I'll have time to get back in the swing of things.

I do have big news though! On March 29, I married my best friend, Mike. We've known each other eight years and dated for more than half of them, having our daughter Hannah together six years ago. While it took us a long time to find our footing as a couple, the last two years have been some of the happiest of my life. We got married on the beach where we shared our first kiss, so many years ago. I remember that day like it was yesterday - lying down on the sand dunes, my head on his chest and just knowing, in my soul, that this was what it was like to feel like you were coming home. That there was no other place I was meant to be. That feeling has never changed for me. Mike has been an absolutely amazing partner and I am so proud to be his wife.

The photo above is a pic of me holding an Instax Mini print of our rings on our wedding day. My mom got me an Instax Share printer and paper for my birthday this fall and I'm ashamed to say it's taken me this long to take it out of the box and play with it, but it's really fun! It works so slick with my iPhone that I can see using this quite a bit!

More thoughts in a few days on the impending birth of our baby girl, scheduled for Wednesday morning... and hopefully I can get back in the swing of blogging on a regular basis again!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pajama pants for Hannah

Well, the pajamas that I made Hannah back in February are like highwaters on her, so I decided it was time for some new ones. Over the last few days I whipped up three pairs of pajama pants - made out of cotton this time as I found flannel really shrunk.

I picked some cute prints from Joann's and only needed a yard of fabric for each. I made the legs quite a bit longer on these and they look like they'll fit her quite well once they go through the wash and shrink up a bit. I paired them with some plain tank tops as the long sleeve shirts I'd made last time weren't that big of a hit - Hannah was always pushing up the sleeves because they bothered her long.

Now I'm just hoping she doesn't find the fabric to "scratchy" as she is ridiculously picky about everything she wears - where seams are, where jeans hit her ankles, if there's decals on her shirt ... it's about enough to drive me batty. I guess the test will be tonight.

Friday, August 8, 2014

New hair

While my hair may be short, it doesn't mean I can't have a little fun with it. This is my new look, thanks to my old hairstylist whom I reconnected with over Facebook and then met up with in person yesterday. I had one simple request - make the back of my head blend in with the front.

I've always had stick straight hair. Even when it was longer, it never held a curl well. It likes to be straight. Well, that was until I got pregnant this spring. As soon as that happened - I swear, practically overnight - the entire back of my head got super curly. Like ringlet curly if I let it grow out. Of course, the rest of my hair remained stick straight. Apparently, hormones will do that. While I ended up loosing that pregnancy, my hair didn't loose it's curl. It's been months since my miscarriage and my hair was still insanely curly in the back. I did go get it cut about 10 days ago, and the woman cutting my hair tried to blend the two together, but it was rather hopeless. So, I pondered my options.

I consulted with Jenny, my hairstylist, and we decided that perming it to match the curl in the back might be the way to go. It's been a good twenty years since I've permed my hair. At least. Jenny only permed the front and sides and it now blends in with the back and looks like an actual style. It's a little bit tighter of a curl than I was envisioning, but Jenny said if I washed it with shampoo within the first 48 hours it would relax a little, so I did that this morning.

I'm still not sure what to think about it. I've been so used to seeing my straight hair that it feels like a stranger looking back at me in the mirror. I've been told that it'll calm down some after a couple weeks, so we'll see then what I'm thinking about it. Right now, I'm a bit undecided. I will say it's insanely easy to style - just get out of the shower, run product through it and leave it. This picture was actually taken after I'd washed my hair and gone back to bed with wet hair, which is never a good recipe for me, so I'm rather pleased about that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pouch for a friend

Another quick Open Wide Zippered Pouch this morning. This one was a request from a woman who used to cut my hair a couple of years ago. She found me the other day via Facebook and told me where she's working now (which is good because I need a hairdresser) and then asked if I could make her a zippered pouch. She remembered my Etsy shop, back when I had it open, and had been looking for that.

She requested something orange or blue with grey and I hope this fits the bill. It's from my stash, with grey Kona Coal on the bottom and an unknown-to-me print for the top, which I had a yard of in my stash. I like the orange and pink together and I think it compliments the grey nicely. I again quilted the panels with 1/4-inch lines, which seems to be my default when making this pattern.

I'm off tomorrow too, so I'm thinking of making Hannah some more pajama pants. I took her to Joann's today to look at fabric (because that's one thing I'm allowed to buy fabric for, under my rules) but it was impossible to look at fabric with her there running around so I think I'll go back later this evening when her father is home to watch her. In the mean time, I'm going to whip up a muslin pair to make sure my measurements are on - she's grown quite a bit already since the last batch I made!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Innocent Crush quilt

So the other day I decided that for the first time ever, I'd try using a jelly roll to make a quilt. I wanted to make a girlish baby quilt as two of my co-workers are pregnant and I'm hoping that one of them will be having a girl. It was also a good excuse to play around with one of my favorite lines of fabric, Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner. I have two jelly rolls and some yardage of this line.

I decided to sew four strips together, giving me strips that were 8.5 inches by WOF. I then cut each of those into 8.5x8.5-inch blocks. All together, the jelly roll yielded 25 blocks.

I decided to go with a 5x5 block layout to get a square quilt. I planned on sashing the blocks with Kona Coal and tested a couple different layouts before finally deciding to go with all the blocks running in one direction (unlike the above layout).

The sashing came together very well and I finished up the quilt top this morning. I really like how it looks with all the blocks running the same direction and I think it will make deciding how to quilt it easier. I've had the house to myself for the past day or so which has made it much easier to clear a space on the floor to lay this out.

Here's the top in it's entirety. I still am planning to add 2.5-inch boarders in Kona Coal and then it will be a matter of piecing together a back and pinning the entire thing. It has been a while since I've sat down and pieced a quilt top together and it felt good to accomplish something this big.

I got the call yesterday that my sewing machine was finally repaired and my mom was nice enough to pick it up for me, now it's just a matter of finding time to drive down to Madison and pick it up. It was tough to swallow the $300 bill, but I know in the long run, it's well worth it to be able to have a machine that sews well and a thread cutter that actually works.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Painting with Hannah

Hannah and I spent some free time Monday painting, at her suggestion. We haven't played with paint since we moved and Hannah was missing it. I had brought all of my painting supplies out of storage a number of months ago, but we just hadn't found the time to sit down and play. Our "Mommy/Hannah day" on Monday proved to be a good time. I even found a dropcloth to protect the table!

One thing we did find was that we were a little limited in what we could use for paint as some of the bottles weren't good anymore. I suppose being frozen and un-thawing from being in storage and being moved into the house was rather rough on them and many of them separated and could not be mixed back up. So, I think we're going to have to buy some new paints, which Hannah will be excited about because there's nothing better than standing before the huge racks of paint in every shade you could imagine when you're five.

Hannah still seems to be in the abstract phase when it comes to painting - no real discernible pictures yet. I'm looking forward to that stage, though these painting are lovely too. Mostly she just loves playing with the colors and enjoys that it's something that we can do together.

I have a huge canvas in the basement that's meant for over our bed if I ever get around to painting it. Getting the paints out and playing with Hannah the other day made me think starting to work on that project might be fun and a little of what I need right now. Now if I could only find my acrylic paints (the expensive ones ... not the little jars I buy for Hannah)!