Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Vaguely Spring-Themed Update, Featuring Photos

I am enjoying the warm weather, partly because I get to dress Blueberry in summer outfits. In this photo, Blueberry is laughing because she knows that at the angle I'm taking the photo, it will look like the lilac bush is growing out of her head.

Blueberry thoroughly enjoyed meeting Aunt Jasmine*, who visited last weekend from California.

That Sunday we had some friends over for dinner on the deck. It was more like a series of appetizers than a dinner per se. When we get together with these friends, something always ends up wrapped in bacon, and this time it was asparagus.
Here is Blueberry being held by our friend Kate*. Blueberry is demonstrating her tired face.

It took me 4 months to look for and recognize this tired face, and I wish I had figured it out sooner, because I could have laid her down for a nap when she was tired, and then we both would have gotten a little break during the day. Just in the past couple of weeks, I've realized (with the help of Stanley's mom) that sometimes during the day when she's fussy, it's because she's tired and could use a nap. This seems like obvious child-rearing stuff but it just never got into my head until now. I often wonder how much easier those first days/weeks/months would have been had I been aware of this from the beginning. Part of what prevented me from figuring it out was that in the first week or two, when I was really exhausted, she would fall asleep on my shoulder, then I would lay her down and she would wake up, so I began to avoid laying her down because it was more restful for me to have her asleep on my shoulder than awake and crying. Another problem was that I felt guilty putting her in another room to sleep during the day, like I was shirking my parenting duties. In hindsight, this was wrong, but I wasn't thinking clearly due to fatigue and stress, and I didn't have a gaggle of experienced parents around me at all times, helping me figure it out.

In addition to more horizontal naps, Blueberry has been getting more walks lately. I've been wearing a pedometer and recording my steps. A walk around the lake near our house is good for around 8,000 steps and takes us about an hour and a half. I'm working on doing this at least twice a week. Here's the lake on our most recent walk.

Here's a family photo we took after church a few weeks ago, in front of our house.

Here's Blueberry in the lilacs in our back yard, a few days ago. The lilacs are gone now; we got the photo on the last possible day.

Blueb and Stanley on the deck.

Blueb and Hazel.

Blueb's 4 month appointment was two weeks ago, and it went well, she's doing great, life is good.
I haven't been doing tummy time as much as they recommend, but Blueberry cut me some slack and rolled tummy to back anyway.

I need to update you on my sewing shenanigans once I take some photos; it's been a blast, by some standards.

*Names changed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bibs, Baby!

We had a great visit with Grandma and Grandpa Spupspe the past couple of weeks. Blueberry demonstrated a new skill for them: she will turn the pages while you read to her.

I couldn't believe it when she turned every page of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? as I read it to her. She would look at and taste the picture on each page, then reach for the page and turn it. I was surprised that this would be a 3.5-month skill. I looked it up and found a website that says babies can do this at 8 or 9 months, but then a bunch of parents wrote in the comments that their 3-month-olds could do it. Amazing. I had no idea.

Hazel has been developing her skills as well. Specifically, her sewing skills. More specifically, her bib-making skills. Until Blueberry was 2 months old, I had thought that bibs were for when she is much older, and eating solid food. I was wrong. One day she began to drool and since then she has been a fountain of drool. Several minutes per day are spent managing drool. Burp cloths are great but it's impossible to keep them where they need to be at all times. The only way to prevent Blueberry from constantly wearing a wet shirt is to put a bib on her. So rather than buy them, I thought they seemed like a good project for an amateur seamstress. Here is the latest one, which is my current favorite.

It has the same fabric on front and back and an extra layer of t-shirt material on the inside for absorbency. I sewed wrong sides together, turned it inside out, and top-stitched twice around the whole thing to make it look more finished. I'm very happy with it and surprised that I didn't end up with the t-shirt material on the outside or some other mistake.

This bib is versatile in that it catches all manner of fluids from drool, to spit-up, to sneezes.

At some point during Hazel's sewing adventures, Blueberry found her feet.

Anyway, back to sewing. The above bib was preceded by these three, which technically work, but have various flaws which lead me to think of them as merely prototypes.

The one on top is from an old t-shirt of mine. The one on the left is from a scrap of denim I had intended for a quilt. It's pretty stiff and it frays and the button wasn't the smartest idea. The one on the right is from a onesie I picked up at a rummage sale that ended up being too small, so I sacrificed it to make yet another bib.

Then I made these pants for Blueberry in my favorite color out of a t-shirt Stanley got for free from some science vendor.
I am so fricking pleased with them and it was quite easy using these instructions I found online. At first I made the elastic too short so they were too tight around Blueberry's belly, but it was easy to take some stitches out, put in a longer piece of elastic, and sew them up again.

A while back as my first project I cut the sleeves off of a shirt of mine and hemmed the shirt where the sleeves had been to make a shirt that I found to be much cuter. I saved the sleeves in case I found something to use them for, and it turned out to be baby pants.

This was my favorite project so far. I absolutely love these pants and I can't wait until it gets hot out so Blueberry and I can be all matchy-matchy. Unfortunately, since they aren't made of a stretchy material, they don't fit unless she is wearing a disposable diaper, so I will have to toss aside my concern for the environment on the days she wears these pants. But it's worth it, I tell you. It's worth it. Screw the earth, I love these pants!!!

I am thrilled to be able to make pants for my kid. It's sew easy, only takes a few minutes once you've got the hang of it, and sew cheap. I've caught a fever, and the only cure is more baby pants. So last night I looked for something with stretchy sleeves, found an ugly grey maternity sweater which I promised myself I would not wear again, cut off the sleeves and made some sweater pants.

The sweater was Gap Maternity which I got at a yard sale. The yellow onesie with the cute blue bird is Gap Baby which I also got at a yard sale. So the Blueb is dressed in used, recycled Gap today, and she couldn't be more proud.

That's my sewing report for now. Projects currently underway or on deck include a quilt I set aside years ago which I intend to finish, though not in a way that would please even the most amateur quilter, and not in a way that would allow it to withstand a trip through the washing machine, cloth napkins, more bibs, burp cloths, and more bibs.