Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How Not to Soak an Infant (on a budget)

Oregon weather sucks.  As many of you have heard, there are only two seasons in Oregon: rain and construction.  Unfortunately this year, the rain has WAY out lasted its season... which means, as a new mom, I now have to think about how to keep the little one dry.

I started shopping around for car seat canopies and, like all other baby-item purchases, balked at the price tag ($30-$50 for a blanket with straps??  Really??) so, I got all "I can so make one of those myself" and set out for the fabric store.

One thing that you should know about me (if you don't already) is that I have some pretty good problem solving skills... but I'm not so keen on following other's directions.  I tend to try to come up with my own way/idea and see how it pans out.  Which is exactly what I did with the canopy.  I knew what I needed to make (a blanket with straps) and knew how big it had to be (enough to cover a car seat).

Did I measure the car seat?  No.... which caused all sorts of problems.

I figured that a yard of two pieces of fabric would be big enough (one for the front side and another for the under-side).  So, that's what I bought.  When I brought it home and actually laid the fabric out over the car seat, I realized that it was probably going to be just a little too short when the seam was actually done.   Problem.

Solution?  Sew another piece of fabric as a border around the outside, adding a couple more inches.  And I just happened to have an old curtain lying around that matched!

Problem?  I am NOT a skilled sewer/quilter and my simple solution of "just sewing a border" was a bit more complicated than I anticipated.

But, in the end, I have a final product.  It's functional... but just don't inspect it too closely.  ;)

Total cost: $13
(Could have made it cheaper had I bought fabric that was on sale/clearance, but I wanted something pretty. lol)

P.S.  I used ribbon for the straps rather than velcro... figured that this would be easier.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Emily Meets the Family!

I'm hoping that my mommy-blogging skills get a little better as time goes on!  I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last posted anything.  Time flies when you're walking around like a zombie (I'm pretty sure that I was about 2 minutes away from falling asleep in Safeway yesterday... while walking. lol).

Emily celebrated her ONE MONTH birthday last Wednesday.  I really can't believe that (as of today) she's been a part of our little family for five weeks!  She is still waking up every 2-3 hours at night to be fed/changed, but she is starting to be awake a lot more during the day and falling asleep a lot faster after her night feedings (which is really awesome to only have to get up for 20-30 minutes and then go back to bed!).

She's able to recognize Jacob and I.  I didn't realize this until we went to visit family this weekend and she, quite obviously, turned toward us when we would talk/walk into a room and make eye contact.  Since Jacob and I are the only adults that she sees on a regular basis, we hadn't realized that she actually KNEW us... and didn't just think we were those people who waited on her hand and foot. =)

As I mentioned, this weekend Jacob and I took Emily to hang out with her Grandma and Grandpa.  It was her first over-night away from home (not counting the hospital).  She did pretty good.  She slept almost all day on Saturday (which made me a little nervous as she's been a lot more awake/alert recently), but was up and at 'em to visit on Sunday morning.  She even let Grandma give her a bath without screaming her head off!  =)

Emily also met her Great-Grandmother and her last aunt/uncle set. She met her other aunts/uncles and cousins last weekend when they came up to Portland to see her.   (Thanks for the photos Brittney!)

Meeting her uncle Rob and cousin Satori
Aunt Brittney (she's got two of these!)

Four generations!

Emily is growing and gaining weight quickly, too.  I can't believe how much she has changed in the last month.  She's up to more than 11 pounds!  I love that she's getting the cute little baby chub!  Me, on the other hand, still have plenty of pregnancy chub. =P  I was under the impression that I would have naturally lost more during the delivery (only currently only down 15 lbs)... guess I just ate too many brownies. =P  Positive side to the breastfeeding though is that I now have some pretty awesome cleavage. =)


Canvas Print Giveaway!

I'm hosting a giveaway for a free print canvas from U-Printing over on my photo blog.... check it out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Last night at 11:30 Emily was WIDE awake.  I was exhausted and ready for bed, but she was sure that it was time to party.  Finally, I handed her to Jacob (who was still up and working on something on his computer) and told him that I was going to try to catch a little bit of sleep, and that he could pass her off to me (if she was still awake) when he was ready for bed.  I also mentioned that, if she got cranky, he could feel free to give her a bottle.  Several minutes later I remember hearing her start to cry, and Jacob heating up a bottle. 

That was the LAST thing I remember before I woke up this morning at 6 AM!!  That's right... I got SIX uninterrupted hours of sleep!  I woke up in a bit of a panic when I realized that I hadn't gotten up at all to feed Em, and that Jacob wasn't in bed.  I found them curled up together on the couch in the living room, an empty bottle on the floor beside them.

My awesome husband had taken ALL of the night feedings, allowing me to get some much needed sleep!  Sure, I was hard as a rock and leaking all over the place, lol, but I SOOO appreciated the extras ZZZs. 

Now I just hope he doesn't regret when he's trying to work today...

Monday, May 14, 2012

3 Weeks Down!

Today marks three weeks from the day that Emily finally greeted us.  In those three weeks I have a learned a lot about biology... both her's, as well as mine.

  1. Babies apparently start out with teenage hormones.
    • Baby girls experience a small "period" shortly after birth.  We were told this several times before we left the hospital, but were still freaked out a couple of days later when it actually occurred... there was more blood than we anticipated.  We called the pediatrician and were told not the fret, that all was normal.
    • Babies get acne.  I knew this, but still I feel bad for Emily right now.  She's got a sort of "pizza face" sort of situation going on right now.  I told Jacob that I felt bad for her... his response, "Why?  She's not as vain as the rest of us right now... give her 12 or 13 years".
  2. Not all babies "coo"... some grunt.
    • Emily has something known as "Grunting Baby Syndrome".  Apparently this is a real thing... she makes a LOT of noise, a LOT of the time, as though she is constipated.  Apparently this is just her reaction to her inability to figure out how to control her own bowel movements.  She grunts, holds her breath, gets red in the face, and "pushes"... over and over and over again.  Again, the doc says that this is normal and that she's grow out of it.  Granted, it has provided Jacob and I a fair amount of humorous entertainment (she makes some FUNNY noises), but I still feel bad for her.  Our doctor told us that we could "help" by holding her legs up to her torso.  This does "help"--and Jacob gets all kinds of guy-like entertainment out of making her fart over and over and over again.  
  3. Little girls can make "fountains" as well.
    • 'nough said.
  4. Breast milk can come out in spurts... not drips.
    • The first time I "leaked" I actually saw it come out... I was more than a little shocked at the power behind my lactation. lol
    • Doing a little Googling, I found this information about Forceful Let-Down... I am self-diagnosing myself with this.  Which is interesting as my mother had the opposite problem with me.
  5. Speaking of breast milk, some people leak, some people don't and some people (read: this person) can't figure out which category they fall into.  
    • I have had a wet-situation maybe half a dozen times... in three weeks.  I do not see this as worth wearing disposable protection every day (as I'm less likely to need them then not), but I also don't want to get stuck in an embarrassing situation. 
  6.  Feet swell... AFTER delivery!
    • I had a little bit of a swollen foot problem when I was pregnant, but I didn't know how bad it would get after I had actually delivered!  One of the OBs that checked in on me while I was recovering told me "It's going to get worse before it gets better".  And he was right!  I had a hard time walking for about a week since I couldn't really bend at the ankle.  It was HORRIBLE!
I'm sure that I could come up with some more weird biological stuff, but, for now, this will conclude my list (my little one is grunting again and I need to go "help" her with some comical "tooting").

What other weird stuff can all of you other mother's add?

P.S.  Here is the obligatory 3 week growth photo. =)

My First Mother's Day!

Last week I was looking at the weather forecast for the weekend and saw temperatures in the high 80s!  This was VERY unexpected as our wonderful Oregon weather has kind of been crap recently.  Since I've been, pretty much, confined to the house the last few weeks, I wanted to take full advantage of the gorgeous weather so I asked Jacob if he'd be up for a day trip to the coast.  He told me that, since we was Mother's Day weekend, we could do whatever I wanted.

Mother's Day!  I hadn't really expect to do anything in celebration of Mother's Day this year (in fact, I had kind of forgotten that it was even coming up).  Jacob and I are both pretty sleep deprived and, with Emily only being 3 weeks old at this point going anywhere "special" is a little iffy and we're not yet comfortable leaving her with a babysitter.  So, I was more than a little excited, and grateful, to make my first Mother's Day celebration a trip to the coast on a gorgeous, sunny day!

We got a bit of a late start (I was trying to catch up on some sleep from a rough night before), but we finally pulled into Seaside around 3 PM.  I don't think that I've ever been to Seaside before (I've always stuck around the Central coastal cities), so I was excited to explore a new area as well.  And I was shocked!

This is what I'm used to in terms of Oregon beaches:

South end of the Seaside Prom
 This is what we saw:

The beach was so crowded!  So many people building sand castles and laying out in the sun.  I saw more people in swim suits than I think that I have EVER seen on an Oregon beach before! lol  That's how nice of a day it was.  =)

Jacob wheeled Em down to the sand and we took a stroll down the beach, then up to the Promenade where we got some ice cream and headed back to the car.  It was a short trip, but it was great to get out in the sun, take a walk in the sand, and just relax.

Emily's first "picnic lunch". =)
Didn't appreciate her surroundings near as much as mom did! =)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DIY Baby Wrap

With the weather forecast reaching almost 90 degrees in the Portland metro area tomorrow, we plan to head over to the coast for a day at the beach!  I knew that I wanted to get a baby wrap before we went so that we could easily "wear" Emily as we walked around (instead of having to deal with a stroller or something down on the sand).

In the months leading up to Emily's arrival I found a couple of DIY Moby-like baby wrap tutorials: here and here--so, today I set out for the fabric store and purchased 5 yards of jersey knit* and set to work.  Easiest "craft" project I've ever done, and we are definitely "beach-ready"!

Here's Jacob and Emily modeling my final product (he is now wearing her as he plays on his computer. lol):

*Fabric is EXPENSIVE these days!  I ended up spending just as much on fabric as I would have for the Moby itself at Target.... but, because I got a 60" width, I was able to cut the fabric in half (width wise, for two 30" widths) and have enough fabric for TWO wraps... either to give one as a gift, or have it at the ready for when the first one is (inevitably) in the wash.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Life As We Know It...

... is over.  =)

Yesterday marked Emily's 2-week "birthday".  Time really does go by quickly... I'm already starting to forget the pain associated with her grand entrance. ;)  The last couple of weeks have been interesting, to say the least.  I think we are slowly starting to get used to this whole baby-in-the-house thing.  It really is amazing how a person's body can adjust to function on very little sleep!  =) 
Over the course of the last two weeks I have thought about many things that I wanted to write about... but haven't found the time/motivation/creativity to sit down and do it.  I wanted to write about our experience in the hospital in the days after Em was born (the tests, ALL of the people that "checked" on us, etc.) but that just seems like to large of an undertaking for me at the moment.  Maybe I'll get to it later, maybe I won't.  If you have specific questions, let me know. 

As for today, I'll leave you with some photo "firsts" from the last two weeks. =)

First car ride
First Bath
First After-Bath-Towel Cuddle
First outdoor adventure