4 Months

P1040335I still feel like we juuuuust brought the Cub home, but here over 1/4 of the year has passed! In other ways, it feels like he’s been here forever. In the last few weeks, Cubby has really taken off. He’s nearly twice his birthweight (8lbs 1 oz to 15 lbs 13 oz), which is not at all surprising since I feel like he just eats all day long. Actually, these days he spends more and more time playing in his baby jungle gym, rolling over from his stomach to his back (still working on back to stomach), watches his older brother with great focus and concentration, and smiles, giggles, and desperately tries to talk. He likes to hang out in his swing, watch the ceiling fan whirl around. He’s sleeping in his own room finally (now that we don’t have a steady stream of houseguests to occupy it), and we’re slowly creating art to decorate it with art projects we created just for him . He sleeps through the night too! I do not sleep through the night since around 2:30 every morning he stirs enough to realize he’s lost his pacifier and usually need a diaper (if not full outfit) change. Overall though, he’s a super chill little dude.
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P1040341We took him on a long car ride and trip away from home for Easter to meet my Grandma for the first time, and he performed wonderfully. Patiently enduring being in a new place and being passed around and fussed over by new people. The Bear takes to that well too, but he’s used to being spoiled with love and chocolate by his grandparents. Speaking of the Bear, he oscillates between totally ignoring the Cub to coming over and giving him kisses and high fives. Despite his ambivalence, if I am in another room and Cubby starts crying, the Bear comes running to me and declares, “Mom! Cubby needs help! He needs chomp!”, or if Cub gets upset during a car ride, Bear will chirp up, “It’s ok, Cub, it’s OK.” Which is sweet and melts my heart and makes up for the multitude of challenges these two hand me throughout the day.
P1040376Over the last four months we’ve really adjusted to being a family of four. We do our best to make the most of this time because we know it will be short lived. We know that our kids will always love us, but may not shower us with their smiles and kisses and declarations of it as they get older. I would slow this time down ever so slightly if I could, but instead I’m just learning to be ok with a messier house, unfolded laundry, and cluttered table tops. Like all things, this too shall pass.P1040339

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Lately

Since the end of February when DB had to go on an exercise for a few weeks, things have been a complete and utter whirlwind. It’s been a constant slog of both of us working, a revolving door of parents coming in to help, working out, and doing our best to spend as much time hanging out with the kids at the cost of leaving the house in a pretty messy state. I hear this is normal for parents of young children, but that doesn’t always make me feel better about the piles of laundry in our bathroom and all the bread and cereal crumbs around the house. What I really miss right now is having time for creative pursuits. My sewing machine is buried under stuff. A sweater I started in January hasn’t been touched in 6 weeks. I did manage to eco out about 15 minutes to play guitar on Sunday, and I really enjoyed that. Luckily, we’re headed towards a break from all this in the next couple weeks. Time to get some serious spring cleaning done, but more importantly, get outside and enjoy these warmer but not oppressively hot days.

These photos were all taken with my iPhone and most had a little help from VSCOcam (favorite app!)

Bro time #vscocam

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Sunday morning Bear #latergram #vscocam

New kicks #madewell #datenight #vscocam

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bro time // i cobbled this outfit together to go to a work fundraiser // do you like my hat?// a window in Georgetown // sweet face for mom mom // along the Potomac // dress blues day at work // dimples! // sunday morning // we went on a date. i wore new shoes // a rare moment of calm

Friday Favorites

Music time

This has been the most frustrating week of my year so far. It seems like almost nothing has gone smoothly or come easily. In fact, I nearly lost this post as soon as I finished writing it. So much stress, for so little result. I’m hoping I can just shake it all off over the weekend, or maybe I should beware the ides of March? Either way, I’m so grateful that I have these awesome little dudes to brighten up my day. Also an awesome husband and my mom here helping me get through this time of transition. I know I’m in for many more hiccups, but I have a great family and just thinking about them like this makes me feel a little lighter.

James Franco is just too silly sometimes.

How gorgeous are these floral prints by Ashley Bailey?

While I don’t miss smoking, I do miss smoke break sometimes. (Now, I call them get up and walk purposefully but aimlessly around the building)

This meme sums up yesterday perfectly.

Who doesn’t love an Alton Brown food hack?

I finally picked up this cookbook. I don’t know why I slept on it so long. I love breakfast and it is A-MAZ-ING.

Have a wonderful and stress free weekend.

xo, s.

Vintage Photograph

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Here’s another favorite of my grandmother, Stephanie, who you first met here. I believe this photo was taken sometime in the ’40s, when Mom-Mom was in her twenties. I’m not sure what the occasion was (I’ll have to ask her), but it was either a family vacation or they were visiting her brother Johnny when he was in the Army (most of my family was in the Army, I’m such a rebel). Anyway, I really love this look because it is 100% something I would wear tomorrow and feel great in. I love the sash on the skirt. When I talk about keeping things simple and not having a huge color palette in favor of texture and detail, this is exactly what I’m talking about. And the shoes? I love a little peep toe/ankle strap combo.

This photo reminds me of spring, and the fact that it’s almost around the corner. I love that you can see her dimples, something that has been passed down to our Cub. I wish I had time to get my hair that curly.

Hope you’re having a great week.

xo, S.

On Saying Goodbye

P1030770This was not the post I thought I’d be writing today. It’s actually probably the last thing I expected to be writing, but I also feel compelled to do it. I started working on this scarf about a week ago. I’ve been working on it with every spare minute I’ve had, including lots of times while balancing the Cub on my chest in order to free up my hands and knock off a couple rows. I went to bed last night thinking I would finish it off today, tuck the ends in and give it a light steam blocking so I could get it in the mail tomorrow or Saturday. It was a scarf for my aunt, who right before Christmas, received a diagnosis of lung cancer and the outlook was less than stellar. She started her first round of chemo about a week ago and I immediately raided my stash so I could make her something to keep her warm during the treatment and time in the hospital afterward. I had an uncle who passed away of the same disease several years ago and I always remember he said the chemo was very cold and he often wore scarves that I made for him to keep warm. I wanted to do the same. I wanted it to be like I was giving her a hug from far away.

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So I was feeling pretty good when I went to bed knowing that hug would be on its way very soon. Instead, no sooner had I drifted off that I woke up to DB leaning over me and handing me the phone, “It’s your Dad,” he told me. My aunt passed away last night, suddenly, unexpectedly, so much so that in many ways it just doesn’t seem real. Didn’t I just talk to her? Didn’t she just “like” pictures of the boys on Faccebook? She couldn’t be gone already. It’s too soon. We didn’t get a chance to see her. We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. As a family, I think we’re all in shock. As I tried to find sleep last night I just kept kicking myself for all the phone calls I never made and the visits I never took or wasn’t able to take. I felt so angry, and I still do, and I wanted someone to blame so I started blaming myself.

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But the more I thought about it, the more I started to think about all the time we did have together. My aunt had no children so she spoiled me and my brother, and has been spoiling the Bear in the same fashion. Going to her house was always a treat. She always had a pool to swim in and a ice cream in the freezer. She was always encouraging and supportive of any and everything that I did. She was a social butterfly who loved singing, dancing and entertaining. She loved to go shopping. She loved clothes and wore miniskirts even though she was in her 60s. She made the best stuffed peppers. She drove everyone crazy. When I try to think of a way to sum up her life, what I keep coming back to is that she liked to have fun. She was fun to be around. She enjoyed life, and as a result she will be loved, remembered, and missed by so many. I miss her. I can hardly believe she’s gone.

And now I’ve got this huge unfinished scarf that feels as big as the hole in my heart and I’m not sure what to do with it. I wonder if finishing it will help me say goodbye. But I think for now I need to take a step back, remember our happy times and hug my little ones a little closer today.

He’s Here

IMG_4926Not only is he here, he’s already a week old! Which has all sort of floated by in a daze of happiness and sleepiness and an earnest attempt to keep our house clean and organized. While everyone was busy posting their year end wrap ups and goals for 2014 I was anxiously awaiting for all the contractions I had during Christmas week to finally catch on and start pushing this little guy out. He decided to forego his Christmas due date in favor of showing up in the wee hours of New Year’s Eve morning (0333 to be exact). I’d started having contractions the afternoon before and we were having dinner with DB’s parents  when I couldn’t take it anymore and finally said, “I think we should go to the hospital.” Good thing too since we were already 5 centimeters along.

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Overall it was a pretty uneventful labor. I got an epidural shortly after we got checked in and placed in a room. I realize that may seem shocking when so many people want to go for natural births these days, but honestly, I like the epidural. It slows things down, gives you a chance to relax a little, and then when it’s time to push and meet the baby you’re ready. I did the same thing with the Bear and had good experiences both times. But yes, the epidural slowed things down so much that the Doc came in a broke my water to get the contractions moving again. In the meantime, realizing his eviction was now inevitable, our little Cub decided he was going to increase his heart rate just enough to cause the nurses to do things like put probes in his head to monitor his heart more accurately and one next to his head to measure the effectiveness of the contractions. I was also given oxygen to help calm him down. Eventually, (like 2-3 hours later) it worked, and I was given a small dose of piton to get things moving again. It took about another 2 hours but when it came time to push this little dude came out pretty quickly. In fact, he didn’t even have that pointy head thing that newborns often have when born vaginally.

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We spent the evening together in the hospital. We passed into 2014 as Mama Bear and Cub quietly enjoying each other’s warmth and love, and went home on New Year’s Day. It was quite a homecoming too, since the Bear had a cold and needed to be kept at a distance from his new brother for a couple days. Fortunately, he’s on the mend now. We had family around the first couple days to help out, but now we’re on our own here and learning how to be a family of four. Also learning how to be a family of four and still maintain a relatively clean house and find time to be adults and to blog and podcast and cook and brew and all the other DIY things we enjoy. I savor these days of getting lots of snuggles and watching my sweet Cub’s little face change and grown right before my eyes, but I also look forward to a few weeks from now when he’ll start sleeping more at night and having a regular schedule. That’s all just a faraway dream now.

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Hope your New Year has been off to a great start.

xo, S.

 

You Can Come Out Now!

hand knits for baby // plaid skirtI think I’ve heard this scenario a thousand times: Woman gets pregnant, woman decides to make blanket/sweater/hat/other crafty thing for baby, baby comes before completion of crafty thing, and lies unfinished and unused for years in a closet. Well, friends, NOT ME! I have finished my baby things. I am ready for the baby. I tell the baby about them. I say “Hey, tiny baby, I know it’s cold out here in the big world, but I made you a blanket, and a hat, and a sweater to keep you warm. So, if you could stop using my bladder as a pillow and come hang out with us on the outside that would be awesome, we are soooooo excited to meet you. OK? Thanks.”

So we’ve past the 37 week mark and I have high hopes that our little bundle will arrive just a little early. I would hate for it to have to share a birthday with Christmas. It sounds romantic, but seems wildly unfair in the long run. Ask anyone who has a birthday around Christmas, and they’ll roll their eyes and tell you how it always gets lost in the shuffle. Heck, my birthday is a month afterwards and it always feels like a bit of a holiday after thought. So, I hope the baby is a little early. We’re as ready as we can be for it, and I’m super excited to not have to wear these ill-fitting maternity clothes anymore.

hand knit baby blanket // plaid skirt

I started the blanket a few weeks ago. It’s 4 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and one skein of Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Woodsmoke which were both hanging out in my stash. I modified the stitch from this pattern, and I’m really happy with the result. I’ve been a big fan of color blocking (if you couldn’t tell from checking out my store) lately, so I’m happy to bring a bit of it into our home for the new one.hand knits for baby // plaid skirt

The sweater is a pattern from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and is made from Wool of the Andes worsted in Dove Grey and Garnet Heather. I like that it’s a little reminiscent of a candy cane, but will still look nice throughout the winter. While I love this pattern (it’s knit flat and then seamed at the end) I would definitely not recommend making this pattern in stripes. You end up with lots of ends to tuck in from having to break and rejoin the yarn in different spots. I am happy that I managed to match up the stripes while seaming. That larger stripe across the chest was intentional. I may still add a single crochet border around the front opening and neck, but I will probably skip the buttons. I made one for the Bear and never put buttons on it either.

hand knits for baby // plaid skirt

The hat is a slightly modified version of this hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It’s made of Knit Picks Comfy in Dove and Hawk. I wanted something soft for the little one’s head, and this stuff is super soft, with a little bit of acrylic to keep it’s shape. I hope it fits! I love little babies in hand knits.

It was important to me to make new things for the baby instead of just letting him or her use the things I made for the Bear. I want them to be able to have their own things that they’ll hopefully pass on through their families some day.

hand knit baby blanket // plaid skirt

PS. I haven’t had a chance to Ravel these yet, but if you’re on Ravelry, Let’s be friends!