Fashionista: Old Navy Peacoat

I’m totally in love with Kaylee’s new coat. It’s the Wool-Blend Empire Peacoat from Old Navy. The fabric is fairly soft, the pockets are real, and it’s even lined. The fit is just right too. I really like the details on the back, the buttons and pleats are a great touch. It should be warm enough to get her through all but the coldest winter days, assuming we layer properly. Highly recommended.

(these pictures were taken just before a branch fell down out of the tree on her head, leaving scratches across her forehead and under her eye. She took it like a trooper though, saying “I’m fine” right after it happened, but she looked like she got into a fight with wolverine for a few weeks afterward.)

Crafts: Dying fabric

I’ve been going through Kaylee’s old clothes looking for things to pass down to the baby. She spent the first few months in side snap tees and onesies so it is working out pretty well. Sadly, although they looked perfect when I first packed them away, several of her clothes had some mysterious yellow spotting when I pulled them back out of storage. I decided to attempt to remedy the situation by dying them before running out and replacing what were otherwise great basic pieces that we loved the first time around. And, it worked out great! I bought the dye a while ago and put this project off because I was intimidated by the whole process and unsure if it would stain the kitchen sink (which is white…it left no noticable marks) or the washing machine (again, no trace at all on the washer or subsequent loads of laundry). Now our little boy has about 10 dark blue tees and onesies in an assortment of sizes. I even tried it on a pair of Old Navy socks that had dark soles (from going shoeless in the driveway) and it covered up the stains perfectly.

I was so anxious to get started that I began just after Kaylee went to sleep and forgot to change my shirt…my new favorite maternity shirt. The one I thought I’d never pull off (all those horizontal stripes across my prego belly) but have received several compliments on the two times I was able to wear it since it arrived. It used to look like this:

Needless to say it got a few spots on it as I was pouring the bucket of dye water down the drain so I just tossed it in the few inches of dye that were still left in the bucket in an attempt to remedy the situation. Much to my surprise, after just a few minutes it came out looking decent too. You can’t see the splatter marks anymore and I have a unique-ish shirt to wear.

I used powdered Rit dye in Royal Blue with the help of this tutorial website. It was a lot easier and less messy than I thought it would be. Totally worth it and I will definitely be doing more.

Bringing Baby Home: “it’s all about me”

I’ve been sort-of obsessing lately about what I’m going to wear post delivery. I know it’s supposed to be all about that adorable outfit we’ll be brining baby home in. I spent way more time than I should have picking out the cute little Gap number for Kaylee that she didn’t get to wear because she was so impossibly tiny. Even the newborn size clothes grandma rushed out to buy for her didn’t really fit until a few weeks after she was born. Plus, she lived in side-snap tees and a diaper for months because she HATED having anything put over her head. Not to mention the whole swaddling thing negates the need for cutsie clothes and she was almost always mummy-wrapped lest we unleash the beast that lay just beneath her overly sensitive newborn skin and those flailing arms of doom. As such, I’m packing two side-snap tees, one newborn and one 0-3,  a pair of stretchie pants and a bunting (okay, so it has cutsie bear ears on the hood, but it will be the dead of winter after all).  We’re going to adore him no matter what he has on anyway.

I wore standard issue hospital gowns (and the weird mesh underwear you hear about all over the Internet) during my stay despite having packed nursing pjs and my own undies. You might think you have an idea of the mess… multiply that picture in your head by 2, or 3, or 10. You’ve spent 9 months building up an excess of fluid in your body that now has to come back out again, with a vengence. I understood rather quickly that anything I owned was not coming back home with me if I wore it. In fact, I came to appreciate the hospital gown so much that I was tempted to swipe (and I did steal a few pairs of the underwear).  My worst decision was to bring my favorite jeans with me to wear home. HHAHAHA….yeah, that wasn’t happening. Even if I could have managed to bend and wiggle enough to get them on, my legs were too swolen from the IV fluids to bother. I ended up going home in what I came in, a dress and flipflops. I want to avoid that this time around.

Enter…My Going-Home Outfit (pictures above):
Maternity French Terry Lounge Hoodie in Barnswallow
Women’s Sherpa Lined Slippers in Sawdust
Women’s Cozy Socks in Coconut Milk
Maternity Roll-panel Yoga Pants
and a nursing tank (still shopping)

It should also make a decent outfit to throw on when someone stops by to visit the baby or if I want to look sort-of put together before Scott gets home from work. I neglected to put enough (any) effort into my own clothes for my first birth. I lived in sweat pants, nursing tanks, and a robe while I was off on leave. I even wore slippers constantly for the first time in my life because my feet were always cold, in the middle of August no less. Nothing in my closet besides these few items fit right – it was all either too big or too small. I always felt frumpy when people came to visit. Not a good combination when mixed with the hormones and exhaustion of being a new parent. Although I kept a few maternity clothes from last time, I ended up buying a mostly new wardrobe – spending more money on first/second trimester duds in the hopes that I’ll be able to use them to get through the awkward tranisition back to real clothes for work in the spring.

I think I’m almost ready…now I just need to get the rest of the pack(ing) in order.

on a sunday

Daddy bought Kaylee a new pair of boots to keep her tootsies warm during their jaunts in the snow. She wears them ALL THE TIME, in fact it would probably be better stated that she rarely parts with them. When she asks for ‘shoes?’ It’s as if the rest of her collection ceased to exist once these entered the picture. He’s particularly proud that he got them onsale, a fact he shares with everyone who compliments her on them.

Outings: Eye Doctor

Scott and I recently went in for eye exams. He needed a new doctor, prescription, and glasses, and I haven’t seen an eye doctor in more years than I can remember and figured it was about time to check in. So, we visited a place close to work that also happens to take our insurance. Turns out he’s still half blind and I still have perfect vision…I win!

We ended up taking Kaylee along with us and I’m glad there were two of us to wrangle her because she’s a handful now. Scott went in for his exam first while I stayed behind in the waiting room and tried my best to keep Kaylee from climbing into everyone else’s lap. I was called in before he was done and had to get my eyes checked while she was sitting in my lap. She was fascinated by all the equipment and liked it when the lights were turned off and then on again. The exam itself was practically painless. The only part I didn’t like was when they used a giant machine to take pictures of my eyes. The bright light stung a little and made me sensitive to light for a bit. Scott met back up with us again at the tail end of my exam and took Kaylee back. He stayed with us while the doctor finished up and when I asked how Scott was doing she teasingly stated that she hoped Kaylee inherits my vision instead of his.

While we were there the doctor encouraged us to bring Kaylee back in for her own eye exam, which they do for free during the first 12 months. Her own doctors have checked her eyes at every well-baby visit for the past 10 months. I was confident there is nothing wrong with her vision, but the doctor suggested we check to make sure since it’s free.  So we decided to schedule an appointment to make sure she really is doing fine.

On our trip back, Kaylee toddled around the office checking out all of the new faces and shiny things on the walls before we were called in to see the doctor. Despite missing her morning nap, she did very well. She sat patiently on Scott’s lap while the doctor looked into her eyes with various equipment and she was able to see all the shapes on the test paddles. When it was all finished the doctor said she has 20/20 vision and, “like Mary Poppins, is practically perfect in every way”. Whew!  The doctor also gave Kaylee some baby banz  sunglasses to wear when she’s outside. The first time we put them on her she proceeded to rip them off and fling them to the ground. In her defense though, they are pretty goofy looking.

There is no mistaking that Kaylee is Scott’s daughter. She has looked like him since she was born, so much so, that one of the first comments we received about her was “oh my gosh, put a tiny pair of glasses on her and you’ve got Scott!” I keep searching for tiny glimpses of myself in her but have yet to see anything other than the red highlights in her hair.  I know it is really too soon to tell, but it is good to have some validation that she may inherit at least some of my other qualities along with his dashing good looks.

crafts: Kaylee’s birthday banner

With only 2 months left until Kaylee’s first birthday bash, planning and crafting is in high-gear. We already booked a spot at the same forest preserve where we got married, which lends itself well to a woodland theme. It will also allow us to use several of the crafts we made for the wedding. Needless to day, I have lots of projects going on at the  moment. The first one is Kaylee’s name banner that will go on the food table. I have been meaning to make this for a while now to replace the paper name sign above her crib which will be its permanant home.

 

There are a ton of tutorials online you can use if you’d like to make one of your own (like this one, or this one). The concept is simple enough, triangles and bias tape, so I ended up just winging it. Mine is made from the same fabric as her quilt and bedding, plus a linen backing and bias tape. I drew a few different sized triangles on plain printer paper until I found the one I liked best. I used Word to find a font and printed up her name on paper then used the pieces as a template to cut out the felt letters. I then attached the letters to the fabric with various colors of floss using a blanket stitch. Then it’s mostly simple sewing, turning, and ta da – a finished banner in one weekend. The rose was hand-made by a friend.

My hope is that this will be something we can use for her parties for years to come. And, it will give her a nice keepsake to take with her someday.

Crafts: baby blocks

My quilt group got together to make baby blocks for the newest edition to the library family. They doubled as a gift and shower decoration. We (mostly) followed the pattern in Amy Butter’s book, little stitches for little ones. It called for the blocks to be filled with foam, which you can purchase by the yard at Joanne’s (it cuts up easily with an electric knife). We used 3 inch foam rather than the 4 inch, because it was cheaper. Everyone in the group made two blocks each and we ended up with a nice little set. Then I got ambitious and made a full set for Kaylee with some of the left-over foam (we had a ton left over). 

In this simple version, I just cut out 3.5 inch squares of fabric and sewed them together by machine (right-sides together) with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a gap large enough to turn right-side out and stuff the foam cube inside. I ended up using fabric glue to close the gap rather than hand stitching it shut (I’m terrible at blind stitching and don’t feel like taking the time to practice enough to get better right now). It’s a great project for scraps. I used the left-over fabric from Kaylee’s quilt so they match everything else I have made for her. I also added a bits of plastic from a wipes refill to some of the blocks to give them a nice crinkle sound when you squish them. Every block is made up of minky,  linen, and cotton fabrics for contrasting textures. I’ll be honest, the blocks  are not fun to make and require a bit of wrestling to get them to turn out right. It took me about 2 weeks here and there to finish them up. Kaylee likes to shake and chew them and knock down the towers that we build. We like to throw them at her head (they’re soft, and it makes her giggle).

She’s Growing Up

We lowered the crib mattress over the weekend since Kaylee has learned to sit up on her own. Much to my dismay, we also had to put the bumpers back in because the first thing she did when we put her in was get her legs caught up in the bars. Even though this had never been a problem before. Go figure. She also ends up cramed into the corner while she sleeps now, even though she starts out somewhere in the middle with tons of space.