Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Baby Boy Whale Banner

I wanted something cute to hang upstairs above the changing table/playyard in my office. My office, that is now being taken over by baby things...but oh well. It happens. I decided to make a "Boy" banner with whales on it! I was really excited and spent 4 hours trying to crochet the letter "B" before giving up and just googling it, so this tutorial is really just for the whales. The video tutorial also goes through how to chain everything together. You'll have to go to the moogly blog to find the letters.

To make the whale, use a 4.5mm crochet hook and worsted weight yarn. I made four whales, and I used the same yarn and hook to make the letters as well.

Terms Used: (All USA terms)
sc: single crochet
dc: double crochet
sl st: slip stitch
ch: chain
sk: skip
hdc: half double crochet

Whale: Made in continuous round, do not join with sl st

R1: magic ring, ch 1, 8 sc in ring (8 sts)
R2: 2 sc in each st (16 sts)
R3: (*Sc in next st, 2sc in next st*) repeat 4 times, sc next stitch and chain 7, turn.
R4: Skip first ch, in second ch from hook make (hdc,hdc,dc) in the same ch space
then sl st in the next ch, sl st next ch, chain 2 turn,
R5: skip first ch, in second ch from hook make (hdc,hdc,dc, sl st) in the same ch space
R6: sl st, hdc, skip 1 ch, dc twice in same st, hdc, next sc, next sl st, next sl st, next sl st
in the next st I do a hdc, then another sl st. to make it more square on the bottom.

I made 4 whales. Then I used the Moogly alphabet pattern to crochet a "B," "O," and "Y". The letter pattern does not belong to me, and you can find it here! I tried really hard (like hours) to crochet a "B" by myself and it just didn't work. So I just googled one--if someone else already did all the work to make a crochet alphabet, I certainly am not going to complain. I used the same worsted weight yarn and 4.5mm crochet hook for the letters as well.

Then I strung the B, O and Y together on a chain, and than hung the cute little whales from the letters with more chains!

What do you think? I love it.

Friday, July 24, 2015

One Week

Where has the last week gone?! Reuben is one week old. I feel like he's always been a part of our lives. I feel like he belongs here. I also have no time. Please don't ask me if I've remembered to brush my teeth. When you don't have a "night" anymore it's kinda hard to remember to brush your teeth. Actually I should be sleeping right now since baby is sleeping, but I have things to do. People who sleep when your baby sleeps--when do you shower? When and how do you use the bathroom or do laundry?

this helps!
Honestly so much has happened I don't know if I can articulate it all, much less grasp my emotions. I filmed Reuben's birth story, and will post that video as soon as I get around to adding some pictures to it. Who knows when, because I have no free time. Taking care of an infant is a full time job, and also requires someone to take care of me as well--because I literally do not have enough arms. And until yesterday I couldn't even control when I would pee, so yeah. Take that into consideration. Sitting down still hurts, but it's a lot better. I can walk without shaking. However, I can't walk far without running out of breath. And I have a tiny human who needs me.

He is so tiny guys. And I love him so much. I knew breastfeeding would be hard, and it is! What I didn't know is that putting clothing on an infant is like trying to wrestle a cat into a paper bag. Poor Reuben. Good thing its July and he really only needs clothes for bedtime. I have no idea why the onset of a diaper change or onesie makes him scream bloody murder but it does. New experiences, I suppose. I always feed him after and it does help calm him!

So far my two favorite items are the boppy and my nipple cream. The boppy helps me achieve so many breastfeeding positions comfortably, and I am sure you can guess what the cream does. Also, I seem to have birthed a kid that does not ever want to be put down. Like ever, or he will instantly cry and wake up. The only thing that I can put him in is the boppy. Apparently it feels like a hug. I literally could not live without it.

So how are you guys? Has time stopped for you, too?

Monday, July 20, 2015

He is here

Reuben arrived on the 17th of July around 5pm after I went into labor on the 16th at 11pm, making Chancy G the winner on guessing his birthday. He was one day past his due date.

I have so many things to say.

I got an epidural upon immediately arriving to the hospital and I don't regret it once. More about that later.

He's beautiful and I'm overwhelmed and I've cried every day.

My breasts are mountains.

He was 10 poumds and 6oz. The act of sitting down is still painful. I have a lot of stitches.

I am so busy.

I am happy.

And I love him.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

40 weeks.

I didn't think I'd still be pregnant on my due date. I really 100% thought I would have given birth by now. But nope, it's Reuben's due date and he seems content to keep poking me from inside my uterus and sitting on my bladder and waking me up with hiccups at all hours of the night. And yes, I am annoyed. He was supposed to be out by now.

But I know that many first babies are late, and that my body can still go into natural labor. It's not too late. I just worry that something is wrong. I have had a lot of braxton hicks and a few other signs of labor but no contractions yet and no sign of my mucus plug or of my water breaking. My doctor says my baby's head is down, but not engaged yet. I have been doing these funny exercises that are supposed to help. But all I can tell is that they make me feel rather silly. And fat. Hah.

I hate waiting. Did I ever tell you that? I am not a patient person. My husband says so too, and he knows me really well. Being a "get 'er done" person can be a blessing and a curse, but in this situation it is definitely a curse. I can't do anything but wait and keep drinking a lot of water and monitoring the swelling on my feet and wondering when my doctor will announce it is time for me to be induced (10 days from now is what she said if everything is still well) and feeling terrified of said inducement because needles and a increased risk of c-section.

All I really can do is cling to to the knowledge that God knows what he is doing, he knows when my son will be born and how. I don't know, and yes that is frustrating but I have to trust him. I would really appreciate some prayers, for patience, and for trust and for peace. And perhaps that Reuben would get the memo. You know, if he's ready and all.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What I bought for my Baby

This is a comprehensive list of everything I bought before giving birth to our newborn. It's not that long of a list, at least I don't think so. I tried to only buy what I really thought I needed and not give into the hype of purchasing All The Things. For example, we did not buy a crib or a bouncy seat or anything that rocks a baby. I plan on wearing this kid---my mom bought me a moby at my baby shower and that is just how it's going to be.

We spend $400 on everything. I don't know if this is the norm, or if it's more than most spend, but it's how much we spent. We also just bought everything all at once--no here or there buying. One day. One (or two) orders. Streamlined!

So what did I buy? Here we go... (links go to exact items)

1) For sleeping I bought a cosleeper. The exact one I purchased (after reading a ton of amazon reviews) was the Arm's Reach Concepts Co-Sleeper Bassinet. This contraption can be used as a bassinet or attach to your bed as a co-sleeper. It's also the most expensive item we purchased. We also bought (separately) the Arm's Reach Organic Fitted Bassinet Sheet for the Co-Sleeper. I wanted to buy the one made by the same company, for safety issues (so not to mix and match brands) and I also wanted an organic one. It was only a few dollars more than a non-organic cotton one, so it didn't break the bank.

2)  We found a used changing table at a thrift store (and my amazing mom bought it for me) but I had to buy a changing pad. I got the LA Baby Countour Changing Pad. I also bought a 2-pack of the Organic Waterproof Quilted Lap and Burp Pad Cover to lay on the changing pad under little man's bum so he doesn't ruin the pad if he happens to, uh, have a blow out in the middle of me trying to remove his diaper. The two pack was nice, because I can keep one of the covers upstairs to change him and the other downstairs, or have one to switch in and out if washing.

3) We are doing cloth diapers. This is the one of two thingsI did not buy from amazon, but instead from Green Mountain Diapers. I bought 24 prefolds in the small size, unbleached, and three Flip diaper covers and two Blueberry Capri Covers. We are very excited about cloth diapering! From amazon, I bought a cloth diaper Kanga Care Wet Bag to store things in before washing, and a Clip and Drip Hanger to hang dry our diapers. I'm sure I'll make more posts about cloth diapering.

4) I'll be honest, sids scares the living crap out of me. Thus, the second most expensive thing I bought was the LEVANA Portable Baby Movement Monitor. It had good reviews on amazon, and also did not require a smart phone ap like the other sids monitors I saw. Another thing my midwife said really helps with sids is swaddling. We bought the Summer Infant SwaddlePod in infant size (maxs out at 10 pounds) and also the Woombie Air Ventilated Baby Swaddle in the size "big baby" that is for roughly 3-12 months. I have no idea what size baby I am going to have and it was important for me to be prepared. (my husband was 10 pounds at birth...)

5) I bought two splurge items. The Roll Around Toy Hedgehog and also the Hape Walk-A-Long Puppy. They were just too adorable to pass up. I hope my son likes them! Another random item I bought was a ear thermometer. I wanted something that would easily take my son's temperature in case of sickness! (like a 1 Second Ear Thermometer).

6) The only clothes I bought were two nightgowns with "mitten" attachments to go over his hands. I bought 2 Pack Neutral Ducks Shoulder Gowns for my son to wear at birth. The gown part makes for really easy diaper changes and the mittens will help him not scratch himself. I also bought a pack of mittens for home use to go with his other outfits. (4 Pack Mittens) I got so many clothes at my baby shower--I think we are set for at least the first 6 months.

7)  Lastly, we bought the Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling for bath time and a Munchkin Dandy Dots Bath Mat to make sure the bottom of my bathtub isn't slippery if I happen to hold baby in the shower.

That is it. That is all we bought! To see what I got in my baby shower, check out this video! (we got a car seat at our shower!! Super money saver right there!)

What did you end up buying for your baby? The only thing I am thinking of buying is a wire drying rack... for drying diapers outside in the sun...but not sure about that yet!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Blogging about my Baby

So, as you know I love to blog. I really love it, I am not shy, and I don't mind telling people intimate things about myself. It does not bother me (usually) when people judge me, and I don't get embarrassed easily. I am who I am. I love blogging about myself and what I have learned and am going through.

My husband is shy, and he likes to keep his private things private. I try to ask him before I blog about something that concerns/relates to him, and 75% of the time he says he would rather not have whatever-it-is on my blog. (so many things I've never posted! Oh, the things you guys have missed). Sometimes, through he says yes, and that is thrilling! He's just more personal than me, and I try to respect that, even if sometimes it annoys me when I want to write about something...

That brings me to thoughts on blogging about my offspring.

Said offspring is still in my uterus, all comfy and cuddled up tight against my bladder poking his little hands into my belly and being all adorable and snugly. I knew I'd have to think about what I wanted to share with the world on my blog, and how much I wanted to share, and if sharing at all was even appropriate, because babies, unlike adult husbands, can't really give "consent".

I know I want to blog about parenting. I like being vocal about my life and blogging is really relaxing and fun to me. However, I don't want to embarrass my children. I don't want them to feel uncomfortable later in life about anything I've posted of them, and I also want to be able to remove any pictures or posts easily if they, one day, don't approve.

I can think of several things I did as a child and as a teen when I was learning about the world that if my mom had blogged about or told friends I would have felt not only upset, but betrayed by her. I don't want that with my kids.

After talking with my husband (who was against, at first, of even the thought of me putting a picture of our baby on the internet) I've decided to take it slow. I want to share my experiences but I don't want to put Reuben or any of my children in a compromising situation! I am Reuben's mom through, and I don't think sharing a picture or two or talking about breastfeeding or cloth diapering is going overboard. But it is true that many things will have to stay private, because Reuben is a minor and I don't wish to ever take advantage of that. He can't give consent. He would probably just tell me what I wanted to hear, like most kids do because I'm his mom and he trusts me. I want to honor that trust!

Anyway, what are your thoughts on blogging about offspring? I'd love to hear them. Honestly, I love reading blogs and personal stories about parenting. There is a time and a place, and they do help me feel less alone and cope on my own individual parenting journey. I'm just trying to traverse this topic myself and, boy, is it a little over my head.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Baby Mittens (newborn scratch guards)

I wanted to crochet some newborn mittens for my squishy. I pulled out the mittens I had bought and just used those as a guide for shape, even through they were sewn, not crochet.

I ended up with two sizes, and here are the two tutorials (and a video tutorial at the end) to show you how to make some mittens for your squishy, or for a gift. As with anything made for a baby, proper supervision is needed as mittens are small and could be a choking hazard.

Terms used:
st: stitch
sl st: slip stitch
Magic circle (see video for tutorial)
sc: single crochet
fpsc: front post single crochet
and sc two in same space to increase

To make these mittens, you will need a worsted weight yarn (I am using 100% cotton for comfort) and a 4.0mm crochet hook.

Newborn/Preemie Mittens

R1: start of with a magic circle. do 6 sc into the circle and pull to cinch. do not sl st to join in the round, mittens are worked in the continuous round. (6 sts)
R2: 2sc in each st (12 sts)
R3: sc all sts.

Repeat round 3 until work measures 3 inches from tip to your current st.

R4: *fpsc, sc repeat from * around until end. (12 sts)
R5: *fpsc, sc repeat from * around until end (12 sts)
R6: 12 sc. sl st, break yarn and weave in all ends. (12 sts)

0-3 month mittens

R1: start of with a magic circle. do 8 sc into the circle and pull to cinch. do not sl st to join in the round, mittens are worked in the continuous round. (8 sts)
R2: 2sc in each st (16 sts)
R3: sc all sts. (16 sts)

Repeat round 3 until work measures 3.5 inches from tip to your current st.

R4: *fpsc, sc repeat from * around until end. (16 sts)
R5: *fpsc, sc repeat from * around until end (16 sts)
R6: sc all sts (16 sts) 
R7: Sc all sts (16 sts) sl st, break yarn and weave in all ends.

These mittens really are super duper easy and fun to make. I already want to make a rainbow pair and a two-tone pair as well!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pregnancy Wears

I wear a mixture of maternity and non-maternity clothes for pregnancy. I don't know what is better--I only own one pair of maternity pants, and mostly just stick to leggings and elastic skirts. I've found a lot of tops that work, depending on how they are made. I favor empire waist lines in my wardrobe anyway (from being pear shaped) and a lot of those things work. Only, as shirts and not as dresses, because of Rueben.

I made two pregnancy fashion videos. The first video I filmed during my first week of the third trimester, week 28. I re-watched it and, wow, am I small! My favorite outfit is probably the first one. Also, I just love it when my husband borrows this old truck (for hauling purposes, not for wife-photoshooot purposes) but it's still fun to make use of it for my own means.

The second video was filmed at different times during the third trimester, and you can totally see that bump grow. How do I even walk anymore? I don't know. I'm quite shocked that I don't just fall over, actually. That might be why I waddle now. I'm like a slow turtle that waddles. A waddling turtle. Hah!

I loved filming these. I'll be able to look back at them in the years to come and remember...what it was like. What kinds of things did you wear in your third trimester?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

38 Weeks

The last week has been really rough. I won't lie, I am so so so tired of being pregnant. I've also become an introvert. Yes. I don't want to leave my house. Ever. Please don't make me. Last week my husband and I went grochery shopping (the only time besides church I believe I went anywhere) and I seriously considered just letting him go by himself (that has NEVER happened before, by the way). He's usually the one who hates grochery shopping. I'm usually very excited about it. What can I say, I love meal planning and buying food.

Only this week I didn't meal plan (whats the fun when everything gives me heartburn? Also, no energy. None.) My husband did the meal plan this week. (we had curry Monday, chili yesterday, and today is going to be some kind of baked chicken layered dish thing). Easy meals. I am very grateful. So, I went to the grochery store and let me tell you walking around 9 months pregnant is interesting. One lady on the way in stopped, looked at me, and said "you are really pregnant!!" in a kind, understanding tone. I almost cried on her.

I also saw one of my friends inside-- it was nice to see her! That was worth the whole trip. The husband and I then ran into one of his coworkers who promptly asked if I was having twins. I internally seethed as husband made polite conversation. No I am not having twins. Thank you. Please die in a fire.

Oh, but we bought mint chocolate chip ice-cream, so yay. (I crave peppermint. Is this a sign of labor? Please tell me it is). Also ice-cream soothes my burning esophagus. At least, that is my excuse.

Everyone (and my doctor) keeps reminding me that first babies usually come later. I never know what to say to that.

Person A: Well, first babies usually take a little while longer, dear.
Me: It is okay if I hyperventilate and have a mental breakdown on you?

I am ready to have this baby! I do have some signs of labor, but baby is not engaged in my pelvis yet. I have a lot of cervical pressure, some new vaginal leakage and a desire to rearrange the furniture and throw out everything in sight. 

Oh, I'm also in a lot of pain in the morning and at night, like muscle, ligament stuff. Rolling over in bed hurts. Why does my husband still want to have sex with me?

I am still walking around the neighborhood in the evenings when it gets cool. I have no idea what they (the neighbors) think of this, but it does make me feel better. I only do two laps. Turtle laps. I'm slow. Takes 20 minutes around the cul de sac. I used to do 2 laps in the morning and 2 in the evening...

Anyway, as I was writing this I was like, I should take some pictures for this post. Then I realized that would include putting on some type of pants, and messing around with my tripod and actually going outside. I decided not to. Comfy chair in my over sized tee shirt (basically what I've been wearing the past few days) is enough for me. So, yeah.

I only have two more weeks until my due date! I know I might have longer for this baby. I am trying to relax, but I feel like a whale. Moving is difficult. Also, I have, in the last week, suddenly sprouted stretchmarks. A lot of them. And spider veins. I would cry about my vanity, but after everything else that has happened to my body I'm really not that shocked anymore.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on the last few days. Third trimester is still my favorite, but I think this last month is not a part of the third trimester. I'm going to give it a new name. Like please get this baby out of me whale month. That's what it's called. Now I feel better.