After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Arrow's Quilt

At the beginning of the year, I was noticing how I hadn't made a quilt in forever.  The desire just wasn't there, which was kind of odd considering quilting is what turned me on to sewing when I was in college, and quilts are all I sewed for years.  Actually, I should clarify, my "quilts" were more patchwork blankets because I never was brave enough to learn how to sandwich layers, and do the binding.  HUGE mental block!  So instead I'd sew a blanket on the back of a patchwork top and do the turn and top stitch method.  I guess that's still quilting, but a tad different.  Well, just after I noticed I hadn't made a quilt in a long time, the bug hit!  Since being pregnant, I've made four quilt tops!  I was determined that THIS was the year I was going to make a REAL quilt....batting, sandwiching, binding, free motion top quilting...the works!  Finally, I accomplished that goal last month when I completed Felicity's twin quilt, which I still need to get proper pictures of, and post on.  Just this week, I finished Arrow's quilt. 

 This quilt, along with Felicity's quilt, are the two most intricate quilts I've ever done.  Though it may not look like it, there is a lot of small piecing involved with this quilt.  A lot for me anyways!  I worked on it in small, assembly line steps, making slow progress for months.  But it was worth it!  When I saw the tutorial for this quilt online, I just couldn't pass it up!  So I'm glad I am limited enough in experience to not have known how intricate it would be just by reading through the tutorial.  By the time I figured out how much work it would entail, it was already underway, so I just kept plugging along.  :)

 I never really had a plan for the border, binding, or back.  The border and binding fabric came from my stash.  It had sat there for 6 years, and worked perfectly.  I thought I could maybe do the border, binding, and back with that material, but found that the binding and border took more fabric than I thought.  So I ended up just taking all the scraps, and piecing the back.  I loved how it turned out, and its kind of like two quilts in one!
My wonderful friend let me come over to her house and use her fancy machine to do the free motion quilting.  I'll tell ya, I SWEAR by my old, all metal sewing machines, and have never wanted a new fancy machine......until now.  Free motion quilting is fun!  But I guess I don't need to go out and buy a new machine since I have a friend who's so generous.  :)
I caved for this print.  I rarely order fabric online.  But how could I pass up retro space kids, astronaut ducks, and mice and cats floating around in balls?!
I have a tradition to make the kids a baby quilt before they're born.  Now that Ari's quilt is done, my nesting has slowed way down.  His quilt is ready, so he can now officially arrive whenever he pleases.  And until he does, I'll snuggle up with his quilt every night to ensure it smells like Mama.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Celebrating Kian

Kian turns THREE in a little over a week.  Today we celebrated him, a bit early, so his favorite person, Papa, could be at his party amidst his busy traveling schedule.  I'm glad my mom realized Papa would be traveling around Kian's birthday and suggested doing the party a bit early, because on the way to Grammy's house for his party, Kian specifically asked if Papa was going to be there.  And when Papa drove up, Kian ran straight into his arms.  I LOVE his love for Papa!

Kian had a wonderful celebration.  He's just getting over a cold so at one point, when the big kids were swimming, he took some time to himself to spray Grammy's plants in her garden with a spray bottle he'd received as a gift for watering house plants.  But the rest of the time, he kept up with the big kids pretty well.  :)
Here's some pictures from his day.

 A new Mama made backpack just his size, and just in time for an upcoming trek to the hospital.  :)

 I was given a free book coupon from Shutterfly so I made him a book all about himself.  The older two have similar books I've made with free coupons in past years.

Raggedy Kian!
Its a tradition of my Mom's to make all the kids Raggedy Ann or Raggedy Andy dolls that look like them.  She's been doing this since I was tiny.  I loved my first one so much, its head fell off!  I'm glad I don't remember that tragedy.  But as I grew, I was sad that I didn't have one so as my High School graduation gift, my mom made me a replica of the one I'd had as a little girl.  Isn't that wonderful!?  "Jenny", named by Felicity, now resides in Lissy's room next to her own Grammy made Raggedy Ann doll.  Anyways, this year was Kian's year to get his doll and he was VERY excited to have one just like his brother and sister!

 What 3 year old boy doesn't need a Venus Fly Trap?
The kids are pretty excited about Kian's new plant.
So am I!

 He's been working hard to learn how to get those fingers just right!

 There was one major slip up to the day.  Obviously, the silly string war didn't go over well with the birthday boy. 

His day ended with lots of snuggles, jumping on the trampoline, and a pizza picnic dinner in front of a movie that HE got to pick.
He was a pretty happy guy.
And he passed out with his new Raggedy Kian nearly instantly after getting in the car and heading home.
It was a wonderful day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

36 Weeks

Yesterday marked 36 weeks! 

In the afternoon I visited my midwife.  I learned I'd gained 4 pounds in the last 3 weeks on bed rest, am 1 cm dilated, and Arrow is high, just like I thought.  I've been struggling with nausea and was convinced he was squishing my stomach because I could feel that he was high.  I was right.  Logan is my only baby to have dropped before labor started and though I'm hoping for my stomach's sake that Arrow will drop, I'm not getting my hopes up.  I was the last patient of the day and my midwife sat around talking to Zac, the kids, and I for quite a while, just about life.  I LOVE my midwives.  Oh, and bed rest was lifted!  Yay!

So, what did I do on my first day free from bed rest?  Well, I stayed in bed.  Yep, I woke up with a raging head cold and nausea worse than normal.  I'm hoping this passes quickly because I have a special quilt to finish before Mr. Arrow arrives.

In other news, the kids and I were out early one morning trying to catch our runaway (again) bunny who was helping herself to the crabgrass in the veggie garden (at least she chose the nasty weed over the failing veggies).    While out there, Logan picked up a fallen, dried sunflower head and was amazed by the dark black seeds that came raining off it.  Together we clipped a few more dried sunflowers and took them inside.  All 3 kids got to work harvesting the seeds for next year's garden.  I was very happy about this because I have not been able to go out and work in the garden at all.  Seeds have not been harvested, and calendula has gone unpicked.  Papa had requested sunflower seeds from our garden so I'm glad we at least have those now for him.

 And while Logan and I clipped Sunflowers, my two little ones picked this beautiful bouquet for our table.
I've missed my garden!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mama Made Diapers

Back in the beginning of the 2nd trimester (I think) I nested by sewing up loads of diapers.  Somewhere along the way, the diaper nesting phase wore off.  I think it had to do with my fear of all these little diapers not working well.  :)  Well, I was sick and tired of all these tiny dipes looking at me PAINFULLY close to being finished.  So I took an evening this week to cut out the last of the soakers, and another evening to go up to my mom's and zip them through her serger, and finally, Arrow's NB Mama made diaper stash is done!

 The first 13 diapers were made using the free Darling Diaper pattern.  They are all flannel inside and out, with a sewn in terry/flannel soaker.
The last 13 were made using the free Baa Baa Baby two sized fitted diaper pattern.  I really like the idea of this pattern since it can grow with baby a bit past the NB stage, and I really hope they work well.  These are all flannel inside and out with a terry soaker that lays in the diaper and is just attached at the back so that it can flap out for faster line drying.
**Note, if you follow the links, there is also a tutorial that went along with this pattern.  I didn't link it because I did not use it.  I used this pattern but sewed the diapers in the same fashion as the Darling Diapers above.**
And here's all 26 of them.  I estimate that this NB stash cost me $8!!!  I was handed down TONS of small flannel scraps back at the beginning of the year.  I make PJs out of flannel for the kids all year round, but these scraps were too tiny for that.  So I used them for diapers.  Material = free.  I had tons of elastic on hand, but figured I bought a few packs so that added a few bucks.  Even thread was free because my mom scored a bag full at the thrift and shared the love.  I also inherited toweling along with the flannel so I used that, some old towels, and three bought towels for the soakers.  The three bought towels added up to $3.  Talk about cheap diapering!!!  Even the snappies that will be used with these, and the prorap covers were "bought" at our local consignment shop (new) with credit I had, also making them free.  Wipes were made from the scraps to up our supply.  This kind of thrifty sewing THRILLS me.  I almost can't wait for someone to tell me cloth diapering actually doesn't save money.  Look out!
And yes, I get that a lot.
Since all the fabric was handed down, it was definitely not all my style.  But no complaints.  As my mom says, "they're just to catch crap right"?  Right.
But here are my favorites.
I'm glad to have them done.
Now wish me luck that they'll actually work!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sewing For Ari

I've been slowly puttering away at some mama mades for Ari.  Just this weekend I added some finishing touches to a few things and thought I'd share.

The pictures are VERY bright so I promise the orange shirt is not that shocking in real life.  :)
The astronaut pants were made out of scraps from his quilt, which is painfully near completion.  I can't WAIT to finish his quilt as that's my little tradition.  Each baby gets a mama made quilt at birth.  I have no idea if these pants will fit, but I'm taking them to the hospital, along with some back up sleepers just in case.  :)
When I opened up our infant box from storage, I found that ALL our prefold burp cloths were very dingy.  I don't even know why I'd saved them.  I bought a new pack of prefolds (boy do they make them cheaper than they did 8 years ago) and added a full front panel to each one using some of my favorite boy material I'd been hoarding for a while.
This is my favorite outfit.  This green print (which again didn't photograph well) has been a favorite for a while.  I so love this outfit that I made him two pants out of the same fabric.  One is smaller than this set, just in case.  I also have another T shirt with a little bird patch on the front that matches the pants.  I'd like this to be Ari's coming home outfit, but I'm not so sure it'll fit.  We shall see.  And what about that super cute hat?!  My friend's young daughter started her own business crocheting.  She made Ari's adorable hat!  Currently she's saving for a kitchen aid mixer, and after that, a car.  I'd encourage you to check out her stuff here.  I love supporting small businesses and how wonderful to support a young teen just starting out!

Friday, September 14, 2012

35 Weeks!

Yesterday marked 35 weeks! 

Week 34 was my fourth week on bed rest, but my second week of partial bed rest.  I was happy to see that as the week went on, I felt better and could do more.  I'm still nauseated quite a bit, but I don't often feel like I over do it and physically pay for it, like I did in the first week of partial bed rest.  Some days, I can get a few things done around here.  Some days, like today, I get nothing done.  But hey, that's an improvement from last week, so I'm happy!  I can sit at the sewing machine longer too which thrills me since I'm nesting in a crazed type of way.  :)  Acid reflux has joined forces with the nausea, making eating harder than it already was.  I'm sticking to my "if it goes in it must be healthy" plan, and my sweet husband cooks very healthy meals every night for dinner.  My staples are snacking on edamame, Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and sharp cheddar paired with popcorn.  :)  Arrow feels very high, so I'm assuming that's the reason behind the acid reflux and nausea.  I don't expect him to drop before labor.  Only Logan did. 
One more week of partial bed rest and then I'm free......though I wonder if I'll have the energy to do much more anyways.  :) 

I don't have much to show for this week because I've been able to sew at the machine more which means I have a stack of projects half finished.  I did finish up this little set though, for my niece's birthday.  I have a "UFO box" (unfinished object box) that I've been picking away at on bed rest.  I figure if I'm in bed, I might as well be working on birthday and Christmas presents.  Anything I can make will save money.  In that box I found this apron I started YEARS ago.  I'm thinking 11 years ago!!!  I stopped because it ended up really small, even though it was an adult pattern.  All it needed were some ribbon ties.  My niece had so much fun on her recent visit, playing in Lissy's kitchen.  So I slapped some ribbons on the apron, and spent some time in bed hand sewing the felt food, and now she can have a little set of her own, just like Lissy's.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

HIS name

Psalm 127: 3-5
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Like ARROWS in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Baby boy's name is
Arrow Matthias

We lovingly call him Ari.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A New Experience

Remember that ultrasound I mentioned having recently?  Well, we did something we've never done before.  We had the Dr. put the gender in an envelope and seal it.  Why?  Well, honestly, I think this little one will wait to come until after 36 weeks.  BUT, when I faced the fact that baby could come early, I really didn't like the idea of giving birth, and then having baby and Zac taken away to the NICU while I laid in a hospital bed soaking in the gender without baby in my arms, not being able to look at baby and call it by name for the first time, etc.  I just thought that would be too hard.  So, this time around, I wanted to know the gender ahead of time.  Just in case. 
The morning after the ultrasound, we woke up to Kian already in our bed, and called for Felicity and Logan to join us.  Once we were all there, in our jammies, morning breath, and bed hair, we opened the envelope together.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

34 Weeks!

Today I'm 34 weeks!!!!

I saw my midwife a week ago, and she gave me pills to take if ever the contractions get out of hand again. That will hopefully make them stop without another trek to the hospital. And I haven't had to take them yet. :) On that visit, I graduated from strict bed rest to partial bed rest. No going for walks, no taking the kids to the park, but I can get up and do a few things, and then lay back down for a bit. My midwife said my body would be sensitive at first and to go slow. Boy was she ever right! Not knowing what would over do it, I've ended one day with some contractions, and one day throwing up (sorry if that's too much information...just logging the pregnancy for the baby). But, I'm thrilled to be able to get up here and there and do things for my kids a bit. We also had an ultrasound this week to make sure baby was growing on target (due to the 2 vessel cord thing). Not only is baby NOT inhibited by the 2 vessel cord, baby is big! Baby measured 10 days ahead, is thought to weigh 5 lbs and some ounces, and "has a big head". :) Baby's big head was also covered in fuzz! Oh, I just LOVE baby hair and I can't wait to caress baby's sweet fuzzy head.

33 weeks
Feeling HUGE!

Pregnancy stats;
* As of last week, I'd gained back the pound I lost last month.
* There's a HUGE divot in my bed where I sit while in bed.  Sleeping in the divot is not comfortable so when I go to bed at night, I lay the opposite direction, with my head at the foot of the bed.  :)  Once bed rest is over completely, we'll need to flip the mattress for sure!
* I've started getting uncomfortable at night.  Shifting a lot, getting up a lot, getting up early just to be done with it.  Oh I remember these feelings well.  :)
* All cravings are now gone.  I still love lemon in my water, and cucumber sandwiches, but I don't crave them.  I don't crave anything.  Quite honestly I have no appetite at all.  I just try to make sure that whatever passes my lips is healthy, since I really don't care what I eat.  I haven't even had the need for an Oreo binge lately.  Sad day. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Felicity's Room

Felicity wanted one thing for her birthday, a bunk bed.  She's talked about it for MONTHS.  Thanks to IKEA, we could afford to grant her this wish.  :)  We were happy to do it because she was under the impression that she'd only ever get a bunk bed if she had a sister.  We didn't want her to think that her desires would only be met based on the gender of the baby, so I'm glad her birthday came before baby's due date and she now knows that we wanted to give her a bunk bed because we listened to her, and not just because of circumstances. 

Zac picked up a simple, unfinished bunk at IKEA and painted it white.  The night before Felicity's tea party, he put her to bed in the boys' room, and worked until 2am putting together her bunk and touching up paint here and there.  I came in towards the end and made things cute.  Originally I'd wanted to make her some wall hangings, but of course, those plans had to be nixed.  I did hand sew her some buntings which will hang from her curtains, but they were used to decorate the tea party and are still hanging up.  :) 

The next morning, still in our jammies, we revealed our gift to her.  She was thrilled!  And it was done just in time for 4 sweet girls to play in during the tea party, which they did....a lot.

Here's a little peek into Felicity's room.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Felicity's Tea Party

Remember how I said in the last post about Felicity's birthday, that we usually keep things simple?  Well, we do, but you wouldn't believe me after seeing the following pictures.  My two wonderful Mama friends, Cheri and Elisa, and I have been wanting to throw our girls a tea forever.  Finally, I jumped in and said it would happen for Felicity's big fifth birthday, and I started planning.  When bed rest orders were given, we decided the party MUST go on.  By that time, the girls already knew about the plans, talked about it every day, prayed about it, and even had outfits picked out weeks before the event.  There was no question about it.  There would BE a tea!  Elisa had to be out of town so Cheri stepped up to the plate and not only picked up Elisa's daughter and brought her to the tea, but also supplied all the party needs AND came the night before to get it all set up in ADDITION to feeding my family dinner.  Have I mentioned I have amazing friends?!  Ok, ok, I think I added 3 bunting banners, a few hankies, a vintage sheet, and the party favors to her FOUR bags of beautiful vintage wonderfulness.  But there wasn't much I could do for set up except watch Cheri work her magic.  In addition to her two friends coming, Felicity was very excited to have her cousin Audrey in town to join the party.  The girls had a blast, but I'll stop "talking" now and let the onslaught of pictures speak for themselves.

I'm so thankful for this amazing girl, her sweet friends and cousin, their 3 wonderful mamas who have all helped me enormously while on bed rest, and for this amazing day that I'm sure my girly will never forget.  Such fun!