Merry Christmas from Jetty, Henry and me!
No fabric in or out this week, I am still plugging away at my butterfly blossoms quilt but I’ll talk about that tomorrow during my Design Wall Monday update.
Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 9.75 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 1.5 yards
Net for 2016: 8.25 yards
The rain finally stopped this week, so I decided to hang all of my son’s cloth diapers outside.
They were in serious need of some good ol’ natural sun bleaching. In the summer I used to hang them outside to dry after every wash, but they take so long to dry outside in the winter that I got out of the habit, and it shows. I’ve got a few used cloth diapers coming my way, more is always better! (they were used only for a month and I’ll be stripping them thoroughly before putting them on my baby)
And yes, that is my son’s wading pool from the summer still outside, waiting to be put away… judge not lest ye be judged!!
I’m linking up with Patchwork Times.
Today my son Henry is 13 months old! Here we are at JDRF’s One Walk last week to raise money to cure T1 Diabetes
Well, I have a quilt finish under my belt, thankfully, so I can show some movement on my numbers. I used a kit to make most of the quilt, and I never added that yardage to my numbers so I’ll just be counting the yardage I used for the border I added and the backing. I’m really happy because I used a few smaller pieces I’ve had forever to piece the back, so now those are out of my stash and just a few small bits made it to the scraps bin.
I stopped by my local quilt shop and added some bright white fabric to my stash, I was all out, and picked up some In Dreams (Lavender) By Dear Stella Design to use as a border on another baby quilt. I’m hoping it will match with my Good Fortune Charm Packs from a couple of years ago.
Used this Week: 1.125 yards
Used year to Date: 9 yards
Added this Week: 5.5 yards
Added Year to Date: 11.307 yards
Net for 2016: 2.307 yards
Thanks for stopping by. I’m linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times.
Our son Henry’s first birthday was a couple of weeks ago. My late husband Michael has a huge family so we ended up having a pretty large party. I usually enjoy party planning but I have to admit, I didn’t put as much effort and joy into planning this one. It’s understandable and I’m not beating myself up about it.
I was really dreading both days, his actual birthday and his party, from a grief perspective, but both ended up being a good days. I was afraid that I would be overwhelmed by grief and feelings of loneliness and sadness, and those feelings were there, but they were manageable.
Another milestone behind us. From here on out it’s a milestone a month until May. Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary, Valentines, my birthday, Easter, and then the one year anniversary of Mike’s death. Although it sounds difficult and I’m sure it will be, in some ways it won’t be much different. Every month I realize that another 30 days has gone by without my husband, I grieve for time passing. Every day takes me further and further away from a time when my husband was alive and we were happy. A time when I felt whole and hopeful.
When Michael died, I lost that hope that the future will be better. Now the future just is. I don’t know if I can be happy as a widow, without my husband by my side. But I have to try, for my son’s sake. Even though I have every reason and justification in the world to let myself live in sadness and grief, I don’t want my son to grow up with a perpetually depressed mother. Sometimes I will be sad and that’s unavoidable, maybe I will even be sad more often than other mothers, but I have to try to be happy, too. I want him to have a happy childhood despite not having a father. And the only way to do that is to be happy myself, too. So I’ll try, one day at a time.
My friends made fun of me when I first became pregnant because I had lots of ideas for how I wanted to raise my son and how I wanted to run my household once he arrived. Mainly, I did NOT want to use disposable diapers or disposable baby wipes. First of all, disposable diapers are so expensive! The prospect of spending $100+/month just on diapers was just not in our budget, so I wanted to find a way to save money on that. Secondly, they are so bad for the environment! They are not biodegradable and I don’t even want to think about how much human waste is seeping into the ground water from landfills. My friends teased me that I wouldn’t stick with the cloth diapers once I found out how hard they are to use. I still wanted to give it a try.
I was inspired to consider cloth diapers by John & Sherry Petersik of Young House Love. I appreciated how they broke down their cloth diapering experience and from what they described, it just didn’t seem that hard. I also talked to my parents and their generation about cloth diapers. I didn’t know it, but my parents didn’t use disposable diapers with any of my 3 siblings or I — they just couldn’t afford them. Same with my husband’s parents. Turns out, disposable diapering is a fairly recent phenomena. I figured, people have been cloth diapering for thousands of years so I could probably do it, too. We ended up buying the same Bum Genius Elemental One Size All In Ones the Petersiks use, but they are a little too big for our newborn Henry at the moment.
So, my wonderful and generous mother gifted us 6 weeks of a cloth diapering service for the first weeks of Henry’s life. This way we wouldn’t have to invest in newborn cloth diapers for just a short period of time. The diaper service goes more of the traditional cloth diaper route; that is, the cloth diaper with the “rubber pants” over them — today they’re referred to as diaper covers. I almost wish we went this route for our cloth diaper investment instead of the all-in-ones. They’re so easy to use; even my husband, who is a complete diaper novice, has no problems at all changing baby’s diaper.
I can definitely see why some people might prefer disposable diapers. We used disposable for the first two weeks of Henry’s life until we got the diaper service set up. It’s nice to just pull out a diaper, slap it on the baby and throw the old one away. They’re also a lot more compact than cloth so you can bring a lot more with you when you’re out and about with baby. But the cloth diapers aren’t that much more complicated to use than disposable and I find that I need to do a lot more laundry these days anyway, so throwing some diapers in the wash isn’t a lot more effort when I’m already doing laundry. Also, since I am a stay-at-home-mom for the moment (I have no plans to get a job anytime soon, but you never know about life) cloth diapering isn’t a big drain on my time. I can see how a house with both parents working away from home might not be able to cloth diaper, and I don’t even know if daycare centers would use cloth diapers. But for me and my family, it makes sense.
Another thing I decided on for baby was using cloth wipes. Again; I hated the thought of spending money on wipes and sending so much waste into landfills. Since I am handy with a sewing machine anyway and I had plenty of flannel fabric on hand, I went ahead and made a bunch of cloth wipes myself. All I have to do is spray a soap solution I made using Dr. Bronner’s soap on to baby’s bottom, then wipe away the waste. When I’m done with the wipe, I throw it into the wet bag hanging next to the changing table. I usually only need one wipe per diaper change. Once we start using our own cloth diapers they will also go into the wet bag, but right now we have a separate wet bag for the laundry service to pick up. And if you’re wondering about the poop smell, it’s not terribly noticeable (at least, not to me). I won’t go as far as saying that breastmilk poo doesn’t smell like some people claim, but it’s not a terribly pungent or overwhelming smell.
You may be saying, this is all well and good for when you’re at home, but what about when you’re on the go? It’s pretty much the same idea. I have a smaller wet bag I use for my diaper bag, so when I change the cloth diaper, I just throw the soiled diaper in there and then transfer to the big bag for laundry when I get home. I do stock my diaper bag with disposable wipes. I also have some disposable diapers in my diaper bag just in case we run out of cloth.
Anyway, these are my initial thoughts about cloth diapering after our first week of use. I’m sure things will change once we have to wash the diapers ourselves but for now, we’re really happy with our decision to cloth diaper.
As you might have guessed, I fell off the face of the earth these past few weeks because my baby boy finally decided to make his entrance into the world!
I went into labor at 3AM on October 13, 2015 when my water broke at home. It was just a trickle but I started having contractions so I figured we had better head to the hospital. When the nurse wheeled me into triage she asked me to get out of the wheelchair and change into a hospital gown so she could assess if I was really in labor or not. When I stood up, the trickle became a waterfall, lol! So they went ahead and decided I was in labor and assigned me to a labor and delivery room. 18.5 hours later, my son was born into the world.
Henry Job was born at 9:26PM on October 13, 2015 weighing 8lbs 13.5oz and measuring 22in long. So far he’s been a really great little baby, he hardly fusses (except during the “witching hour,” usually about 5PM-11PM each day) and sleeps really well as a general rule. He lost quite a bit of weight before leaving the hospital, but he’s been steadily gaining weight since then and now weighs over 9lbs.
I’m really loving being a mom and learning my little guy’s personality. He makes so many funny faces when he wakes up. He’s only 3 weeks old as of today but it feels like it’s been months since he was born. Yesterday we made our first solo trip to the supermarket and it went real well, he slept through the whole thing. I’m still learning our new routine but it gets easier every day. And of course since I’m a new mom, I have tons of pictures of my baby, so enjoy!
I finished baby Henry’s quilt! And none too soon, only about 4 weeks until he’s due to make his appearance! All the fabrics I used to make this quilt were from the Hello, Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics collection:
The pattern I used was also a free download offered by Art Gallery Fabrics/Bonnie Christine. Beware: I encountered lots of mistakes with the pattern when I was putting the quilt together. I started emailing them over to AGF and they did update their pattern, but as I was finishing the quilt I found more mistakes and didn’t email those over. If you use your common sense when you’re putting the quilt together, you’ll be able to figure it out.
Here’s a view of the back:
The pattern says it will finish at 53″x60″, mine was pretty close to finishing that size.
I’ve been free motion quilting for a little while now, but this was the first time I attempted stippling. I did a pretty large stippling pattern, it is by no means one of those small neat ones. In the past I’ve done mostly loops for FMQ, I found as a beginner it was easier to do those and not have to worry about trying to avoid overlapping quilting. I was pretty happy with how the stippling turned out and I love the texture it affords.
Here’s a couple pictures of the quilt in the nursery. I absolutely love how it turned out!
When I first found out that I was pregnant, I immediately started clearing out our guest bedroom to make it into the baby’s nursery. The closet in there was a combination linen closet/catch-all, and I had been storing my fabric stash under the guest bed. I couldn’t wait to start designing the nursery, but I needed to wait until I found out the sex of the baby before I could make any final decisions.
Finally, we got word from our doctor and ultrasound tech that we were expecting a boy. I knew I didn’t want to go overly cutesy with the design for a few reasons. One, I wanted him to be able to enjoy the room for at least 3 or 4 years. Secondly, since I would be spending a lot of time in the room myself, along with my husband, I didn’t want to get sick of some cutesy baby design. Lastly, I wanted it to fit in with the current aesthetic we have in our home. I didn’t want walking into the baby’s room to feel like you were walking into a different universe. I still wanted it to feel like a baby’s room, though.
I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do. I’ve had good luck in the past drawing inspiration from designer fabric collections, so I hit up some of my favorite quilt fabric online retailers and started looking at their new releases. That’s when I saw it!
I fell in love with the Hello, Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics line. I immediately saw a nursery that fit in with our home: greys, greens and golds along with warm, rustic brown wood tones.
We painted the room a green color, Flora by Behr. My in-laws were kind enough to help us out with that and they also replaced the baseboards, since we had some left over from another project. I would have liked to replace the carpeting, right now it’s a renter’s grade beige (since our home was a rental property before we bought it). But it’s in decent shape for now so that’s a project that will wait for another time (if ever).
The first piece I bought for the nursery was this dresser. It will double as his changing table for now. I found it at a local antique shop. The changing pad cover is Adventure Springs HBR-4438 (as mentioned in this post). The artwork above the changing table was made using a stencil designed by Bonnie Christine. I had intended to stencil a whole wall with it, but being a stencil newbie I couldn’t get the hang of the process. I panted some old canvas white and stenciled it instead and it turned out great. The hamper on the right is this OXO Tot Flip-In Flex Lid Hamper in Gray/Green and the cart on the right is the IKEA RÅSKOG cart in turquoise that I am using to store all his diaper changing supplies. When he’s out of diapers it will be perfect to store toys, books, etc.
Here is a better look at the IKEA RÅSKOG cart. The bag hanging off of the dresser is a Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag in Gray Chevron I will be using for cloth diapering. As you can see, my relatives and friends couldn’t resist giving me some disposable diapers anyway, so we’ll use those when we’re traveling. The floor lamp is this Threshold™ Mosaic Wood Look Floor Lamp with Square Linen Shade from Target, and the grey basket with the toys were all gifts so I’m not sure where they’re from, sorry 🙂
The second big piece for the nursery is, of course, the crib. I had a tough time finding exactly the right brown I wanted for the crib (not too cherry, not to blonde, not too chocolatey…) and I finally landed on this (reasonably priced) crib, Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Dove Brown. I had originally envisioned using a Jenny Lind DaVinci, but the chunkier lines on this one felt better to me. The sheet I made myself using Oh, Hello Fog HBR-4430. The pillow isn’t going to live in the crib permanently, it is usually on the glider but daddy was using it. I made the artwork above the crib using a tutorial from the Young House Love book (I was a HUGE fan of their blog). I’m leaving some room on the walls to add some pictures, either of the baby or of family.
The last big piece I needed for the nursery was a rocker/glider. Here is Daddy modeling it for me. I knew I didn’t want the standard wooden spindly one (you know the one I’m talking about) and I had the perfect one picked out on Amazon when it suddenly went out of stock. I scrambled to find an acceptable replacement (grey ones are so hard to find!) and ended up with the babyletto Madison Swivel Glider in Slate. For the ottoman we are using a grey floor pouf purchased from Amazon, the side table is a simple IKEA Lack end table we’ve had forever, and the lamp is one I got from Homegoods that used to live in the living room. The “Be Brave” artwork is a reclaimed wood piece I found at an antique shop.
Another piece I created for the room was this little wooden bookshelf. I had the wood in the garage (left by previous tenant) so all I had to buy was the stain and the brackets I used to hang it. The brackets were silver but I spray painted them gold to match the rest of the room. All his books fit perfectly. The grey crate was a gift and it holds Mike’s lamb from when he was a little guy. The frames on the wall were another antique shop find and I used gold paint pen along with the Bonnie Christine stencil to paint the trees on the wall.
I love the curtains and the curtain rod I created for the room, but what a project they were! I’ve had good luck with curtains from Urban Outfitters in the past and they came through for me again. I found these adorable Assembly Home Birch Trees Curtains. They do not block light at all so we left the blinds on the window as they are still in good shape. The arrow finials are also from Urban Outfitters (specifically, Magical Thinking Arrow Finial Set), but buyer beware! They are ONLY designed to fit into UO curtain rods. Unfortunately, the window I was covering was too wide for their curtain rods. I was able to jerry-rig the finials into the existing rod I had for the window, but I ended up spray painting the rod & finials so they would all be the same gold color. Also, the finials had a green enamel detailing in the centers that isn’t pictured online.
Here are a couple more pictures of the nursery: