Sewing

Sewing
Sewing

Family

Family
Mamahood

Photography

Photography
Photography

Chelsea's first picnic... Kind of...


Today, Chelsea and I went for a walk down the street to the park where we enjoyed A LOT of sunshine and a nice little picnic! Well, I enjoyed the food I brought for myself. Chelsea wasn't hungry.
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Satellite


What Andrew loves more than anything else are BIG bows and flowers on babies... NOT! Andrew affectionately refers to them as "Satellites." I guess he's got a point there...
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Pinwheel Skirt: Almost done!


Not quite done yet, but almost! All I need is a zipper! What do you think?
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Second Photo Shoot


This photo shoot was a few weeks later, thanks to my sis-in-law Angie!
Andrew and I are big soccer fans, and although we didn't name her after the team, it's kind of cool that she happens to have the same name as one of our favorite England soccer teams.






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You would not believe how many times I find her sleeping like this. Good thing that blanket has holes in it!
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When it rains...


it pours. 'nuff said.
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Curtains


Woo hoooooo! Finished the curtains. SUPER easy. Imagine hemming all four sides of a rectangular-shaped, big piece of material, and you got it! Thank you Wal-Mart for the curtain rod and clips and Hancock Fabrics for the Yellow Corn, Chevron printed fabric. I just bought 8 yards of the stuff (from the upholstery section that's on the long rods, and on sale), measured how long It was from the curtain rod to the floor, added a few extra inches at the bottom (for the hem), serged all four sides (thanks for letting me use the serger, Mom), hemmed the top and sides, hung it up on the curtain rod/clips, measured (again) so that I could hem the bottom at the right length, ironed, and cha-ching! Anybody could do this one!


If you don't have a serger, that's fine. Just fold the side edge over once, stitch, then fold it over again (kind of like hemming twice). Or you can zig-zag stitch all the sides. The point is to avoid any fray-adge.
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My favorite moment today


Watching Chelsea screw up her face in concentration, pull her legs up into her chest, grunt, and hear the tell-tale tute.
I love being a mom!
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Bed Skirt Tutorial


I was getting bored of Chelsea's bed set so I decided to make a new one!
It used to look like this:

Now it looks like this:

I found a tutorial for the bumper pads and sheet, then figured out the bedskirt myself. Here's how I did it!
1. It's easiest if you just buy a bed skirt that you don't care about, and cut off the skirt part.


2. Once you cut off the skirt part, measure it length and width. Mine was 40"x12" and 80"x12"
3. Cut out your material to equal the length and width of the skirt, adding 1 inch to each side for a half inch seam allowance (41"x13" and 81"x13"). If you want a band around the bottom of the skirt like I did, just make sure the band plus the skirt is equal to the length and width of the original skirt with seam allowance (now two extra inches because you've added the band). For instance my original skirt was about 12 inches wide. So I needed to cut material that would equal about 14 inches in width. I cut the skirt 10 inches and the band 4 inches. That way when I attached the skirt to the band I lost 1/2" from the skirt, 1/2" from the band (with 1/2" seam allowance), 1/2" from attaching the skirt to the bed part and 1/2" from the hem of the band (with 1/2" seam allowance).
4. Sew the pieces together for each side (skirt piece to skirt piece, band to band, and skirt to band). You should have two long pieces now (for the long sides of the bed) and two shorter pieces (for the shorter ends of the bed) unless you're only doing three sides like I did (one long, two short). I don't have a serger, but if I did I would serge the edges where I sewed the skirt pieces together so it wouldn't fray. Since I don't have a serger I just zigzag stitched them.*

5. Hem the bands/ends of each skirt piece.
6. Sew a gathering stitch along the top edges of the skirt pieces.

7. Gather the skirt pieces to fit the remainder of the bed skirt (what's left over after cutting the original skirt part off) and pin in place.

8. Stitch the skirt pieces to the bedskirt.*
9. USE CAUTION WHEN IRONING! Depending on the type of material they used on the bed skirt, you might melt it!

*At this point there is an exposed edge. Serge or zigzag stitch.

There you have it! Your very own bed skirt, custom made to your desire. It's really not too difficult. Although it may sound daunting, you can do it! Just sew!

If you want a tutorial for the bumper pad and/or mattress sheet, just comment and let me know!
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Since then...


Since I wrote my last post, I have added one more accessory to Chelsea's room. Thank you pinterest!
Ta-da!
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Chelsea's Room

I've been pinning on pinterest and putting those skills to use! Take a look!
Chelsea loves her new room!
I want to add a few more cross-stitching hoops around the C, but that will have to wait a couple of weeks. Until then, check back later for my tutorial on how I made the bed skirt and coming soon, curtains!
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Letter from Chelsea: A Day from her Point of View


Dear Mom,
Remember when you cleaned up the front yard? Well, it looks really good now with all the 6 feet tall weeds gone, but remember what happened afterwards?
I was sleeping peacefully when suddenly, I was rudely awakened and lifted out of my dreams. Before this time, I hadn't realized how hungry I was, but I was shortly very aware of the large pit in my stomach, not to mention it was blazing hot. When I kindly reminded you that it was my lunch time and I was hungry, to my chagrin, you merely transferred me to the bouncy chair and transported me to the bathroom. I became more insistent that I was hungry, but you simply told me that I needed to wait while you took a shower because you were "sweaty and gross." So I waited, unhappily, mind you. I tried to make my sentiments more obvious. It wasn't until my face had turned bright red (a particularly unbecoming shade) that I felt you move me again. I was very upset at this point and chided you for keeping me waiting so long.
Finally, I was served my favorite dish (Mother's Milk), and pacified. This feeling, however, did not last. Without warning, I felt water pouring onto my belly, not exactly my ideal situation. I didn't understand why this would be necessary, as I tried to explain at the time, but in vain.
Being pulled from the water and being placed completely indecent on a towel was almost worse than being bathed. Then, to top it all off, you stuffed my head and arms into my clothes and pulled that big, pink flower headband that Daddy hates onto my head.
Now, let me tell you why I shared this story with you. Despite the rude awakenings, the extreme discomfort and the blatant lack of concern for my happiness, I still love you and will probably forget all about this experience in a few days.

Love,
Chelsea
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Chelsea's First Photo Shoot


A few weeks after Chelsea was born, our little family took the long trip to California to visit Andrew's family. His little sister took some pictures for us while we were there. Here are a couple of them as well as a little poem I wrote.

4 weeks have passed
As fast as a wink.
She's growing bigger
And even cuter, I think!

We're happy to have her
Here with us now.
The responsibility of parenthood
Has hit us, KA-POW!

But we're not afraid,
No, not one bit
Because for us,
Parenthood's a hit!


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A post I made two weeks after Chelsea was born...


Wow! Two weeks have gone by since little Chelsea arrived and I'm already wishing I could make time stop! I love Chelsea just the way she is and wish I could keep her my little girl forever. But of course that's not possible, and I'm looking forward to every stage she goes through.
When you're a newborn, life is rather uncomplicated. There is basically one area of a newborn's life that dictates the happenings of all those around them, particularly Mommy and Daddy. I'm sure you can guess what it is... Eating time. Allow me to explain.
Chelsea was born with quite the appetite. I have not since had a 45 minute feeding, but she continues to eat very well. Most days, she needs to be fed six or seven times and she's good. She latches on fairly easily and eats for at least 20 minutes. She doesn't spit up too often, but recently it's been a bit of an adventure when she does. Just yesterday morning after I fed her and was burping her on the couch, she had one of her spit-up episodes! All over my front, down onto the couch, and completely drenching the burp cloth. I had no idea that she could even hold that much in her... Well, apparently she can't or else she wouldn't have lost it all.
When it comes to sleeping, Chelsea does a pretty good job of that, too. However that also depends on eating. As you can imagine, Chelsea doesn't go to sleep easily or happily unless she has been fed. This means that Mommy has to stay up with her until she decides she's had enough. Luckily, she normally contents herself around 1:30 or 2:00 AM and then sleeps for five or six hours afterwards so although the night seems long at first, I always get some sleep before she wakes up again to be fed.
Everything else is standard issue for a baby. Chelsea really is a good little baby. She doesn't cry unless she's hungry, cold (she HATES it when Mommy and Daddy change her diaper and/or clothes), wants to be held, or just fussy (which doesn't happen too often). She hasn't had too many blowouts, but when she does, they are blow-OUTS!
One thing I have been learning about Chelsea is that she does not like Mexican food. Last night she was pretty fussy because of something Mommy ate. I thought it was pretty mild, but Taco Soup is not her favorite thing to eat. Or Red Iguana for that matter. She was pretty fussy over that experience, too. So no (taco) soup for you!
As for Mommy and Daddy, we just absolutely adore our little girl. She is the most beautiful thing in our lives and we love having her. I am continuing to recover from the delivery and so is Andrew. It was the most amazing experience for us and every day is an adventure. Enjoy it with us!





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She's here!


Finally our little Chelsea came! She was a week later than expected, but believe it or not, that week was totally bearable, and I got to do a lot of really neat things that I wouldn't have been able to do if she came on time.
The delivery went well (epidurals are nice!) and Chelsea came perfect and beautiful! Andrew and I were so happy!
A couple days later, my brother and his family came to see Chelsea. We sure do love our little bundle of joy!
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Some last-week advice...


It was one more week until my due date and I was pretty anxious for our baby to get here. Andrew and I had some friends that were excited, too and we got all sorts of advice. One of my friends gave me some advice that I would like to share.

1. Go for walks downhill: This first bit of advice is meant to help me have contractions, and let me tell you, it works! For a really long time, I wasn't sure I was even having Braxton Hicks, but once I started walking down the hill from Grandma Wilson's house, I could definitely feel the BH's.
2. During your last few days (or weeks) Before your first baby comes, spend time doing spontaneous things with your husband: When a child comes into your life, spontaneous occurrences don't happen as often, as I'm sure you can imagine why.
So let me tell you what Andrew and I did spontaneously within that last week before the due date...
Oftentimes when Andrew and I are driving in the car running some sort of errand, I will suggest going to get treats or lunch without really expecting Andrew to agree. Andrew is very careful with our money, an attribute which I am very thankful for! Nevertheless, I like to offer the opportunity to go get something, just so he knows I'd be okay with it if he wanted to. Well, on one of these errand running occasions, I said to Andrew, who was even more anxious for our baby to come than I was, by-the-way, "I read somewhere that 7-11 Slurpies are a guaranteed way to induce pregnant women." Andrew laughed, of course, because I'm the funniest person he knows, but then he did something unexpected... He took me to 7-11 and we got Slurpies! I was very pleasantly surprised, but that wasn't all he surprised me with that day. Shortly after we bought the Slurpies, a couple of friends invited us to see "Hunger Games" with them and guess what? We went!
We had so much fun together that day and continued to have fun together doing things together that aren't as easy now that the baby's here.
Of course, we would have been okay if we didn't have as much time to do fun, spontaneous things sooner than we did. Our daughter came a week after the due date!
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Last two Pre-Birth Baby Projects


Now fast-forward to April, just before I had our first baby. I was browsing through http://www.makeit-loveit.com/ when I saw a tutorial for leggings, and I thought to myself, "Gee. Our baby doesn't have enough pants/leggings. I'm going to give this a try." So I did. Here's the end result.

She's too big for the first pair, now, but the smaller pair were SO cute on her!

  Can't wait to try out this one!

To match the pink skirted leggings, I made her this shirt. Don't laugh too hard. I'll tell you right now, I made my own pattern for this and I kind of forgot about seam allowance around the neck so...
Yeah. I tried to fix it by making a big binding, but obviously that didn't work. Not bad for my first try, though! If you want a tutorial, despite the huge neck, let me know!
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Carrier Cover


Now rewind a bit... When I first found pinterest, I found a tutorial for a Carrier Cover and knew that I wanted to make one. however, Andrew and I were jobless and, therefore, fund-less (making life fun-less!). So what could I do? Luckily for me, my mom is a seasoned seamstress, and just like any other seasoned seamstress, she had a lot of scraps. Here's what I did.
I learned a lot about sewing, and particularly quilting from this baby!

The dimensions of your fabric should be 40x30" (because there's a binding, you don't need to worry about a seam allowance). If your piecing yours together like mine, just make sure that in the end it's 40x30".
First, I pieced it together. I learned very quickly that you piece scraps into squares and rectangles. You can't just piece them helter skelter. I tried helter skelter first and trust me, it doesn't work. So place the pieces in such a way that they are all the same length and/or width.

 Sew the pieces into long strips (for instance, it was like my whole blanket was in fourths until I sewed the long strips together to make a whole) then sew the strips together.
Next, sew on the back of the blanket (one big piece that should be 40x30" just like the front).

 Sew on a binding (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZR6ls_IsIo) and two strips with buttons (about 5 inches apart, measure the handle of your car seat carrier). Make sure you sew the buttons on the right way so you can see them from the front. And you're done!

It took a long time to make, but it doesn't have to if you use two single pieces of fabric instead of piecing, and it can still look cute! Just sew the front to the back, right sides together, or add a binding if you want one, then do everything else the same. If you don't want a binding, cut out fabric that's 41x31" for 1/2 inch seam allowance.

*Phew* Hopefully all that made sense! Good luck, and happy crafting!
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Pinterest


And then began my obsession with tutorials. I found http://www.makeit-loveit.com/ and pinterest, my two new loves. On pinterest I found the soft block tutorial and I decided, "What the heck! I've got some extra material!" I decided, however, that I wanted my soft blocks bigger than the ones I found, so I cut out 6 square to be 8x8" instead of 5x5".

It wasn't too difficult after that. It was just a matter of positioning the squares like a Christian Cross, then sewing them right sides together, sewing a ribbon looped over in the middle of one of edges*, and leaving one edge open so I could stuff in some fluff!

*Double check how you've pinned in the ribbon. It would be really annoying if you pinned it wrong, sewed it, and ended up with ribbons inside your soft block instead of outside.
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Difficult Diaper Cover


Well, it really wasn't too difficult... I just made a couple of mistakes along the way.
I had a pattern to follow, but I cut out the largest size and it ended up being big enough for my 18-year-old sister-in-law, Kara. Granted, she's pretty small, but still. I ended up having to start almost completely over except I didn't have to do the ruffles all over again.
Anyway, lucky for you, my cousin Melissa wanted to make some diaper covers so I made a very detailed tutorial. Have fun!









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