Monday, October 31, 2011

I had forgotten

I had forgotten what it was like to nurse a baby.


I had forgotten the sweet noises they make.

I had forgotten how empowering it is to provide the perfect food for my baby.

I had forgotten how sleepy it makes me…


And how little sleep I’d get at night.

But I must remember how blessed I am to be able to nurse my little one, this Donovan Jude.

It has been 10 years since I last breastfed one of our children. (I’ve only successfully nursed two of our children -- total!) Seven years ago, I tried to nurse Monkey 6, and because of my own ignorance, lack of support, a dishonest doctor and abscessed mastitis, I couldn’t. I landed back in the hospital for a few more days, severely ill and in excruciating pain. After that horrific ordeal, I didn’t have the courage to try nursing our next two children.

However, I was determined that this time would be different. I was GOING to breastfeed this baby! Before he arrived, I watched hours of online breastfeeding videos, read blogs, asked questions. I have amazing, loving friends that support, educate and encourage me. So please excuse my giddy enthusiasm, but I am so thrilled -- thrilled! -- to be nursing our little one, and for him to be thriving! I do know and accept that things can change, and to take them a day at a time. Believe me, this is one area of my life that I do not take for granted. I also know that I’ve done all I can humanly do to be successful at breastfeeding, so I am at peace with however it goes.


But for today, I’m going to enjoy the tiny squeaks, the snuggles, the milky dribbles and the sleepy grins. . . and thank God for it tonight, since I’ll be up.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Warm & cozy toes

In spite of my grand intentions, I accomplished very little sewing in the last few days before Donovan arrived.  I finished one project for baby, and one project for myself -- a cozy pair of slippers!


I used this free pattern from the awesome Prudent Baby blog.  Very, very easy to make, and the pay-off is huge, as these are so warm and comfy!


I used fabrics from my stash -- Amy Butler cotton for the exterior and outer sole, and a soft, inexpensive flannel for the lining.  For the insole, I used two cuts of fleece (instead of batting) plus a cut-to-size foam insole I bought for $1.  Cushy!

I didn't want to drive to (or waddle walk through) the craft store to purchase the recommended Jiffy Grip, a neato non-slip fabric used for the outer soles.  I read a tip somewhere that Tulip slick paint could be applied in dots or stripes to the bottom of baby socks to make them non-slip.  I figured if that could work for babies, it could probably work for me, too!  ;)  So once I was finished constructing the slippers, I added dots to the bottom soles, and let them dry for 24 hours before wearing.  No slip, no slide.


I think these would make practical, thoughtful handmade Christmas gifts for loved ones... easy and inexpensive.  My teens have all asked me to make them their own pairs, so I'll definitely be making these again.  If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll be happy to help!  Have fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spitting and drooling in style

As usual, I put off sewing for our new Monkey until the very end.  Or stated more accurately {honestly,} I ended up sewing one, and only one, project for Donovan... exactly 5 days before my scheduled c-section. 


I decided to make burp cloths!  You can never have too many.  I also chose this project because it was so quick and easy... instant gratification, really.  I used this tutorial from Homemade by Jill


I decided to use fabrics from my stash -- mostly cotton fabrics paired with soft flannels.  I'm pretty pleased with myself that I finally cut into some of these fabrics... that I've been hoarding for years (such as the Mendocino squids shown above.  ==LOVE==)  I used fleece in place of the batting, as that's what I had on hand. 


And let me tell you -- this pattern is so forgiving!  Suppose the flannel and cotton layers don't match up exactly (and mine usually didn't)... who cares!  The fringe will fluff and curl up, and no one will be the wiser.  The hardest part, which was actually more tedious than hard, was making the fringe.  Lots and lots of little cuts.  But I made all of those tiny cuts sitting on the couch, with my swollen feet propped up.  A good TV-watching project!


Let's not forget my own personal drooling over Laundry Monster's adorable burp cloths, which I had mentioned in passing here.  But a sweet, crafty, sneaky friend sent me a surprise package... of Laundry Monster burp cloths... in my most favorite fabrics in the whole wide world!!  I love these cloths... so pretty (and soft!) in person.  My photos just don't do them justice.  Thank you, T! 


Although I didn't accomplish much on my New Monkey Sewing To-Do List, at least my little guy can spit up and drool in style. 

photo taken today -- 12 days old!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why, hello there!

I'm so pleased to introduce Mr. Donovan Jude. . . .



. . . born on October 6th, at 38 weeks via c-section.  He weighed in at 9 lbs, 11 oz, and measured 21.75 inches long.  Now we're both healthy, home... and very happy.