Saturday, May 24, 2014

I'm still here!

It's been a while since I've found the time to write a blog post but I'm still here enjoying my home and my family.  Life with two preschoolers and a little baby is very busy.  There is hardly time for anything but my boys.  It is the season of my life.  Everything is done with a baby in my arms which means not a lot is done.  But we are still having loads of fun.  The big boys are still dressing up in there costumes everyday.  Over the winter I made them super hero costumes that they love.  Now that the weather is nice they've been playing outside everyday and we've started our vegetable garden.  I have to get back to my mom life now.  So I'll leave you with this Easter picture.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Just like all of you, our family here in the Little Stone Cape have a lot to be thankful for this year and always.  We have each other, our health, a new baby… we couldn't ask for anything more.  And yet we have been blessed far beyond this.  We praise God for our many blessings and give thanks on this beautiful day with our extended family. 

Today I'm also thankful for this blog and all those who read it and leave me such nice comments  and compliments on my family and projects.  My job as a mother is often hard and thankless.  My crafts have been an outlet for me and it makes me so happy when others appreciate the things I make and my heart swells when I know that I'm helping others to get a little more creative as well.

I just wanted to come on here this morning and share our Thankfulness Tree again this year.  The boys helped me paint this tree on our front door.  The leaves are store bought this year (from the $1 section in Target) and some of them are covered in glitter!  They wrote what they are thankful for on the leaves.  Well, I wrote it since they they can't.

Look how proud they are of their creation.  

My 3 year old adventurer is super excited for Thanksgiving today.  He keeps asking me where the turkey is.  I hope he's not disappointed when we arrive at my uncle's only to find out that there is no live turkey.  I've told him, but he's so excited it makes me wonder… 

I hope you all have a wonderful day with your families and that your abundance on this day is reflective of your abundance every other day of the year.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More Felt for Christmas

Here's what I've been up to today!

My older two boys both have handmade (by me) felt stockings and soon the baby will have one too!  It's a tradition started by my grandmother who made one for each of her children, continued by my mom who made one for each of her children (and husband and daughters and son-in-law, and most of her grandchildren - save mine).  And now I'm continuing the tradition by making them for my children. What do you think so far?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and a Baby Wearing Koala...

Yet another DIY Halloween has come and gone in the Little Stone Cape.  This year I started early, in July actually.  I knew that once the baby came I would have zero time for costumes. Even still I was at my sewing machine making myself crazy on the day of Halloween and I still didn't finish some of the finer details of the boys' costumes.  I only barely barely finished mine!

I decided on my costume first.  I knew that the new baby would be in a sling while we were out trick-or-treating with the boys so I thought and thought about babywearing costumes.  When my second boy was an infant - barely older than this baby on Halloween - I dressed him as a Tootsie Roll in a swaddle wrap I made.  He was SO cute, but unfortunately you couldn't see his costume in the wrap, so you had to take my word for it.  I wanted something this time around that made the wrap part of the costume.  

I searched the web for ideas - but there wasn't a lot out there.  I started to think about animals.  Like a monkey in a tree?  The baby as the monkey, and me as the tree.  But his arms and legs would be tucked in the wrap so he wouldn't make a very good monkey.  How about a snail on a branch?  Snails don't have arms or legs... but they aren't terribly cute either (my husband pointed out).  What snuggly animals are tucked in a pouch hiding their arms and legs?  Aha!  Koalas!  We would be a mommy and baby koala family.

Now for my older boys.  They picked out their own costumes.  My Sweetheart would be Peter Pan and my Adventurer would be Captain Hook.  They did end up changing their minds several times while I was making their costumes but thankfully they were easily swayed back to their original choices.  

I made all three of the boys' costumes without patterns.  The frock coat pattern for the Captain Hook costume was made from a vintage men's pattern I found online and scaled way down to a 2T.  The rest of Peter's and Hook's pieces were made by tracing clothes we already owned.  I took pictures of the whole process and fully intended to make tutorials of each costume and even to make a pattern for the frock coat to share.  But then I had a baby and those tutes never came to be.  At one point I was ahead of the game, though - the baby's footie pajamas I already made into a pattern and tutorial that I posted here back in September. 

So here is how everything turned out!  As you can see my husband couldn't manage to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time so I posted all of the pictures he took!  They are all adorable. :)

Here's a view of baby koala in his pajamas I made just for this costume.  Pure cuteness!

I do promise to make make that frock coat pattern.  It's too cute not to share.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pregnancy Collage

When I was pregnant I took a belly picture of myself every few weeks in the same place.  I did this for all my pregnancies, but this time I managed to put them all into a super cute collage.  I already posted part of it, but here's the whole thing.  I love the final shot of the baby in my arms.  Since he was a week early (unlike my others) I felt it was only fitting to have a "40 week" shot.  :)

A Pirate Party: My Adventurer Turns 3

I have a lot of blogging to catch up on! Amazing how a tiny new baby can take all of my attention and free time. ;)

One post that's been waiting in the wings since before the baby was born is my 2nd born's pirate birthday party.  He's a big three year old boy now!  

I planned his party in September and threw it less than a week before giving birth to his little brother.  I was very happy not to have had the baby that day or on his actual birthday a few days later.  So please excuse the pictures of the huge 38 weeker in this post!  The baby looked like it was going to fall out of the bottom of my shirt and that is not a look anyone wants to go for pregnant or not!

So on to the party and a very belated (internet addition) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIG BOY!!

He wanted a pirate party and I wanted to go all out as much as my aching back would let me.  I was able to make this amazing cake and it was actually rather simple after reading a few picture tutorials online.  My Adventurer LOVED it.  He still talks about it and asks for a slice.  Sorry, dude, it's long gone.  

It was a beautiful day outside.  It was great to have most of the party out there.  Especially because we had a treasure dig that would have gotten very messy inside!  I bought loads of "treasure" at the dollar store (coins, necklaces, gems, trophies, etc.) and hid them in a cooler under several pounds of dried beans.  I made a key that showed them what to find and how many of each they could take and taped it to the lid.  If I had more energy I might have decorated the cooler to look like a real treasure chest, but I don't think they would have noticed anyway.  :)  The kids took these treasures home in a bag along with gold wrapped chocolates.

He had a table full of pirate themed finger food.  The kids really enjoyed it.  There were "fish and chips" (goldfish crackers mixed with tortilla chips), Seaweed dip (spinach artichoke dip), jewels and gold platters (fruit and cheese cubes), dead men's bones (homemade pizza bites with dipping sauce), and pirate ships (hotdogs with sails on top).

Here they are eating under the fort we made early in the summer with their pirate ship hotdogs.

After food and gifts it was time to blow out the candles and cut the cake.  The candles were stuck out of the front like cannons so as not to burn up the sails.  To great effect, I might add.

Then we had pirate root beer floats complete with mustache straws.  Even the adults loved these straws.  

It was a great party, even if I hadn't been 8 1/2 months pregnant.  Though I do wonder if I hadn't had ten gallons of hormones pumping through my veins would I have gone to these lengths?  Lol.  We'll never know. :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Our New Baby is Here!

I am so excited to announce the birth of my third little baby boy!  He came into the world three weeks ago on Thursday, September 26th, at 8:02 pm.  His birth was absolutely perfect.  I've been in baby bliss for the last three weeks.

Since I very much enjoy hearing and reading about birth stories, I thought I would share mine here.  As a little preface I'll sum up my other boy's births first.  I don't want to leave anyone out!

My oldest was born 4 four and a half years ago.  I decided before I got pregnant with him that I wanted to have a birth center birth with a midwife.  I was very excited to have a natural birth because I wanted to know what everything felt like.  My mom had her kids drug free and always talked about what an amazing experience childbirth was for her.  Having kids actually propelled her into a career in nursing.  She spent most of her career in OBGYN and midwife offices and on the maternity floor.

The night before my oldest was born, when I was just shy of 40 weeks, my water broke while I was watching TV.  It was 10 pm.  I didn't go into labor right away.  It actually took 4 1/2 hours.  But thankfully I went into labor naturally at 2:30 am and didn't need to be induced.  I labored at home until my contractions were 4 minutes apart and then headed into the birth center.  I was 3-4 cm when I got there at 8 am.  By noon I was only 5.  I spent the whole afternoon laboring in the tub and then as evening approached I got out to labor on a birthing stool through transition. I was so tired they had me lie down for a while.  My poor husband was also nodding off.  We both laid down, but as soon as my head hit the pillow I felt the urge to push.  My first born was born 30 minutes later at 7 pm with only two tiny tears and three stitches.  Aside from being very long, it was a great birth.  No complications whatsoever.

My second came along 18 months later.  I was again very excited about another birth center birth since I had such a wonderful experience with my first.  This time l was sleeping in bed when my water broke at 12 am again just shy of 40 weeks pregnant.  I woke up with a start.  My contractions started 30 minutes later and after the first few, they were very strong and 5 minutes apart.  We went to the birth center right away after my in-laws came to take my son to their house, and we got our things together.  We got to the birth center at 2 am and I was 5 cm.  I was fairly unprepared for the intensity of a quick labor.  I kept telling my poor husband how it was so stupid that I wanted to do this drug free.  The nurse said the baby would be here in  2 hours so I hunkered down and got to "work" taking charge of my body and feelings and relaxing through my contractions - one eye on the clock.  Two hours later I was ready to push - just like she said.  I pushed through a little lip and then my second baby was born 10 minutes later at 5:51 am.  I had one tiny tear that didn't require any stitches.  There were no complications for this birth either.  But I swore that I would never go natural again!  I just knew if I had another one I would have an even faster labor and it would hurt twice as much.

Fast forward to this past January as I was getting ready to make my first prenatal appointment.  I just couldn't not call the birth center.  Labor was one day of my life, and I trusted the midwives there. My appreciation of the postpartum care I received there far outweighed my fear of the pain of labor, so I made the call.  The biggest reason I wanted to go back had most to do with the fact that the baby never ever leaves the room after it's born.  I know a lot of hospitals these days have adopted this policy, but the ones around me have not.  And for all I knew my labor would be too fast to even be able to get an epidural if I went to a hospital, my only reason to go.

Eight months later, when I was just 39 weeks pregnant, I went into labor and everything started very differently than with my other two.  I had asked my midwife if it were likely that my water would break before labor again.  She said it was highly unlikely.  Only 10% of labors begin that way.  And sure enough I was in labor long before my water broke.

At 8:30 I started feeling crampy while I was getting my oldest son ready for preschool.  After I dropped him off, I went with my middle son to the store for a while.  We ambled around Target for about an hour when I noticed the cramping feeling had turned into contractions.  They were basically painless except for a band of burning across my lower back that was very similar feeling to period cramps.  We checked out and headed home.  Before leaving I texted my husband that I was feeling crampy - just a heads up.  I figured the contractions would stop once I was sitting down.  But even after I got home and sat for about an hour, they were still coming.  There wasn't much time to think about it, I had to get my son from school.  As we were leaving the school the pain began to pick up.  Probably because of the activity (and because my boys were acting like crazy people running all over the place).  In the car I called my husband to tell him that I was pretty sure it was labor and he called his mother to come over and help me until I was ready for him to come home.  

My poor boys only had pudding cups for lunch before my mother-in-law showed up at 1 pm.  I decided to take a nap and see if I could get the contractions to stop (I was still not 100% certain it was really labor).  But after a half hour of laying there, and the contractions not lessening in intensity, I called my husband to come home and got up.  My father-in-law showed up about that time.  Then my husband came home.  I had finally timed my contractions and they were 5-10 minutes apart.  They weren't that regular and weren't super painful.  I called the midwife and she basically told me that when I felt like I was ready to call and come on in.  In the mean time do what felt right, be that taking a walk to get things moving, or take a nap to get up my energy for later.  I decided to take a shower.

Well, that must have been the magic key.  I wasn't in there for long, but by the time I had gotten myself clean I was certainly feeling strong contractions.  I had to call my husband to help me get dressed.  I we got the last of our stuff together (I still managed to forget some stuff because I thought I had another week to pack my bag), and left for the birth center, calling the midwife from the car to tell her we were on the way.

Once there they checked me and I was 4 cm.  I labored on an exercise ball for 2 hours and they checked me again and I was still just 5 cm.  Even though the pain was completely manageable this news had me so discouraged.  I had been anticipating a very quick labor for my entire pregnancy and here I was at just 5 cm having been in active labor for more than 5 hours (remember my last labor was 5 hours 20 minutes from first contraction to baby).  Now I was envisioning labor continuing for another 5 hours or more. 

They drew me a bath and I got in.  I became very whinny and pathetic at this point.  The midwife this time offered the Stadol saying it won't do much for the pain, but it would make me sleepy and rest in between contractions.  Or, she said, she could break my water and speed things up.  The Stadol option didn't appeal to me.  What use was getting sleepy in between contractions?  I was already sleepy!  As for breaking my water, I already knew I didn't want that after my last labor with my water broken was so intense.  I continued to whine for a little while before common sense finally took over and a very strong and assertive voice in the back of my head demanded that I get it together, it's only one freaking day out of your whole life, deal with it.  I took the advice.  I cleared my mind, got up out of the tub, and asked for them to break my water.

Then something kinda cool happened.  They asked the student midwife to break my water, and she couldn't do it.  The midwife told me that either she could do it herself or I could just go on because I was now 7-8 cm.  SEVEN TO EIGHT?!  Heck yeah!!  I cannot tell you how happy I was at that news or what a rockstar I felt like!  It was only an hour since they told me I was 5 cm.  Nothing was going to get me down after that.  Some people scream and break down during transition, I was giggling and cracking jokes.  I'm not kidding!  A half hour later my water broke on it's own with a tiny trickle.  A half hour after that I was ready to push.  

My contractions stopped for about 5 minutes after I was complete.  They said it was my body giving me a break.  Thanks, Body!  You rock.  Then I pushed through three contractions that were 5 minutes apart.  The second push came with a second rupture of membranes and a huge gush of water.  One more push, and he was here.  It was 8:02 pm. His cord was too  short for them to put him on my chest so for the first few minutes I could just stare down at the top of his head until they cut the cord.  His hair was lighter than his brothers' at birth.  When I pulled him up to my chest and looked at him I thought about what a little stranger he was.  He looked like his oldest brother mostly, a little like the middle one.  I stared at him for several minutes before feeling a wave of love and I teared up and told him I loved him and kissed him.  

I had no tears at all, and no complications during or after birth.  It was a perfect birth.  If I could have asked for a better birth experience I only would have asked that his brothers could have come to meet him right away. They stayed home since it was late for them.  In fact the only one who came to the birth center to meet him this time was my mom.  Perfect because she didn't get to see my other two right after they were born.  

We went home the next morning.

The boys were amazing with their new brother.  Then and since.  I've really been blessed by how smoothly this transition has gone.  My family is so supportive and helpful.  My mom stayed with us for a few days, and my in-laws have looked after the boys when I needed them after my husband went back to work.  My amazing friends brought me a weeks worth of dinners.  It's good to feel loved!