Wednesday, September 26, 2012

five months

At 5 glorious months old Cora you are...
  • rolling over tummy to back and back to tummy.
  • you reach for everything...and sometimes you out-smart us and knock over our drinks, salsa bowls, and put things in your mouth you probably shouldn't.
  • you just learned to walk/jump/move in your baby walker.
  • you love to hear your name and certain key mama or dada or toes.
  • you have learned how to hold the bottle on your own
  • toes are your favorite, holding them at all times.
  • sleeping is getting easier... mostly through the night, naps, and without a swaddle!
  • dogs are hilarious to you...especially cora-sized ones (grandma's dog) and white ones (Colby our yellow lab)
  • standing is your favorite activity- it really always has been. you take steps towards toys when we hold your little hands.
  • sometimes when dad makes a whimpering/crying sound or sings a sad tune you start to frown and begin to are a sympathetic soul. good thing we are happy parents.
  • you had your first cold and your first days at daycare.
  • you are a happy baby, still high maintenance.... but willing to smile at us being silly and we love that.
  • we can't wait for you to be able to sit up on your own and crawl. But right now we see a lot of blanket swimming- arms flailing, while you try to figure out how to get somewhere. But once you do... we know it's going to be fast!

Monday, September 24, 2012

oh crafts.

Guess who is crafting?! It's me. Craaazy. I thought this day was a million years away. When would I have enough time to get back to being crafty?! Well, that day has come....and in the form of fitted crib sheets. Yes, I may be sewing in my bedroom on a collapsible table so that Cora can sleep peacefully across the house. And yes...I may be staring constantly at the little green light on the monitor. But it happened. And it was glorious.

Project: 2 flannel fitted crib sheets
Estimated time to complete: 2 nap times
      2 yards flannel fabric per sheet
      3/4" wide elastic - 4' per sheet
Outcome: 2 adorably soft and more importantly completed fitted sheets

Yes, I have made DIY fitted sheets before with my mom when I was pregnant [back here]. I used an amy butler twin sheet to make two fitted crib sheets back then. They have held up really well too! Well now it's fall and cora needs a cozy little flannel fitted sheet to lay her head on. She sleeps through the night (hooray!!) and we are in the process of de-swaddling her. She flips over to her tummy each night, and nuzzles her little head into the it's got to be cozy.

I used Dana Made It as a reference for my first fitted sheet project, and Prudent Baby as a reference for this project. I made my own dimensions that I thought would work well. Their explanations may make more sense...but I will try to explain my method.

[these are my two fabric choices to match her turquoise themed room]

I went to the quilt store and bought 2 yards each of super cute material. This wasn't cheap. But it was the colors I was looking for. I had my dimensions from the last time I did this project, but I wanted to do the elastic a little bit differently. I chose to sew the elastic onto the fabric, instead of making a casing for it. I thought it would take less time, maybe look less polished.... but I also hate, ok strongly dislike, threading elastic through casing. It frustrates me. So, I chose a new method.

My steps for a standard 52" x 28" x 5" crib mattress:

1. Cut out a 68" x44" rectangle from material. My material ended up being 43" wide... but it was just fine.

2. Then cut an 8" square from each corner.

3. Sew those two remaining edges of the square together inside each corner. This makes the corners of the fitted sheet that will go down the side of the crib mattress and under.

4. Sew a hem around the whole edge of the sheet. Did I wash the fabric before sewing? No. Was mine perfect? No. Did I cut off the selvage? Um. No. Could I have spent more time with this making a more refined double hem? Yes. But did I mention I got this project done in 2 naps?! Amazing.

5. Anyways, cut four 12" lengths of 3/4" elastic.

6. Mark a half-way point on the elastic at 6".

7. Sew that half way mark at each of the corner's seams with a zig zag stitch.

8. Start sewing half of the elastic length starting at the center with stretching out the elastic as much as possible, zig zag stitch.

9. Sew the other half starting from the center line again and going out holding the elastic stretched out....zig zag it up.

10. When you let go you have a scrunched up corner! Yay!...Now keep going for each corner. Not bad, right?!

[our new house with a new spud room... lacking a little luster... so I need to pinterest some decor ideas and craft some more I suppose]

[she, however, does not lack luster.... not ever]
oh, toes.

11. Test it out... perfect!

Verdict on elastic techniques: It took close to as long sewing a casing and threading through the elastic as it did to pull the elastic taut and sew down. It does look a little worse than the casing- in case you cared what the bottom of the mattress looks like (I don't). Is the sheet as taut with just the corners having elastic as elastic the full length of the sheet?! Not really. If you tuck under the edges, it looks/acts the same. I think depending on my mood with elastic I could go either route- I think both are comparable.

Monday, September 17, 2012

the end of breastfeeding.

I mentioned last post that I stopped breastfeeding. I did... or we did... and it is wonderful. I loved breast feeding, and I felt incredibly guilty for a while that I stopped, but ya know what?! We needed it to be done. I stopped when cora turned four months. I tried to research on google the right way to wean off breastfeeding. But it only made me feel worse about choosing to stop. Guilt trips galore. Oh my. Sure four months may seem young...and she seemed so tiny, and wanted a boob more than anything. And I loved our connection, how she nestled perfectly into my body...a tiny little spoon. But she was starting to bite, fuss, and not sleep so well. She always fell asleep while eating but didn't sleep too soundly.  I work 3 night shifts in a row- so by the end of my last 12 hour shift I was almost drained. My pumping would be near to nothing then I would ramp up again the next 4 days I was off. Talk about not natural.

I have to tell you stopping wasn't easy. My hormones were all over the place, snapping at Matt for really the silliest things ever (sorry matt).  Each time I would pick up cora she'd try and suck on me.... my arm... shoulder... anything and everything. She was getting smart. Mom=boob. Poor little person. I was shaking up her world, so we just did it cold turkey style. I would breast feed about once a day for a week... 5 min session then down to 1 minute. That way it would relieve the intense pain/pressure. And it worked.

It also made things easier that we have had cora on formula and bottles since the beginning. I had to supplement due to her latch issue for the first month while we were going to lactation meetings and working with her short tongue / tongue tied. It was hard work to get her to breastfeed, which is also why I felt like we had to keep going. All of that work we went through just stop?!

After the engorgement ended, cora figuring out that I could also give her a bottle just like dad, and my own guilt subsiding... it was really okay. I was lacking energy from keeping up with breast feeding, so now I feel like I can do so much more with my day- which is good for all of us.

I also haven't lost a pound since having cora- wtf. I mean I lost about 25 pounds in the first week post partum. But that was all water/cora weight. But the last 25 lbs. Nope, nothing. I have it all still. Breast feeding didn't shed the pounds for me. Sucky. So either my metabolism is slowing down- and I have to work harder at losing weight now or my hormones have been holding onto this weight. I am bummed... but now with my new found energy I can do something about it. Ha... maybe I have to work out or eat less crap-food like every other human being to lose weight?! Weird.

So, Cora now takes a pure formula bottle... and rice cereal... and... peaches, pears, and applesauce. It's a hoot. We love having her try these baby foods...and she is probably just fine without the breast milk. I just won't ask google's opinion on the matter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

life after the move.

Sweet little thing after her morning nap. Aren't naps great?! Refreshed babe... refreshed mom and dad. Just wonderful.
Well...I have been a bit vacant these days in the blog world. We just moved houses- oh my, what a job. Moving with a baby in tow is tricky. Everything had to be spotless-OCD-clean in both our old house and new one for Cora. Plus it was hard to get anything done when you have a babe who needs to be held.

But, we did it! And life is much less stressful now. Our last house had no dishwasher, no microwave, one bathroom, and squeaky but beautiful hardwood floors. Geez, what were we thinking?! So now with a dishwasher, microwave, clean carpet, more space, new washer/dryer, and a nice big garage for the dogs to sleep in- life is wonderful again. It's funny how those little things make a HUGE difference in day to day stress levels.

So we are getting into the swing of things again. Matt is back in classes for the fall, I am working nights...and getting to spend 4 precious days off with Cora a week. And big deal for Cora this week... she starts up at daycare (4 hours/week so that matt can do HW and I can sleep for my night shift)! I think she is going to love seeing other little babes. And I am feeling like a mom finally, and enjoying it immensely. Oh yea...I even cooked dinner this week, went grocery shopping, and cleaned the house. CRAZY! I also stopped breast feeding- which gave me a huge surge of energy that I didn't realize I was lacking. Life is good. Now I need time to craft and talk with my very soon!!

And little miss is now waking up. Gotta go!