Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

I Think It’s Time to Bring Back the Outfit Selfies

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

2011outfitsSo in September of 2010 I started taking photos of my work outfits after leaving one district and starting in another (this was the job I just left last June). I kind of just wanted to see if I could go a month without repeating outfits, but I kept it up. Then in 2011, I took a photo of myself almost every single day; the results are the above photo. This turned out to be the year I became pregnant with Hannah, so the outfit photos became a diary of my growing baby bump. I stopped the photos after she was born in March of 2012 because, you know, newborn.

But last week I’m pretty sure I wore yoga pants 5 out of the 7 days. And turtlenecks, and sneakers.

This must stop.

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Hannah’s Project Life

Monday, August 27th, 2012

I’ve had kind of a mental block around Hannah’s baby book since before she was born. Baby books are not a thing in England, so it was a new concept to Adam and he looked to me for direction. But I don’t know, something about the cookie cutter nature of the questions, the limited space in all the books for writing and photos. We’ve been given several gorgeous baby books to keep a record of Hannah’s firsts, and we’ve even started writing in some of them. But somehow the process just felt…incomplete.

I should point out that at 33 years old, my mother has only just stopped telling me “that’s going in the baby book!” when I do something noteworthy. And that’s only because, as a gift when Hannah was born, she gave me my baby book to keep. It sits in a proud spot on Hannah’s bookshelves, and I can’t tell you how much I LOVED looking at that book growing up (okay fine, I still do). I really want Hannah to know her STORY, not just the facts. I loved hearing those stories as a kid. Don’t all kids? The feelings, the moments, the whole experience that she won’t remember. There are so many things I wish I could ask my grandparents today, so many details I would love to know about my family. So documenting life has become a really big deal to me in my adulthood (hence this blog). And I want to give that to Hannah as my gift to her, a record of her impact on all of us.

And that’s where Project Life comes in. I’ve been very well aware of it for a few years now through my crafty friends. But I’ve always resisted the idea of myself as a scrapbooker. It called up images of sitting in a church basement with a glue gun, decorative paper, and piles of bedazzled, ornate die-cuts just collaging all my life’s memories to death. Not for me. But this is just easy, and it looks cool, and it lets me tell Hannah her story. I was trying to explain why I wanted THIS to be her baby book to Adam the engineer, and as I explained he just said, “So…it’s a system. Cool.” He adores systems, and that’s exactly what this is. A streamlined way for me to get to the point, the meat, the good stuff. I just started this weekend, and I’m hooked. I plan on continuing this book until Hannah’s first birthday and giving this to her as a present, but I will be continuing Project Life for our family beyond that.

I bought the Cherry Edition. I was trying to decide between this and Clementine, and essentially what won me over was the fact that the Cherry Edition was currently available. So I got the binder, the core kit, and some of the plastics.  I’ve just kept it simple so far, I haven’t done anything exciting with layouts yet. I’ve made my way through my second trimester, and once I’ve finished with pregnancy I think I’ll document each week of her life so far.

The big envelopes are also really handy.

I hope I have enough room to get through her first year. This may end up as a 2-volume set.

Holiday Weekend Cookout

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

We had our first cookout of the year on Sunday, and another one today to celebrate July 4th. It’s been a great week for hanging out with friends and family; this time last year Adam and I were in Hawaii, and we’d just found out that Hannah was on the way. It was such an incredible time, so I don’t know…I was feeling really festive this July. Several teachers from school came on Sunday, and they caught me up on everything I’d missed while on maternity leave. Hannah loved just hanging out on the patio under an umbrella. We tried putting her in the crib for a nap, but she didn’t want to miss the party! So she took all her naps on me that day, lol. I’m not complaining.

This week was also the first time I’d really put out a coordinated spread since our 2010 Christmas party, and I tried to use a lot of tips from Amy Atlas’s Sweet Designs. I didn’t take photos of today’s table until the end of the day, and they aren’t anywhere near as great as the photos Adam shot of Sunday’s table. So I’m posting Adam’s photos from our Sunday cookout here. I had so much fun putting this together, and I love how it turned out.

I made strawberry pies-in-a-jar for Sunday. I actually made cherry pies-in-a-jar today, too. This is my new favorite party trick. I use my favorite pie recipes but cut out the dough to fill my mini Weck jars. The crust and filling for a regular pie are enough for 12 mini pies, and you bake them in the oven at 375 for 50-60 minutes. They are easy and so delicious. I love the gooey, exploded nature of these. Perfect summer cookout food!

I did kind of a strawberry color scheme (the berries of my obsession lately). Red berry colors and a little bit of green.

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Go to Your Happy Place Quilt Is Finished!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Other posts on this project: Go to Your Happy Place Quilt Pt. 1, Go to Your Happy Place Quilt Pt. 2.

This quilt is finished and delivered!

So I made this quilt for my sister-in-law Kathryn, who is expecting her first baby in just a few weeks. Hannah can’t wait to meet her little cousin CJ, but since he’s been getting all the attention (and quilts made by my mom) I wanted to make something for Kathryn during her hospital stay. I brought my Rainbow Quilt to the hospital when Hannah was born, and I was so glad I did. It made such a difference to have something personal and cheery to liven up the depressing side of days spent in the hospital.

Which is how this quilt, using my Hawaiian fabrics, came about. What happier place to think of than a tropical paradise?

In the end I didn’t even measure this one, but the original pattern said it would be 61″ x 69″. I used different sashing sizes but cut the “postcards” to the same size, so let’s say it’s roughly that size.

I’m pretty sure this is the largest quilt that I’ve free motion quilted on my machine, and I love how it came out but also learned a few things. I used an extra lofty batting that I had in my stash so this would be nice and squishy, but I failed to realize how difficult that would make quilting it like this. If I’d just done lines or ties it would have been different, but trying to keep all the layers smooth with such squishy batting resulte in a few spots on the back like this:

The fabric folded over on itself at a couple of spots on the back. But, it was a learning experience and I still love this quilt.

I’m even happy with the binding, which is the same orange fabric from the backing. My mitered corners still aren’t perfect, but they’re getting better and better.

This was a success! And Kathryn has it in her trunk with her hospital bag, ready for the big event!

Pre- and Post-Jackie

Friday, March 30th, 2012

In the spirit of documenting this process, this is what I looked like the day I went into the hospital (March 12th, left) and what I look like now after Hannah’s birth (March 26th, right).

I loved being pregnant, that’s no secret. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes right at the beginning of the 2nd trimester, which was definitely a curveball. So I was on a fairly strict diet to help make sure Hannah wasn’t one of those giant babies that CNN always does stories about, and I managed really well. I didn’t need to go on medication until later in the pregnancy, and then it was a fairly small dose. I was surprised how well I adapted to the whole business, pricking my finger 4x a day for blood sugar testing and cutting out a lot of carbs. My body (mostly) stopped craving them, the way it stopped craving all the other stuff you’re not supposed to eat while pregnant.

And it was worth it for Hannah. She was perfectly within the average for birth weight, and since I lost some weight due to 1st trimester queasiness I was only 5 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight when she was born. Somehow I have since lost about 25 pounds, so at the moment I’m smaller than I was before we even began thinking about starting our family. Which I was not expecting at all. I go back for sugar testing at the 6 week mark, but so far my body has sprung back to its normal sugar tolerance without incident. But I’m still watching the carbs. I have given myself a few indulgences, though. I’d be lying if I said I’m not happy to stop eating cheese and peanut butter every day for breakfast. I have a newfound appreciation for cereal. It’s the little things.