Tummy Time Mania!

tummy time pillows downsized_0828092332I stayed up til almost 2am trying to complete some tummy time pillows for Dexter and my twin nephews. I’m making 2 per boy, because I found that Dex spits up a lot during tummy time. Instead of making him suck on the same puke-covered pillow, I decided it would be a good idea to make a couple so I could throw them into the wash when needed.

I traced around tummy time pillow someone gave us, trying to estimate what size the pieces should be before sewing and stuffing. Mine still came out skinnier than the original, but I think this might be better, since my first one arched Dexter’s back a little too much as a newborn. I used an upholstery fabric I had in my stash, and some wide ribbon to make loops for attachable toys.  Then, last minute, I discovered that sewing the stuffing hole closed created a very rough seam, so I stitched a bit of the ribbon over it. I need to practice my hand stitching… It’s not very attractive.tummy time pillow upclose downsized_0829090728

When I tested it with Dex it seemed to work better than my first one! I can’t wait to see how they work for the Ty and Micah, who are 2 weeks old!

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An Injury and An Obsession….

I think I tend to go overboard when I enjoy something. And that’s probably an understatement. I discovered the joy that is the sock monster, and since that’s been my craft obsession. If I’m not working on them (2 created so far and and others would be made if I didn’t have a pulled muscle) I’m researching them.

I love that crafters are so active in the blogosphere!!! It’s like we’re all working along side one another, in a world where women just don’t take the time to craft together anymore. 

I fell in love with Craft Schmaft, and resting with my pulled muscle allowed me to spend the day reading every last one of her blog posts 🙂 I guess there is an up side to being injured (though I pray it’s over soon, I’m dying to get back to my own crafts and back to taking care of Dexter myself instead of directing my husband). But in the meantime, I will continue to enjoy crafting vicariously, all the while planning my own adventures!

Sock Monsters!

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In my hunt for crocheted toy patterns I stumbled across sock monsters. I decided to give it a try, and well… it was extremely fun 🙂 There’s no pattern required, so the possibilities are endless, and you really can’t mess it up! So expect to see a whole slew of sock and glove toys in the future.

My sock monster looks more like a donkey-rabbit than a monster. This one is so cute, but I’ll probably still try to make the next one look more like a fun monster. The ones I’d seen online all had ears (they’re supposed to be horns) but I think I’ll try my next one without them.

I also chose not to use any buttons, only embroidery, so it would be baby-safe. And it paid off, Dexter loved him! In fact, I forgot to take any pictures before he got ahold of him, so the picture above features Dexter slobber 🙂

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And I believe Mr. Sock Monster is going to be quite resilient. Dexter gave him a good going-over.

The sites that inspired me:

http://sockmonsters.woolywarrior.co.uk/page.php?2

http://6ichthusfish.typepad.com/6ichthusfish/crochet/

Perfection vs. Flat-out Giving Up

My tiny baby boy will soon be four months old. It’s unbelievable to me that I’m typing those words. What’s nearly as hard for me to accept is the fact that even after 3.5 months, I still don’t have everything together.

I had this vision in my mind that after a month or so I’d become this completely organized homemaker. At the very least, everything would be clean and my husband would never have to do chores. I’d be doing all the shopping and cooking every meal. I’d be dieting and exercising like a pro, pushing Dexter around in his stroller for fun and healthy bonding time. Not to mention all the singing and reading I’d do with him, making the most of every second of valuable teaching time. Everything that obviously defines a successful Christian mom, right?

However, reality is littered with excuses. Because of an unplanned c-section, recovery took longer than I expected. And nothing can prepare you for what chronic sleep deprivation is really like. So at first, I had good reason not to have anything done. But lately I’ve noticed that I’m spending just a little more time on games, and a lot less time on all those lofty goals. While I am still exhausted, am I *too* exhausted to clean up? Probably not. My fitness routine is spotty at best, and the ten pounds I’ve gained back are a testament to how healthy my diet is. And who on earth wants to haul a sixteen pound baby up and down stairs, in and out of a car, to get groceries, let alone go on a leisurely stroll.

As far as those teachable moments go, I try to do what I can to spend time with Dex. I know he’s not lacking in mommy time. We’re pretty well attached to each other. And I know he’ll turn out just fine, even if I’m not actively teaching him the fundamentals of calculus every minute of the day. But I’m becoming more aware of how he watches me, and the examples I’m setting for him. Who knows how early those things are actually programmed in children’s brains? Do I really want him growing up with a mom who spends most of her time playing video games and watching TV?

My newest goal is not to have the cleanest house, not to have make amazing meals everyday, not to be the most attractive mom on the block, or even to cultivate the smartest, most quickly developed prodigy to flaunt in front of my friends. My ultimate goal as a mother, and the reason I am staying at home, is to model Godly behavior for this little boy in hopes that someday he might come to know and love God.

So I am renewing my commitment to working toward my former goals, not in a candy-coated daydream sort of way that lifts me up as someone who has it all, but in an imperfect moderate way, knowing there will be days I will fall short. Because what’s so amazing about God’s grace is that He loves and forgives us, even though we’re the total opposite of perfect. Going forward I will work to put away my selfishness by trying to avoid the pitfalls of both laziness and the never-ending hunt for perfection, as neither of those things will benefit my family.

New babies, new projects!

Dexter and I just returned from a nearly week-long stay with my family. My sister gave birth to her beautiful twin boys, Ty and Micah, so we stayed to meet them and to help out (Dexter did more meeting than helping). It was a crazy time!

Yet in the middle of all this, I managed to pick up a new hobby! I’m addicted to dabbling (not to be confused with gambling, although, every time I start a new project I gamble that my husband won’t kill me). While we were waiting to see the babies at the hospital, I suggested to my mom that we kill time at Hobby Lobby. That was mistake number one. Mistake number two was stepping into the yarn aisle. All that color! All that texture! My imagination took over, and I was no longer seeing skeins of yarn… I was seeing fluffy stay-home socks, favorite ice blue cardigans with red buttons, striped scarves that go on for miles… and then… toys. All sorts of creatures that Dexter, Ty, and Micah might adopt and love for the rest of their lives.

So, dear reader, you now see I had no choice in the matter. I simply had to give in. 30 minutes later, I’d selected all the tools I’d need to learn to make crocheted toys.

And Dexter loved yarn shopping. He was so precious. He grinned so wide when I tickled his nose with the yarns, then he’d hug the bundles as if each one were a long lost friend. His favorite were eyelash yarns, but the threads came out easily and I was sure that wouldn’t be infant-safe. Later, when we were going to supper, I was getting a sleeping Dexter out of his car seat and found he was grasping a clump of pea green yarn fluff in one chubby fist.

I wanted to make little monsters or aliens, but Hobby Lobby only had instruction books about animals. So I am in the midst of creating a dragon, cobbled together from bits and pieces of zoo creatures. It’s a little sloppy, but I’m proud of it since it’s the first 3-D object I’ve crocheted. And now that Dex and I are back home to a life I used to think of as busy, I’ll be able to finish the dragon in a snap!

Repurposing old tees to make baby pants

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I love doing projects! I especially love doing small projects for kids. I have great ideas for things I will sew for my little girl… if I ever have one 🙂

So when I found out our baby was a boy, I hit a creative wall. I’m not about to attempt a button up shirt, and all the little romper patterns I’d seen seemed a little prissy to me (no offense to the romper-loving mommies out there, I’m just more of a skull tee and ratty jeans kind of gal).

I roamed the internet until I found a few great (and super easy) ideas for little boys. One of my favorites is a tutorial on how to make little pants from an old t-shirt. It’s a great way to scratch that creative itch while also recycling. Let’s face, it’s easier to part with your favorite shirt from 20lbs ago if a tiny person you love is going to be wiggling around it in 🙂

This pattern is so easy, you can practically do it in your sleep. It’s perfect for beginners, or for moms who love to craft, but haven’t quite gotten brave enough to tackle a time-consuming project. I do recommend that you pay enough attention to make sure the patterned side of your pieces face each other. I did not and had to spend more time ripping seams than it actually took me to sew the pants. Start to finish, you can complete a pair of pants in about 30 minutes, if you don’t mess up like i did 🙂

The first link gave me the inspiration to use tees. The second is where Rookiemoms got the idea. Handyprojects offers a slightly more complicated variation, showing how to add cute details to the pants, but I recommend referring to that site if you don’t know how to make an elastic waistband.

http://www.rookiemoms.com/make-some-easy-kids-pants/

http://handyprojects.blogspot.com/2005/04/how-to-make-easy-kids-pants.html

first-pantsI  did my first for practice from a western t-shirt that didn’t fit me. The second pair I made out of a stained polo my husband donated to the cause. I plan to use the leftover fabric to make matching hats or accents on onesies. In the meantime I’m on the hunt for other shirts to cut up (and trying to resist the urge to “accidentally” stain things in my husband’s closet) Happy sewing!