Monthly Archives: June 2012

Maddy’s luau outfit

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As you know, we recently celebrated Madeleine’s first birthday with a backyard luau.

I’m going to quickly share how I made Maddy’s birthday outfit. The grass skirt was super easy. I bought one from Dollarama, measured a smaller size, cut out a portion of it, and sewed it back together.

Measuring the size with Maddy’s shorts

I then appliquéd a onesie for Maddy.

I used a glass to get a perfect circle

And, the finished product:

If I were to do this again, I would make the straps of the coconut bra a bit wider. It was tough to keep them in a straight line as the heat and bond didn’t stick too well with such a small piece, and the fabric tore a bit as I was sewing.

On both sides.

It was small, so it wasn’t noticeable once it was on her. I loved our matching luau outfits!

Happy Birthday, Madeleine!

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Our baby turns one today. Wow! This year has just flown by!

2 days old

We celebrated Madeleine’s birthday earlier this month with family and a few local friends. We wanted to try to keep the party somewhat small because she becomes over stimulated at large group gatherings making the following days extremely difficult at home. We decided a backyard luau would be relaxed enough to allow her to regulate her nervous system and reduce the chances of over stimulation.

I was so stressed about Maddy’s party. If you can believe it, I think I was more stressed about her first birthday being perfect than I was about our wedding. I barely stressed at all in planning our wedding or on the actual day. I easily let things that didn’t come out just right roll off my back. That was not the case for our luau celebration.

I was super stressed that the luau was going to get rained out. Having started my new job the week before, and having Maddy home with a GI bug and then the flu, we hadn’t had a chance to clean the house. It was a mess. On top of that, a lot of the decorations would only work if the luau was outside. Despite the rain, the temperature was high, and the house would be so warm with all of those people crammed inside. I’m so happy to report that the rain stopped mid-morning and we were able to sit outside.

You might remember that ‘Happy Birthday’ banner from this post. We had a funny find when we hung that bad boy up… but I’ll save that for another time.

I was also really sad that Maddy was going to be sick for her party. She had been miserable all week, and her party was no exception.

The sick birthday girl

She was sucky, needing me near her at all times, but she did have happy moments:

My sister, Lindsay, made Maddy a beautiful birthday cake. Thanks, Linds!

But, Maddy didn’t show much interest in it (but really, who wants to eat cake when they’re sick??).

Maddy might not have eaten much of her treat, but, boy did she examine how the icing felt. She squished it in her hands for a long while before she even thought about bringing her hands to her mouth. But, as soon as she was done exploring, she wanted that stuff off of her immediately. Apparently she was not enjoying the mess.

FYI, for anybody local with food intolerances/allergies, we purchased her cupcakes here. A great little gluten-, vegan-, peanut-, soy-free bakery. So delicious!

I’ve done a lot of thinking about why this party was so important to me. For the most part, I think I wanted to celebrate – not just that Madeleine was turning one, but that we survived the last year. I feel gipped of the maternity leave I always thought I would get. This past year was one thing after the other; an emergency C-section, nursing problems, food intolerances, SPD. I felt like I couldn’t get my feet under me. As soon as I would come to terms with and figure out how to handle our situation, it seemed that our world would get flipped upside down and I would be starting from scratch again. I wanted to celebrate that that part of our family’s journey was behind us…. and I felt like in order to do that the day had to be perfect.

I also think that focusing on having a perfect celebration would help me get through the pain of this milestone. It’s so hard thinking about how I felt around this time last year. Before Maddy arrived, I was so full of joy, so excited to meet her, and so ready to love her. I never imagined how painful it would be after she was here. No part of me ever believed I would have a baby that would be so unhappy, that required me to be spending good portions of the day at therapy, or working on therapy techniques at home. As I’m sure every pregnant woman feels, I imagined our baby as healthy and happy.

26 weeks in Santa Cruz

Now, I do realize that to place all of those expectations on a birthday party is silly. Intellectually, I know that her luau party was time to spend with family and friends to celebrate Maddy turning one, and to celebrate all of the incredible progress she has made this year. But, emotionally, it is hard to separate that celebration from the pain of the last year. It’s really hard to celebrate your baby turning one, when you feel like you didn’t really enjoy that special baby time you feel like you should have. It feels too fast, like I’ve missed out on important time with my happy baby.

It’s a happy day today, but a tough day. I am preparing myself for the coming year, knowing it will have its own unique challenges, but also knowing it will have a lot more rewards than this first year. I am reminding myself how lucky we are to have such a special little girl in our lives, one who has responded so well to therapy, and I am remembering all that I have learned this past year. I am so thankful for how this past year has shown the true strength of our family. Next week we are taking a day off to celebrate with just the three of us.

I am also so grateful that I am surrounded by so many loving friends and family. To my friends who spent their days off with me (and let’s face it, a lot of that time I spent either crying with you or venting), continually drove to our house despite the fact that you had done that the previous umpteen times, sent me messages and emails telling me they were thinking of me, took me on special girls’ day outings, sent me cards in the mail telling me how proud they are of me and Eric, and loved Maddy like she was your own – THANK YOU! I never could have survived this past year without you. I know that you’ll be my cheerleaders when with trepidation Eric and I decide to chance our luck again with baby number two. I feel so lucky that so many of you were so understanding and non-judgemental, despite the fact that many of you have not had babies of your own… and, when your turn comes around, I hope you know who you can call when you’re having a bad day (or several) with your little ones.

To my family who has been there through it all, words are not enough – thank you.

Happy birthday, Madeleine. Mommy and daddy love you so much.

Second birthday ‘Cars’ shirt

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My sweet, little nephew, Logan turned two in May. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since this picture was taken:

Anyone who knows anything about Logan knows how much he is obsessed with the movie Cars. My sister, Lindsay, asked me to whip up a quick shirt for Logan’s birthday party. It was pretty easy, as she had ordered some appliqués online and had them shipped to our house.

The final product:

Front

Back

We didn’t have our camera out at all, but fortunately, my friend, Catherine, managed to catch a shot of the shirt in action.

My only lesson here is to pay attention when doing appliqué with lots of small sections. Otherwise, you might just sew off of the appliqué without even noticing:

To learn more about appliqué, check out this post.

Happy 2nd birthday, Logan. We love you!!

OT super daddy styles!

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A month or so ago, Eric came up with the best game. It gives Maddy a lot of vestibular feedback, forces her to practise her gross motor skills (which, if you recall, Maddy was delayed in a mere three months ago), and best of all, Maddy loves it.

It’s super simple. You just need to stack your couch cushions into a pyramid, place a toy on top, and watch the fun unfold. Maddy loves it so much, that we don’t need to entice her with a toy anymore.

On the move

So proud of herself!

Heading back down

Hours of fun!! Super daddy does it again!

It’s in the bag!

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One evening a few weeks ago after Maddy was in bed for the night Eric and I planted our vegetable garden. I love, love, love having fresh veggies in our yard. Last year was our first stab at it, but we’re fortunate enough to get a lot of advice from Eric’s Dad who is a very experienced gardener.

The one thing we were missing last year was something to put our picked veggies in to carry them into the house. This year, I decided to make a couple of garden bags out of some t-shirts I never wear.

I mix and matched a couple of tutorials: Martha Stewart’s t-shirt bag and a produce grocery bag tutorial. I wanted to make a bag that required limited sewing. I followed Martha Stewart’s tutorial, without using a bowl or a marking pen – I just eyeballed it – I mean, it is just a bag to carry dirty vegetables in. I then followed steps six and seven of the produce grocery bag, but, again, I just eyeballed it.

Looking forward to the first harvest!

My little daycare superstar!

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A lot of people have been asking us how Maddy’s first day at daycare went, after I posted this. I’m so thrilled to report that Friday was an incredible day. I got most of my tears out Thursday night, and waited until after Eric & Maddy left Friday morning before finishing them off (I didn’t want Maddy to think that she was going somewhere she should be afraid of or nervous about).

I was feeling pretty anxious all day, but my first day at work was a very good day, and that helped a lot. I would be lying if I said I didn’t check in more than once on the daycare webcam to see how Maddy was doing. Every time I checked she was happily playing, sleeping or eating. I guess that I’m-a-crazy-mom-list that I sent with a ton of suggestions for dealing with sensory issues wasn’t needed.

The webcam didn’t lie. I later heard from Eric that Maddy didn’t shed a tear when he dropped her off – in fact, she was too busy playing she didn’t even say bye to him. When he picked her up, the workers told Eric that she had a phenomenal day – behaving in ways they would expect of a kid who had been going for 3-4 months. She cried only briefly, and they had no issue with eating, sleeping, or diaper changing (all things we’ve had trouble with at home). I was so, so, so happy that our OTs prediction (that often sensory kiddos do better in daycare than at home) had come true. Maddy greeted both me & Eric with huge smiles when she saw us at the end of the day.

The only downside to Maddy’s first day was that she caught the GI bug that the babes had been passing around for over a week. Saturday night at 9pm she starting throwing up, and didn’t stop until about 9am the next morning. This was a first for us, and never in my life have I had to change my clothes so many times! I was worried I might have caught the bug, but fingers crossed, nothing yet.

I’ve said it before, but man, I kinda like my sick almost-not-a-baby. Anyone else out there think it is SO much easier to care for a sick babe than a healthy one? I have had so many cuddles in the last two days it’s unreal. Yesterday she cried a bunch, for obvious reasons. Today Maddy has basically slept ALL day in my arms. She wakes to have a little drink and a mum-mum and then she’s fast asleep again. The only thing that makes it slightly not enjoyable is that I feel so badly that she feels sick.

Maddy won’t be back to daycare until Friday, as she’ll have to stay home until she’s healthy (and she’s only part-time). I’m betting that Friday I won’t feel as anxious, knowing how well her first day went. I think she’s just going to thrive at daycare.

If anyone else is going to be sending their little one to daycare or school for the first time and you’re looking for dishwasher/washing machine safe labels, a good friend of mine has started selling Lovable Labels. Ours just arrived today and I love them. You can check out Jenn’s page here.