Tag Archives: Baby

One step

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Before our sweet Madeleine came along, we got a lot of advice from other parents. Still to this day, the two most important pieces came from a colleague of mine, and a colleague of Eric’s.

A woman at my work said to me, “You are never going to be or feel ready. So just do it when you think it’s right.”

A man at Eric’s work said to him, “When things aren’t going well, don’t worry, they will get better. When things are going well, be warned, they will get worse.” The natural ups and downs described so easily.

When Madeleine arrived, people told us,

“Don’t worry, it will get better.”

“All babies cry.”

“You will get to sleep again.”

Amongst a number of other things. I often reflect on these comments and think that they need some changes.

Don’t worry, it will get better. It might not get better, but you will get better.”

It’s true that as parents, you figure things out, and you get better. But, it’s also true that those memories of the first time spent with your baby are engrained and tough to remove.  When you think you’ve been able to move on, you are expecting a second, and the fear and panic from those days comes rushing back. You remember the isolation, the loneliness, the exhaustion. You remember how it felt as though nobody believed you. You remember the feelings that to so many people, you are simply a carer-of-baby, and not a person who is equally as important as baby.

Then you cross your fingers and pray that next baby will be different. Next baby won’t have colic. Next baby will want to be soothed. Next baby will smile and laugh. Next baby will sleep for longer than an hour at a time when he or she is 9 months old.

But, then you’re hit with the realization, that next baby is the least of your worries, and that first beautiful baby of yours is who you are most worried about. Most people will tell you not to worry, first baby will adapt. But, most people have not lived in your home. Most people have not lived through what you have lived through. Most people don’t can’t understand.

All babies cry. All babies cry. Some cry more than others. Sometimes crying means that something is wrong. You are probably right if you think your baby is crying too much.”

Yes, this is true that all babies cry. It is actually not helpful to tell a new mom that all babies cry. She will be too polite to let you know that this is something she has known for many, many years. She will forgive you for saying something like this, because she knows that you’re just trying to be helpful. She won’t need you to know the myriad of reasons she discovered that her baby cried more than most. She won’t have to, because someone else will have validated her experience for her. She will share the bits and pieces that she’s comfortable sharing, with the people that she feels safe sharing them with.

You will get to sleep again. You will get to sleep again… in 18 years.”

The level of exhaustion I felt in Maddy’s first year is something I’m not sure I will ever experience again. It was a true life lesson in why sleep deprivation is used as a torture method. It was an experience where exhaustion played at sanity. I remember waking up to a crying baby, and physically not being able to move. I would try to will my body to get up, but it was not possible.

Over time, sleep does become more consistent. It’s true that you will sleep more than when baby is 3 months old. But, it’s also true that you might not sleep through the night again for many years. You might have a child that doesn’t sleep, no matter what you do. You might be woken 7 times in a night when your child is 3, on a regular basis. You might have a child who takes hours and hours to settle into sleep, no matter how consistent and routine-based your evening is. Your expectations of sleep will change – and you will somehow figure out how to be productive with all of that waking. You will let your body be your guide, and take it easy when it needs you to.

The last three years have been a time of ups and downs, with unexpected curves, and needed plateaus. It has been a time of wild growth, and of deep love. We have learned, we have been hurt, we have been tested, and we have been cared for.

There was a time that I wasn’t sure that I could manage a second baby. There was a hesitant decision to listen to our hearts. Now there is fear and uneasiness. We are entering a kind of work and preparation I never thought I would need to do to expand our family, but we are showing up each day, and taking one step at a time.

 

 

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Bittersweet Baby Blanket

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I started this baby blanket back in July during a mid-summer cold spell. The chilliness of the air inspired me to pick up a crochet hook – something I hadn’t done in over a year. I searched on ravelry for the easiest crocheted baby blanket I could find. I found the Marble Baby Throw, and given it’s easy rating, decided to start it on a whim, without checking to see if I had enough yarn to finish it.

When I started, I thought it wouldn’t be good enough to keep, so the thought of running out of yarn didn’t really cross my mind. I was surprised to find that as I progressed, it was looking okay. With a few trips to the store, and help from my crafty and kind sister-in-law, I was able to find a second skein of each colour.

I finished the edge with a simple border.

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Finishing this blanket is a bittersweet moment for me. I’m happy to have finished my first crochet project, but more than that, I am so sad that I won’t be able to share this with my grandma, who passed away this summer. My grandma was very talented. She knit, crocheted, did needle point, among other things. My sisters and I have been blessed to inherit her crafting materials so that we can forever create with our grandma close to us.

When I started this blanket, my grandma was still with us, and I made the conscious decision to not tell her about it – I wanted to surprise her with it once I’d finished. She left us quickly and unexpectedly, and I never did get that chance. I hope that she is able to look down and see how she has inspired me with her talent.

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I started this blanket on a whim, and that means that it doesn’t have a destination. When my grandma passed, I decided that I would keep it, at least until I find the perfect place that it was meant to be.

 

 

 

Bright baby pants with pockets

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A friend of mine recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Emma. Tara and I met at university 11 years ago. We were quick friends. I think we bonded quickly over silliness, that is, that we can both be pretty silly. We like to laugh, and we do… a lot.

We’ve been through a lot together – life is sure different from what it was 11 years ago. But, after the graduations, career changes, marriages, and kids, at the end of the day, she’s still one of a handful of people I want to share my news with first. 

I made Emma a ruffle bum romper and these bright and pocketed pants.

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These are made from the same pattern (Rae Hoekstra’s Basic Newborn Baby Pant) that I used to make monkey pants for my friend Julie’s babe, Emily. Of course, the big difference is that these pants have pockets and trim at the cuff.

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Welcome to the world, Emma! We can’t wait to meet you.

 

 

 

Itty bitty baby pants!

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Another friend of mine is welcoming her first baby this August. Julie and I met through my friend Meagan. I was so lucky to spend one of my coop terms in undergrad in Guelph, because I lived with them. To this day, I have been known to say, “I wish we were next door neighbours so life would be like it was when we lived together.” Honestly, these girls, the kind of friend every woman deserves. I don’t know what I’d do without them by my side.

We are silly together. These gals make me laugh. A lot.

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We make a mean tray of nachos and we’re the self-proclaimed nacho champs. Meagan is a bit nacho bossy, but it works in our favour 😉

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They are some of my biggest supporters – and are always by my side.

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I love these girls. The only thing that sucks about being friends with them is that I can’t get enough of them.

In August, the third installation of the next generation will arrive. Madeleine, Abby, and another sweet little girl will be making mischief together.

IMG_2185We celebrated mama-to-be Jules this past weekend. In preparation of her shower, I decided to make Rae Hoekstra’s Basic Newborn Baby Pant, a free online tutorial. These are a great project for a new sewer, and I whipped them up in an evening. Maddy even had a hand in it, picking out the fabric.

We stood in an aisle at Len’s Mill, and I asked Maddy, “What fabric should we use to make the baby some pants?” And she pointed and exclaimed, “Monkey!” Maddy has also requested her own monkey outfit. I’m so glad I let Maddy pick the fabric, because I just adore the final product.

In just a few months we’ll have another little one that will fit into these itty bitty baby pants. I am so excited for her arrival!

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Ruffle bum romper

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One of my longest friends, Meagan is having her first baby in a month-ish. We became friends a long time ago when we were 4 and lived on the same street. SCAN0015

I’m so lucky to still call Meagan one of my best friends. I was honoured and blessed to be a part of her wedding a couple of years ago, and now I am beyond excited to meet her little one. Meagan and her hubby are going to be amazing parents.

I made her soon-to-be-here baby girl two little outfits – here’s the first:

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I bought this pattern from ‘You Can Make This’. I found the pattern a bit confusing, but I was able to make my way through it with a seam ripper and some patience.

I learned two new things in the process of making this romper. First, I made my first buttonholes!! Thank you to Amber Price – her ‘Learn to Sew’ series gave me the courage to give them a try. If you want to try buttonholes, she has a great lesson here.

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It took some time, and a lot of test buttonholes, but eventually I got it! For the longest time I didn’t realize I had to “reset” my machine by moving my dial off of the buttonhole setting and back between buttonholes. Once I figured that out, I was set. I’m so happy that I no longer have to avoid patterns with buttonholes now!

The other first for me was inserting snaps into a pattern. This is key for things like rompers, so the whole outfit doesn’t have to come off when changing the baby’s bum. I have been avoiding patterns that had snaps in them, but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I tried a couple of test snaps on some scrap fabric, and then put them into the pattern. They’re not exactly spaced evenly, but that gives it a bit of charm, no?

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I think this pattern is beginner-intermediate. Definitely doable for a newer sewer, but it might give you a couple of headaches along the way.

For the lack of a live model, I give you the ruffle bum romper on a model that can’t refuse:

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Hope you all enjoy the last bit of the weekend!