Sunday, July 31, 2011


When Emily was working on crawling she took a good long while.  She'd try a little, but then give up and stick with the tried and true scoot-around-on-my-butt method.  I was okay with waiting and had pretty much assumed we had a few months before she'd try anything.

Which is what I said to my sister when she worriedly watched my daughter scoot a foot on her floor near her dog.  Actually I said "Oh, it'll be alright, that's as far as she crawls right now."  Then Emily took off after the dog and zoomed across the living room.

Just last week I announced to my husband that I was officially giving up on the baby sign language.  It's a wonderful tool, but after 10 months it was fairly clear Emily wasn't interested in signing.  We've been having lots of language milestones lately and she seems far more enthused about vocalizing rather than signing.  I wanted to give up the brain space I was using attempting to teach her signs for something else.  It was done.  No more signing.  Let's learn something else.

Then yesterday Emily comes up to me and starts to say "Mmmmm."  Then she makes the sign for "milk" and looks at me expectantly.

Curses!  Tricked again.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My First Dress

I know I've been complaining lately about not doing anything because my job is mostly play with baby-nurse baby-play with baby. But surprisingly I have managed to do some things.

I have what would be called a classic, hourglass figure. The irony in that description is that the hourglass figure is so "classic" it apparently doesn't exist. Or at least fashion designers don't think so. I have a small waist, full hips, and plenty up top. If I find clothes that fit my waist it won't fit my top. If it fits my top, I look like I'm wearing a potato sack everywhere else. Fitted is in style now and nothing fits me. It's annoying.

So, now I am teaching myself to make my own clothes. Never one to do things the easy way I started with a dress. But even with a pattern my shape is in the way.

On this dress the finished size the would fit my bust was a 16. In pre-made clothes I wear anywhere from a 6 to a 10 depending on the cut and style. 16, however, is always too big. But, since I was going by my largest measurement (my bust) and following the finished measurements of the pattern I did most of my cuts for a size 16. For the most part this dress was easy to put together. The hardest part is laying out the pattern with a baby in the room. I'm particularly proud of the darts on the front. They look really cute.

I had to do a lot of pinching and tucking once the garment was together to fit it to me. About two inches each seam. Because of that I folded the excess over rather than sew on seam. With white thread on pink fabric it gives a nice detail on the side and actually gives the waist more shape when I'm wearing the dress. The part that still bothers me is that I have a short torso and the midriff is just a tad long. However, I don't want to take it up too much because then it ruins the line of the skirt. Decisions, decisions.

This isn't done. I want to hem the skirt higher because mid-calf just isn't my style (I prefer just below the knee). I also think a white or pink sash will look very nice, and perhaps some detail at the straps. Otherwise, for my first garment, I think it came out quite well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So it's pretty clear if you have been around me recently (or read any of the previous blog posts) that I'm currently having a full-blown love affair with my daughter. That isn't really special. What mother doesn't have multiple love affairs with their children? This amazing feeling of joy whenever I look at or speak to Emily is exactly what I thought motherhood would be like. It is almost painful how happy I can be thinking about her. It's great.

But not to long ago I thought that any kind of happiness was impossible. Emily is only 10 months old and I am still haunted by the first days, weeks, and months of her life.

When she was born I was happy. I felt the dreamy falling-in-love feeling I feel now. I can remember sitting in the hospital bed and watching her be passed from person to person and I felt as if I was floating. I was so enamored with her. I loved her. I adored when it was my turn to hug her, cuddled her, run my fingers over hers again and again. But I also didn't feel like she was mine, or I was hers. There was a fog I lived in. I couldn't remember giving birth. I was certain I was still pregnant. I was having fun taking care of this baby, but I knew that any moment "they" would come in and give her back to her mother. Her real mother.

Some of this can be blamed on the fact that I was medicated. Some of it was from the fact that I had been in labor for four days and had not slept in a long time. Part of it could be blamed on the fact that I did not handle surgery well and for 90 minutes after Emily had been born I was separated from her surrounded by strangers working very hard to get me stable and quite frankly keep me alive. During that time they talked about someone having a big baby, someone had a baby who was 8lbs 10oz, someone had a child. It wasn't till much later I realized that someone was me.

All of that was a factor. But really I can say that the fog I lived in after delivery was the heavy weight of post-partum depression. And it's taken almost 11 months for me to start feeling like there is something behind that fog. All this love and discovery I'm feeling with my daughter lately has been here all along. But even though I felt it, I experienced it, even though I've been in love all this time I didn't know. I didn't know how happy I was until some of the sad, and pain, and desperate disconnection lessened. And I can't tell you how nice it is not to carry all of that around anymore. It's still there. But I see a light through it now.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Today I was reminded that Borders is having its liquidation sale. I was reminded right as we were finishing up dinner and Emily was gnawing on a strawberry. I had two hours till the store closed for the night.

I think that a two hour time frame for a shopping trip in a store 45 minutes away with a 10 month old should be daunting. But for us it wasn't. I cleaned Emily up, changed her clothes, plopped her in the car and away we went. She held onto her chopsticks for half the trip then took a nice little nap. By the time we were at the store she was ready to roll.

We spent an hour or so strolling through the books. I got a bunch of kid books. (My primary reason for getting to the store early in the sale was for kid books which sell out fast.) I looked at a lot more kid books that I did not buy. Then we spent awhile sitting on the floor near the craft section while I flipped through all the books I wanted, but didn't really want to spend money on. For an adult who likes books this sounds like a great trip. For a 10 month old toddler-to-be this might have been pretty boring. Unless you're Emily.

Emily got numerous compliments on how she just sat there and played with her toes while Mama flipped through another knitting book. She talked to me, she talked to the books, she talked to the people, but she never whined. She didn't cry. When I took a particularly fragile book from her she moved on. Seriously, the only black mark on my child was the fact she still had cheese all over her chin. It was dry, but it was cheese.

Living with Emily I sometimes forget that parenting is supposed to be stressful and hard. Sure, it isn't easy, but Emily seems willing to pretty much willing to try all the things I want to do. At least as much as I try all the things she does. Dinner out? Sure - then maybe a trip to see the puppies and good chewing session with a straw. She saves all her tantrums and fits for when we're at home and even then she's reasonable in her requests: milk, freedom from sore teeth, lots of hugs.

I have the kid everyone always thought they'd have when they dreamed of babies. And she's all mine. So there!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Projects: Curtains

I made some really pretty curtains for my craft room. They are white voile with ribbons of flowers over them. I lined them in magenta. My craft room is painted pale pink so when the sun shines through the magenta the room really pops bright.

Unfortunately, the homeowner/condo association people have cited me for having pink curtains so now I have to change the color.

I could line the magenta with white so the magenta will still show through the voile on the inside of the window, but hopefully not show through the lining towards the outside.

I could put up a white blackout curtain on a different rod behind the actual curtain.

I could change the curtains altogether.

Or I could take them all down and make everyone look straight into my pink craft room.

Don't know what I'll do, but that's my new project.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I've been sick and so the past few days Emily and I have been spending time in bed napping or playing with normal no-no's like my iTouch (now lost between the headboard and the mattress) and my alarm clock (now 11 hours off).

Between the Nyquil and the fever my dreams have been pretty weird. Last night Emily was lying next to me while she nursed. It was about time for real sleep sp it was a nice long cuddle. She was tucked snuggly under one arm while she hugged the other hand close to her chest. I call it big hug/little hug. I also call it nice.

However, in my foggy, sick head I suddenly thought my baby was an iPod and in my head I said: Wow. She docks so perfectly right here. How did they know how to fit her to my body? What a great design.

I drifted off thinking the people at Apple were total geniuses.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Clothes Horse

My daughter has the cutest clothes. Being a girly-girl myself I like pretty dresses and frilly shirts and such. However, it's easy to find cheap frilly dresses for little girls. It's hard to find them for grown women. I also have a secret hippy in me who enjoys those mix-n-match'd peasant shirts and dresses. Unfortunately, those never look good on women with hourglass figures. They do look good on babies though. So I often find myself jealous of Emily's wardrobe whether we're dressing up or down.

Now I'm really jealous. Yesterday my daughter wore a dress that was hand-sewn by my mother for my sister. It was worn by my sister, myself, and now it's Emily's. It's adorable. Made of lacy fabric (but not too lacy), with a peter pan collar. The skirt has cute, small, darts. The sleeves are puffed. The whole thing was hand-stitched.

Which means my daughter isn't even a year old and she's already sporting vintage couture. I am so jealous!