Monday, January 31, 2011

Asking Friends and Family for Post-Partum Help

When I was first thinking through the challenges of being a new parent, I had the idea that I would create a calendar of very specific tasks and ask my friends to sign up for them. I even found a free internet calendar designed to coordinate exactly that kind of support.

Now that we're getting closer and closer to the birth, I'm realizing that I just don't know what we're going to need and when we're going to need it. So instead of creating a rigid schedule in advance, I decided to send out a general call for help. As you can see from the message below (which I e-mailed out to our friends in Houston), I'll be able to compile a list of people who have volunteered to do certain things. If we need them after the baby comes, we can definitely call them.

Once our friends respond, I'll print out the Excel document and add it to our Baby Binder. So far, it contains directions about how to do things around our house (cleaning, taking care of the chickens, etc.), maps to the grocery store and other frequented destinations (for my mom when she comes to visit), easy recipes, and take-out menus.

Here's the call for help we sent out:

Dearest Friends,

Matt and I are in the final stages of preparing for the arrival of our little boy. His ETA is
February 15, but it would be completely normal for him to arrive two weeks early or late. As we immerse ourselves in the excitement, we are also trying to be realistic about the difficulties that can come from sleep-deprivation, trouble with breast-feeding, constant crying, etc.

Since both of our families are about 1,000 miles away (in opposite directions), we might need to rely on our Houston "family" for support.
If you would be willing to help, please take a minute to fill out this survey:

But definitely don't feel obligated to respond to this message! We completely understand that your lives are full of your own needs, and we promise not to take it personally if you aren't able to help at this time.

If you are able to help, we promise not to take advantage of you! The survey is designed to get a sense of everything you would be willing to help with, but we will be super-conscious of only asking for one favor from each of you, if possible.

We hope all is well with you!

Take care,

Sara-Matt-Hoss-Chickens-Baby (Whose Name Is Yet to Be Determined)

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beach Birthday Brunch Bash

Image courtesy bayoumoon

I'm so excited about my impending birthday party! We're going to have a "Beach Birthday Brunch Bash" (I'm a sucker for alliteration.)

I'm keeping it pretty simple: We're going to borrow a beachfront condo from one of Matt's colleagues and head over to Galveston after sleeping in on a Saturday morning. We'll spend the afternoon together just hanging out and relaxing (and probably watching TV, since we don't have one at home, and it's quite alluring!). On Sunday morning, we'll sleep in again and then wake up and start cooking breakfast. We'll ask one or two of our friends to arrive early to help make a frittata, fruit salad, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and pancake batter. Once everyone arrives, we'll cook pancakes right on the table (with an array of toppings, like bananas, chocolate chips, pecans, and blueberries) and enjoy each other's company. I plan to use disposable dishware (which I try not to do!), so we can just bag everything up and trash it with minimal cleanup. Afterward, we'll walk on the beach and just relax together.

I think it sounds like the perfect way to spend one of our last child-free weekends together. Can't wait!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Matt's New Hobby

Matt used some of his Christmas money to pursue his newest passion: The Banjo. How exciting!

He ordered this one from Amazon and now spends his spare time watching instructional videos on YouTube. I love that he'll be modeling a musical instrument and constant learning for our little boy. He hasn't decided on his first real song yet. He wanted to go with Modest Mouse, but I begged him to pick something a) a little easier and b) that could be our baby's song. I read this excerpt from Living Passages for the Whole Family: Celebrating Rites of Passage from Birth to Adulthood and have been thinking about our "baby's song" ever since:

The story is told of a group of people
somewhere on the vast continent of Africa
who celebrate their birth not on the day they were born,
not even on the day they were conceived,
but on the day they became a thought in their mother's mind.
On that day, the mother goes out and listens for her child's song.
Upon hearing the song, she sings it.
She goes back home and teaches it to her mate.
Each time they mate, they sing the song.
On the day the child is born, the people
gather in the birthing room and sing the song.
This becomes the newborn's song for their whole life.
When they cry for mama as a baby, she sings the song;
when they fall and skin a knee as a child,
the song is there to comfort.
All through life the person can always find solace in their song.
And when the person comes to the time of death,
again the people gather in the room and sing that song.

--As told by Anita Jones

It's making me want to pick up an instrument, too. I used to say I wanted to play a cow bell in a band (mainly because I'm not musically-inclined and it seemed like the easiest thing to pick up). Now I'm thinking about the glockenspiel...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DIY: House Pillow

I felt like "Coconut's" Montessori floor bed looked a little stark against the wall, so I decided to make a cute pillow in the shape of a house. Originally, I was going to make a whole series of animal pillows or a cityscape, but I vetoed that idea since babies aren't supposed to have pillows on their beds anyway. It will be easy to remove one pillow, but a whole pile of them might get annoying.

The process was very simple (thankfully, since I had just struggled to make two fitted sheets for his co-sleeper). Here's what I did:
  • Pulled out fabric from our scrap box and picked some fabrics that coordinatedAdd Image well with the room and each other
  • Ironed all the fabrics (I'm such a fan of ironing while sewing. The extra step can be a hassle, but it's so much easier to work with flattened fabrics.)
  • Made the base of the house by folding a larger piece of fabric together (right side to right side) and cutting out a square
  • Made all the windows and the door by cutting out squares and rectangles
  • Used Steam-a-Seam to attach the windows and door to one piece of the square house base
  • Sewed around the edges of each window and the door to prevent fraying
  • Folded a piece of fabric together (right side to right side) and cut out a triangle for the roof
  • Sewed one of the triangles to each of the square bases
  • Put the triangle + square pieces together (right side to right side) and sewed around three sides
  • Turned the house right side out and stuffed it with filling
  • Sewed the top of the house closed

Voila! It really was a simple project. I didn't measure anything or worry about precision in any way.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Co-Sleeping Update

Our co-sleeper

Our baby's Montessori floor bed is ready to go (not pictured above). Initially, we bought a quasi-eco-friendly mattress from Costco, but it was approximately five inches off the ground. We decided to return it (which has been the story of this whole nursery process!) and instead purchase a simple foam mattress from IKEA, which is only three inches off the ground. We covered the mattress with a quilted waterproof pad and a simple sheet from Dwell Studios. We have a second set of both the pad and the sheet, so when we need to wash them, we can simply slip the next set on without delay.

At this point, we imagine that we will co-sleep with the baby for approximately the first three months and then transition him to his own room. I say "imagine" because we really have no way of knowing what will feel right at the time. I subscribe to several of the attachment parenting essential understandings, such as the importance of meeting your baby's needs without fear of "spoiling." I believe that infants who just emerged from the womb are going through a huge transition, and it's important for them to feel safe and secure about getting their needs met.

However, I don't want to be the attachment parents who are still sleeping with a two year-old. I absolutely respect families who make that choice for themselves, but, at this point, I think I will want space, and I think it will be healthier for my partnership with Matt. (Editor's Note: I reserve the right to change my mind at any point! I'm just explaining how I feel now.)

Matt and I decided to find a co-sleeper to put next to our bed because we already have enough trouble sharing a queen-sized bed with the two of us. We finally decided on the Summer Infant Rest Assured Sleeper (thanks to Katie R.'s suggestion!). Here's what I like about it:
  1. With the legs on, we can set it next to our low platform bed, and it's pretty easy to reach the baby.
  2. We can also put it on the bed between us, if we decide there's room.
  3. The sides are mesh, so it feels safe and we can see the baby.
  4. The sides are pretty high, so the risk of the comforter covering the baby seems low.
  5. The colors are very neutral, which I appreciate in the world of over-stimulating baby products!

The product didn't come with any type of sheets to cover the little mattress, so I decided to make some out of some sheets I picked up at Target on clearance (a whole lot of fabric for a very low price!). I also wanted to cover the mattress with a waterproof pad in case of leaky diapers. I attached some elastic to a waterproof pad we already had, so it would stretch across the little mattress and wrap around the edges. Then I cut out the fabric for the sheet by essentially following the shape of the mattress and added several extra inches around the outside. I hemmed all the way around the edge to create a tube that I could thread elastic through (just like a fitted sheet). It was a huge pain in the butt, but in the end, it worked out really well. I made two sets of sheets, so one can be in the wash while the other one is in use.

I'll definitely give you another update later, once our co-sleeper is filled with our baby!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Birth To-Do List

On Saturday, Matt and I hit the one-month mark until the official due date of our baby. I've never been one to buy into the idea of a "due date" because most babies don't arrive on said date, but that's what's making me nervous. It would be perfectly normal and healthy for him to come in two weeks. Two weeks!

I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that I need/want to get done before he arrives. Some of the things on the list are absolute necessities (like get all the supplies we need for our home birth and pick a darn name). Other things will make the transition easier (like prepare as much of the birth announcement as possible).

I imagine some of my overwhelmed feelings stem from the enormity of the impending transition. Our lives will never be the same again. I've cried a little to mourn the passing of our life together as we know it.

I have to remember, too, that I knew this month would be hard with so much time devoted to our childbirthing classes. It's been exacerbated by the sheer clutter around our house. Our dining room table (which is basically the center of our home and our life) is crowded with boxes and baby paraphernalia and car registration forms and bills. Matt and I finally got around to clearing it off, and it has made a huge difference. I wish I weren't so sensitive to my surroundings, but I am! Just decluttering and cleaning a space helps my stress level a lot.

I'm trying not to let myself carry too much stress. It's not good for anyone involved, especially not the baby. I'm looking forward to hopefully checking a lot off my list this weekend. I want to get the "must do" items completed, so I can focus on grounding myself and preparing myself for the birth.

Here's my current to-do list (a mix of needs and wants):
  • Create a packet for visitors who want to help us (it's not helpful if you have to answer a gazillion questions as they are trying to help)
  • Schedule and attend an infant CPR class
  • Get car seat installed
  • Finalize birth announcement
  • Make comfrey tea compresses
  • Go on a massive shopping trip for all the birth supplies we need
  • Write birthday cards for the next couple months
  • Bring our living Christmas tree to school to be planted
  • Create a "room service" plan for after the birth (including a list of places that deliver)
  • Type up directions to our house
  • Finalize our transport plan and post it
  • Create a cheat sheet for birthing positions and reminders about drinking, eating, and urinating
  • Visit the back-up ob/gyn
  • Meet with the pediatrician for a new mom consultation
  • Finish the crafts on my craft plan
  • Get my car emissions tested
  • Update our scrapbook
  • Get the baby's scrapbook ready
  • Go in for one more ultrasound
  • Read more about birth
  • Pick a name
  • Buy everything off our registry that we didn't receive as gifts but still need
  • Send thank you cards
  • Finish bathroom changing station
  • Schedule blog posts for my maternity leave
  • Create new Life Binder
  • Learn how to use Moby and Ergo and practice swaddling
  • Install the infant adapter on our BOB Revolution stroller
  • Review notes about how to take care of an infant
  • Watch Laugh and Learn about infant care
  • Schedule lactation consultant
  • Visit the chiropractor
  • Make e-mail list for baby announcements
  • Set up auto-reply for e-mail
  • Make sheets for co-sleeper
  • Finish family mission statement
  • Return a duplicate gift we got off our registry
  • Return the baby's rug to Home Depot, since we found it for $100 less on Overstock
  • Make a book for Coconut about the story of his birth (well, get it started)
  • Attend a La Leche League meeting
  • Sync iPhone

I actually feel better seeing the list here rather than in my notebook. I accidentally mixed my "Before the Birth" list with my "To Buy" list in my notebook, so it looks more overwhelming than it actually is. I'm feeling optimistic that I can get a lot of this done this weekend and then go into more of a meditative and relaxing mode in the days leading up to the birth.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DIY: Ottoman Slip Cover

I debated lots of ottoman options for the baby's room. In the end, I chose a cheap, versatile option: I got a $19.99 footstool from IKEA and recovered it with fabric that we already had at our house.

The process could not have been any simpler:
  1. I removed the existing slip cover and carefully took it apart with a seam ripper (those things come in so handy!). I paid close attention to the seam allowances (which was easy to do, since there was a crease in the fabric).
  2. I measured the dimensions of the existing pieces (five pieces of equal size).
  3. I used my rotary cutter and my cutting mat to cut out five matching pieces.
  4. I hemmed the bottom of four pieces and then sewed them together on the sides.
  5. I pinned the top piece in place and sewed it to the other four pieces. This was the hardest part, but it worked fine.

And I was done! I love this option because I can make a new cover if I find another fabric that I absolutely love. For a while there, I was getting way too stressed about the fabrics and the colors of the baby's room. I finally just decided to use fabrics I already had and to make everything pretty easy to change out (like the ottoman and pillow colors).

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Montessori Discovery Basket

I'm so excited about something I read in How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way. They call it a "Basket of Treasures," but I've taken to calling it a "Discovery Basket."

The concept is so simple. Once a baby is able to sit and hold things, you can prepare a basket for them that contains 50-100 real-world objects for them to touch and explore (yes, even by putting the objects in their mouths).

The objects should incorporate a variety of shapes, colors, textures, weight, and smell. It is best to use objects made of natural materials and not plastic. Plastic things tend to feel all the same.

It takes a while to collect the objects in a budget-friendly (i.e., "free") way, so I started this process early. The first thing I added was a pine cone. I used fingernail clippers to snip off the pointy tips. Since then, I've added a wooden spoon we never use, an extra metal measuring cup from my mom's house, a seashell, a rock, bean bags filled with popcorn kernels, a spice jar filled with cinnamon sticks, a nail brush, and a coaster made from glass beads. (Of course you want to ensure that none of the objects are choking hazards, and you will supervise your baby while s/he interacts with the basket.)

I just love the simplicity of this activity/game. So often, you hear parents say that their babies are more interested in the cardboard box than the present inside. We have to remember that a baby's world is completely stimulating. Maria Montessori talks about the "absorbent mind" of 0-3 year-olds; they are taking in everything around them. They already get plenty of stimulation! That's why toys that make lots of noise, have lots of colors, and include lots of buttons/options can actually be over-stimulating. We have to remember that our babies are taking in everything around them, as they teach themselves how to talk and walk during those first three years. We should still provide them with toys during that time, but most often, simpler is better.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Benefits of Prenatal Exercise

Hoss and I getting ready for a walk (known to Hoss as a "sniff, sniff") in my second trimester

I get silly updates from pregnancy sites on a daily basis. I call them silly because they aren't usually all that helpful, but I like to skim them anyway because they occasionally have small nuggets of advice. I received this one recently:

Babies of pregnant exercisers tend to sleep through the night sooner, are less prone to colic, and are better able to soothe themselves. Scientists attribute this to these babies being stimulated by their moms through changes in heart rate and oxygen levels, as well as the sounds and vibrations they experience in the womb during workouts.

It resonated with me because I believe in deep interconnections and causes and effects that may not be overtly obvious. I mean, who would have thought to link prenatal exercise to lessened rates of colic? Throughout my pregnancy, I've tried to make plenty of time for walking and one yoga class a week, but I thought I was doing it to have a healthier pregnancy and birth. I didn't realize there might also be a lasting effect on the baby.

But then again, I'm not surprised. I named this blog "Feeding the Soil" because of the organic farming adage that we should feed the soil, not the plants. If we want to produce healthy results, we have to start deep down at the roots. We have to start with a healthy foundation. We can't just apply short-term fixes to the leaves and expect miracles.

Of course, even as I work hard to prepare a healthy foundation because I believe that "chance favors a prepared mind," I also work to acknowledge the limitations of our control. We can control all the inputs we want, but we still can't control the outputs. I do feel better, however, knowing that there is often a very strong relationship between what we put into life and what we get out of it.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Couple-Hour Quilt

I love quilts, but I don't exactly have the patience to make them in the "proper" way. I don't have a penchant for a lot of tedious, precise measurement and once the quilt top is done, I want the project to be finished (as opposed to just half-way done!).

So I kind of improvise when it comes to quilting. I decided to make a little baby quilt (little = easier and faster!). I sketched out a design on the back of an envelope and decided how big I wanted the squares to be and what size I wanted the final quilt to be. I used my rotary cutter and my cutting mat to make the squares as efficiently as possible. Then I started sewing them into strips. Once I had all the strips completed, I sewed the strips together. Then I simply sewed the top to some fleece material (no batting needed!), turned the whole thing right-side out, and top-stitched the hole closed. Voila!

The project got a little tedious when I was sewing the squares into strips, and I was so, so thankful that I had opted for fairly large squares. In the end, however, I was delighted with the results. I've decided that I want to make lots of little blankets instead of one Special Baby Quilt. The pressure got to be too much for me. I couldn't decide on the right fabrics or the right design. I like the idea of using a variety of blankets and seeing which one "Coconut" is drawn to.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Videos About Birth

I subscribe to the Hypnobirthing idea that the more fear we feel as we enter into labor, the more tense our bodies will be. The more tense our bodies are, the more difficult it is for our uterus to do the work it needs to do to push the baby out.

According to one of the doulas we interviewed several months ago, opening yourself to each contraction is something that you have to commit to over and over again throughout the labor process. You have to relax into the experience, working with your body instead of against it.

One of the strategies I'm using to reduce my level of fear as I head into birth is to watch many videos about birth. Watching other women go through the experience helps me anticipate and prepare for my own experience (although everyone's experience is obviously different in many ways).

I watched these videos a while ago:

Recently, I watched these more obscure videos:
  • Birth as We Know It (sidenote: I found many parts of this video to be utterly bizarre--think pregnant Russian women in bikinis jumping into nearly frozen lakes to shock their systems, while other new mothers sat on the ice breastfeeding their naked newborns--but I still found several parts of it to be very useful).
  • Gentle Birth Choices (the DVD is in the back of the book)
  • Born in Water: A Sacred Journey

I'm definitely feeling more and more prepared with each passing day, although I still feel like I have a lot to do to reach my optimal level of preparedness. Fortunately--for now--I still have the energy to work 9-10 hours at my teaching job and prepare for the birth. I think my daily naps and walks really help. I'm nervous about what's going to happen to that energy level when my childbirth classes start this week, and I find myself sitting in class from 7-9:00 or 9:30 twice a week for the next three weeks!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011


There are several culinary tasks I am simply too intimidated to undertake. For a long time, vegetarian sushi was among those tasks. I thought it would be too time-consuming and difficult. Then I watched a video on someone's blog about how to make sushi and I was sold. I searched dutifully for a bamboo mat but never managed to find one. I finally just went for it, rolling the seaweed on our counter. It worked beautifully! And I realized that sushi is totally user-friendly and that even I could replicate it at home.

I had a similar experience this weekend with crepes. Again, I thought it would be too time-consuming and difficult. I thought it would require specialized equipment. Boy, was I mistaken! Matt and I simply followed this recipe to make the batter and the delicious, thin crepes. We added Swiss cheese to mine (my midwife really wants me to get protein with every meal, especially in the third trimester) and Nutella and banana to Matt's.

Hooray for a delicious Sunday brunch at home!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Parenting Book Recommendations

For Christmas, I received a couple of parenting books that I am so eager to dive into:
  1. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure KidsJustify Full
  2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families
  3. Making a Family Home

I read about a hundred pages of Simplicity Parenting (which I highly recommend!) but I finally had to cajole myself to put it down and instead read about birth. With so little time left before our due date (about a month and one week), I really need to prioritize other things, such as making sure we have everything we need for the baby, getting the car seat installed, finalizing the baby's room, putting the finishing touches on organizing our house, finding a pediatrician and a back-up obstetrician, preparing myself for the birth, resting, enjoying alone time with Matt, getting all the supplies we need for our home birth, getting my classroom ready for my maternity leave, taking care of all the paperwork associated with my maternity leave, get my blogs ready for my maternity leave, etc.

The problem is that I get random recommendations from people and then I immediately put a hold request on them through the Houston Public Library system. Instead, I simply need to jot the title on a centralized list and then read all those books while I'm spending hours upon hours breastfeeding.

So, please recommend away! I've gotten many, many good titles of parenting books from you all, but please leave them in the comments section again so I can be sure to add them to my centralized list.

Thank you!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

IKEA Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party

I'm way overdue on this recap of Matt's birthday party. Initially, he was going to host a Mexican fiesta in our backyard (with a bouncy house and taco truck), but he decided to pull together a last-minute scavenger hunt at IKEA instead.

Since we had already made way too many trips to IKEA to prepare for the baby's arrival, we decided to write the scavenger hunt items without taking yet another tour through the store. Here's what we came up with:

Take a photo of each of the following:

o five people sitting in a one-person chair (5)

o a member holding a stack of fifteen pillows (5)

o your team helping a person load their car (5)

o everyone wearing a different stuffed animal as a hat (5)

o the before and after of your team cleaning up a disheveled display area (5)

o a kid eating an ice cream cone (10)

o everyone on your team wearing fabric as a cape (5)

o a member of your team pretending to go to the bathroom in a bathroom display (10)

o a member being spun in an office chair (5)

o reenact a scene from a common fairy tale w/props (10)

o a member tucked into bed (5)

o team buying a cinnamon roll for someone in need (10)

o three members posing in front of a picture of meatballs erotically (5)

o a member decorated like a Christmas tree (10)

o team cleaning up trash off the displays or ground (5)

o one member riding another member like a horse in front of a red piece of furniture (5)

o three team members sitting in a fort you made (10)

o critiquing artwork in a display room (5)

o a family photo with everyone in the picture (5)

o a re-enactment of a married couple getting ready for bed (5)

o your team collecting errant shopping carts outside (5)

o your team performing a puppet show (10)

o two team members pretending to hunt wearing an animal skin (5)

o using one of the giant photographs on canvas, play with the angle of the photo to make it appear that one of your team members is in the scene (5)

o argue with teammates about where you are in the store in front of one of the maps posted around the store (5)

o use the chalkboards to write an inspirational message (5)

o bonus: spell Matt’s name with non-letter objects (28)

The numbers after each item are different point values.

On the day of the event, almost 30 of us congregated in the restaurant. We broke into teams of 4-5 and then passed out the scavenger hunt forms (which we glued to the back of IKEA maps). We gave everyone 45 minutes to do everything (although, in retrospect, 30 minutes would have been better).

We met back up at the restaurant and crowned the winners with special IKEA buttons.

A good time was had by all!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Letter to "Coconut"

(from November 24, 2010)

Dearest Coconut,

We hit an important milestone this week: we are officially 2/3 of the way to your arrival. Your dad and I could not be more excited. We are busy getting your room ready. These scraps of paper are from the labels on your book baskets. We already enjoy reading to you, but we look forward to the day you'll be able to see the pictures...

Your dad just celebrated his 28th birthday by planning a scavenger hunt at IKEA. Almost 30 of our friends came--so much fun! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Your dad is with his brothers (your uncles) and his parents (your grand-parents). I'm in Houston with my best friend, Andy. Andy and I just found a very beautiful Indian mirror for your room.

You are growing so much and I feel you moving around constantly. I haven't gotten tired of feeling you move and watching my belly shift. I look forward to holding you soon...


Your mom

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Baby Collage

When I came across an amazing list of questions in a Hypnobirthing book, I decided that I needed to look at them on a daily basis for a while. That's when I got the idea to combine the questions with images of babies. One strategy I have for helping myself go into the birthing experience with confidence is to focus on the end product: a lovely baby boy! I want to focus on remembering that all of the sensations my body experiences during the birthing process are related to helping our baby enter into the world. I will try really hard to focus on the idea that the intensity is good because it is bringing us closer to holding our sweet baby boy. I figure the more I look at images of babies, the more excited I'll get. So I put together this collage and stuck it next to the water dispenser on our refrigerator. It takes forever to fill up my 40-ounce water bottle, so I have plenty of time to look at the collage each day!

Here are the questions:
  • How welcome do you feel?
  • How loved do you feel?
  • What kinds of messages are you receiving from things that are said?
  • What are your feelings about the interaction between your parents?
  • What kind of pace do your parents keep? Will there be time purposely created for you?
  • What kind of atmosphere will you come into?
  • How confident are you that you will be raised with love and patience?
  • How calm a world is being prepared for you?
  • How loving are the people you will be living with?
  • What tone of voice will be used by the people around you?
  • Do the people you are going to live with talk in gentle, loving ways?
  • Is each motion that you make received with joy?
  • What kinds of sounds/music/noises do you live with?
  • Is the nourishment that you are receiving conducive to your healthy growth?
  • How wholesome is the air that you are breathing? Will it foster good heath for you?
  • Are your environment and your body smoke free, alcohol free, and drug free?
  • How certain are you that you will be helped and guided toward becoming a loved and loving human being?
  • What kind of assurance do you have that your parents will give you understanding as you learn to adjust to your strange, new world?
  • Are you confident that you will learn by guidance, not punishment?

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review: Simple Sewing for Baby

I'm smitten with one of my new Christmas presents: Simple Sewing for Baby by Lotta Jansdotter. Since we are entering the final stretch of pregnancy (um, a month and a half!), I have to be strategic with my time. I'm also going to have to be really careful not to overdue it, since we have a pretty packed January already. Further, I'm anticipating sleeping difficulties as "Coconut" gets heavier and heavier, so I may need even more time for napping.

I decided to go through the book and make a list of everything I want to make and then number the projects in order from most important (i.e., do first!) to least important.

Here's what I decided on:
  1. Fleece hat
  2. Swaddling "Snuggler"
  3. Pants
  4. Play quilt
  5. Tag blanket
  6. Bloomers
  7. Rattle
  8. Scarf

I vowed not to waste too much time sewing baby clothes, since babies grow at bionic rates and render cute clothing obsolete way too quickly, but I can't resist the temptation entirely. I realized that I can purchase a fat quarter of organic cotton knit from Spoonflower (like this elephant fabric!) for a mere $14. I think baby pants will be a snap to whip up.

In general, I'm not a huge fan of crafting books because I can find so many free patterns and projects on the internet, but I'm excited about this book. I love the simplicity of each project (well, from a cursory glance they seem simple!). I once met a woman at a craft store who said she forces herself to make at least five projects from a craft book before she lets herself buy another one. I wish I had the same resolve!

Come to think of it, I need to integrate these projects into my remaining craft projects and put all of them in a prioritized order:
  1. Cushion for the chair in "Coconut's" room
  2. Pillows for the baby's bed (to be removed when he's actually sleeping on it)
  3. A knit rug to cushion the transition from the baby's Montessori floor bed to the floor
  4. Then I can start all the projects from Lotta's book...

I'm excited!

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