Thursday, September 30, 2010

Exploration and Twin List Thursday

I so love watching my little ones explore their world. J has a newly acquired/pilfered box and is placing all sorts of combinations of toys inside it. When he gets one that fits, he closes the top and shakes this way and that, listening to the sounds it makes. C and O are sitting close by watching him with fascination as they usually do. After he has shaken the box, he opens the lid and dumps the toys out onto the floor and tries a new combination. That is where C and O move in. Each picks up a toy, turns it this way, holds it up that way, puts it in their mouth, bangs it on the floor and then switches hands to repeat the whole process again. As I look at my floor, which is VERY covered in toys at this point, I can't help but smile and remember that sometimes you have to make a mess to learn something new.

Of course this spontaneous moment ends as suddenly as it starts when J decides he no longer wants to share his toys and runs around yelling, "no, no, no". Snap back to reality, time to clean up.

Twin List Thursday time:

#8 just because you get things done yesterday doesn't mean that you will get them done today-accept that!
#9 find a hobby that you can do while sitting or lying on the floor next to them (only works until they can move around and start grabbing things, then find something that you can quickly pick up and move if necessary)
#10 Breath!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Calming Effects of Cheerios and Knitting

     I had hopes of showing off two finished quilts today but that just isn't going to happen. The kids were great and patient for me last week for the Kids Clothes Challenge, but this week they seem to have decided that enough is enough. C would just scream this eardrum-piercing scream and I kept finding O under the table and J was just plain whiny. So after many, many times of pacifying, removing and well, I don't really know what to do about a whiny boy, I turned off the machine, plunked myself down on the floor and started passing out Cheerios.
     Now, I'm not saying that Cheerios solved everything or that the real reason my kids were crabby is because they were hungry, but there is just something about Cheerios that calms kids. And there is something about my kids eating Cheerios that calms me.
     After a hardy dose of Cheerios and some milk, I was successfully able to get all three (yeah!) down for a nap. I had every intention of using their nap time to iron binding and pin quilts, but I took one look at it all and decided that I too had had enough (for a while). I picked up my knitting, refreshed myself of the pattern and began to further calm myself stitch by stitch, row by row.
     Knitting and Cheerios, a newfound way to cope with 3 under 3.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sewing, sewing, sewing and a little Knitting

Well, I've definitely been bitten again by the sewing-bug (not at all related to a bed bug). Seeing all those pretty little Mama-made dresses hanging in the closet has made me want to sew more and more and more! Whoa!
I've set the dresses aside (for a minute or two) because there is something more urgent that needs to be sewn. Two friends from my former work are having a baby shower tomorrow. I debated between clothes or quilts. Handmade clothes for babies, while sweet, only last for a few months at most, but quilts can be used for years. So quilts it is.
Since I have VERY limited sewing time (and supplies) I decided to make charm pack quilts. No pattern, just 4 charms per block, 9 blocks total with some sashing in between each. Simple, but cute.
The fabric is Animal Alphabet by Moda. Just blocks so far.

The fabric is Sent With Love by Moda. Almost finished.

I've also started a new knitting project. These so far are very easy to knit, I say so far because I've only knit 6 rows. I plan on knitting a few of these to go with the sleeveless dresses I made for C last week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kids Clothes Challenge Week-Sunday

     Well, I made it! I finished 6 dresses, not exactly what I had originally planned, but that's okay. I still have plenty of time to make clothes for the boys.
     Here is the last dress:

The picture doesn't do it justice at all, I just couldn't get the lighting right. The fabric is leftover from a quilt my Mom made for my niece. I used the same "pattern" as yesterdays. I think that will become my "go-to dress" pattern.
So now that the week is done, am I going to stop making dresses? Of course not! I will just take a little more time with each one, add some special Mama-love and definitely make something for the boys!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kids Clothes Challenge Week-Saturday

     Oh me, oh my! That is what I muttered a lot while working on this dress (not what I would have liked to have muttered, but the kids were present and I'm trying to be good). So this dress is one that I've been envisioning in my mind for quite some time. The design is based on a photo that I saw in a magazine. My WONDERFUL mom gave me a Flirtations jelly roll by Moda last summer and I immediately knew that it would become a dress for C.
     Yesterday I started out with a plan. I would sew the strips together, use bias tape for the hem and create a simple bodice with straps and a button closure. Well my plan didn't work out as easily as I thought it would. I was able to get the strips sewn together, but when I laid the accent fabric next to it, I was not happy. I searched and searched my stash to find a more suitable fabric, but could not. I was frustrated and ready to just put it aside and start something new.
     About this time O woke from his nap crying so I went down to him. He fell asleep in my arms and something just started to feel right. While I laid down with him and listened to him and C breathing and sighing sweet baby sighs, my frustration vanished. I decided to stop sewing for the day.
     Today, refreshed, I broke down and bought some fabric that DID make me happy. I measured, cut, compared, measured again, cut again, started sewing, ran out of thread, rethread, broke thread, broke thread again, lost correct sewing foot, found sewing foot, etc., etc. until it finally all came together. Whew! What a crazy 2 days that was, but I think it was worth it, don't you?

     It's fitting under the arms and then nicely flares out to show off that cute toddler belly. It is not at all restrictive, as my test subject readily proved. The gather is a little off as is the sewing of the hem, but overall I think it was a success.

Yikes, maybe I should clear off my table before taking pictures!

Friday, September 24, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Another Cool Giveaway

Check out this cool giveaway over at Prudent Baby. I would so love to win one of these! Think of all the silhouette-inspired fun that I could have! It even does temporary tattoos! Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kids Clothes Challenge Week-Thursday

I made another Snap Wrap Dress today. I added a coordinating piece of bias tape on the bottom to hem it, rather than the usual fold-iron-fold-iron-stitch hem (I'm sure it has an actual name, but oh well). I'm really, really liking this pattern and will probably make a few more like it. I'm seeing a ribbon trim, maybe some cute applique, a double layer skirt....oooooo, I don't think I'll get to making any clothes for the boys. I also really like that it only takes one yard of fabric to make and there is enough left over for a coordinating headband (if I were into headbands, well maybe...).

BTW, Twin List Thursday will continue next week. I don't want to spoil all this fabric-goodness vibe going on this week with a sadish (is that a word?) jaunt down memory lane.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall

I love when the trees are in transition. 

Kids Clothes Challenge Week-Wednesday

I call this the Eric Carle Dress. I played around with my limited sewing skills and put this dress together. I still have to make the button holes on the straps and sew on the buttons. There is also a button loop on the left side to make putting on easier. I think it turned out pretty well, considering that I was working without a pattern and measuring it against my 2 year old son (J is such a good sport and I have resisted the urge to take any pictures of him with these dresses on.)

I also put the elastic on yesterday's dress and fiddled with the shoulder. I'm happy with it now. Also the picture looks a LOT nicer than the one yesterday.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids Clothes Challenge Week-Tuesday

Not happy with how this dress turned out. The picture is bad, too. It's a light blue print with hearts and the trim is actually purple, not pink. It's also not that boxy looking.The pattern is from here. I had to make it smaller because it just seemed too big for a 2T. (Yes, I tried it out on J, but I made sure he knew it was for C.) Well, I'll mess around with it a little more another day and maybe I can get it to look cuter.
But, on the plus side, it was the first time that I used bias tape to edge an armhole. I think that part turned out pretty well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids Clothes Challenge Week-Monday

Today I made C the Snap Wrap Dress from the Prudent Baby website. I think it turned out pretty well. It did take longer than an hour to make, because the straps were a pain to turn (they took almost an hour themselves). I do like this pattern and will definitely make another one. I'm seeing all sorts of possibilities for personalizing it!
I sewed in the morning after all the kids were awake, changed, and fed. I had to stop several times to remove O from under the table, help C get out of the weird places that she rolls into and tell J to stop playing with the sewing machine (he was pushing the reverse switch while I was sewing). Overall though it was a successful sewing day. Let's hope for tomorrow to be the same.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kids Clothes Challenge Week-prep

Well I've been busy preparing for next week's Kids Clothes Challenge. I've been picking out patterns and fabic, cutting fabric and clearing my work space (kitchen table) so that tomorrow will go smoothly. So far I'm planning jammies for the boys and a couple of dresses for C. Fingers crossed that I actually will get an hour a day for sewing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fabulous Yarn Giveaway

If you love yarn, check out this giveaway! I am soooo loving all this handspun yarn!

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Twin List Thursday

C, just hours after birth.
The twins came 5 1/2 weeks early, which is not unusual for twins. I had had an appointment the day before with an OB who wasn't my usual OB and he had said that things were looking great and he didn't see why I wouldn't be able to make it to my scheduled c-section. Boy was he wrong! The following midnight my water broke and within 2 hours I was in full-blown labor (and very unhappy about it since I was going to have a c-section). At 3:27 and 3:28 AM, respectively, C and O were born. I was told that I'd be shown the babies briefly before they were rushed off to the NICU, however I only caught a side glimpse of C and only saw the top of O's head. It wouldn't be until another couple of hours before I'd get to even hold either of them. In the recovery room, I had no idea how they were doing. The spinal for the surgery was causing me to shake uncontrollably and my overactive imagination was getting the best of me. I wanted so badly to see them, to touch them, it's indescribable. But I was stuck there in that bed, shaking and paralyzed from the waist down and feeling incredibly guilty.

Okay, so here is the continuation of Twin List Thursday.

#4 Getting them all to sleep at the same time is a rare gift-use it wisely

#5 If you must cry, don't do it in front of the children-it'll only make them start up again

#6 Changing clothes is a luxury-for you, for them and that's okay, as long as no one stinks (now, I make it a point to change everyone's clothes daily).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Knotty Jumper & Kids Clothes Challenge Week

I also would LOVE to make C this dress. I've been wanting to make her a dress out of some jelly rolls that I have, but wasn't sure how to go about it. Now I have a pattern, it was just what I was envisioning, except maybe a little longer. Don't you just love the name, too?
Did you notice the Button off to the right? Yep, there is another Kids Clothes Challenge Week coming up (next week!!!) and I am scouting out patterns. I'll keep you updated on my progress (or lack of progress) here. My goal is at least one item for each child.

Stuff I've Been Making

There hasn't been too crafting around here, but I have managed to sneak in a little time.

Rolled fabric roses

Knit roses

No, not a cat-eating monster, these will become hair ties

A quilt for C

I have lots more that I want to do, but with 3 under 3 it is hard to find time. It's okay, these little projects keep me going.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Snap Wrap Dress

I am so loving this dress! I think I'll be making C many, many of these. The design allows for so many personal touches. Expect to see pictures of my creations soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quick Fix

Do you have one of these? They are great when your baby/ies aren't mobile. However, when they are rolling and crawling you really no longer need them. So what do you do? Sell it on craigslist for $5, donate to Goodwill? Why not turn it into something that you DO NEED now that your little one/s are on the move?

Here is my Quick Fix for baby-proofing a sharp corner:

We have a wooden futon with rather pointed edges that are just the perfect height for our babies to bang their sweet heads into.

To make a bumper of sorts, remove the padded arches from the play yard. Keeping them hooked together, tie them along the front of the futon frame. Tie knots at even intervals and tuck the ends to the back. If you are lucky, you will have a handy two-year-old helping you with this.

Carefully bend the padding around the corner without breaking it. Tie tightly on either side of the corner so it doesn't slip out of place.

And there you have it, quick baby fix. It's not pretty to look at, but it is a lot prettier than a screaming baby with a big goose egg on his head. When your children are done with their head bonking stage (are they ever, really?) you can easily remove the padding and return your furniture to its former adult state.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Homemade Pancake Mix

Lately I've been rethinking food with preservatives in it. We've already cut out artificial sweeteners from our diet and now we are slowly reducing the amount of preservatives we consume. Through online research I've found that some of the store-boughten foods that we regularly eat, I can easily make at home. Here is a recipe for homemade pancake mix, preservative-free.

Homemade Pancake Mix

7 cups white flour
2 cups wheat flour
1 cup ground flax
2 1/2 cups instant non-fat dry milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Mix all ingredients very well and store in an air-tight container. To make pancakes mix together 2 cups mix, 2 cups water, 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of oil (3 if you are making waffles).


Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday-this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

A blog tradition started by Soulemama.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Twin List Thursday

Not long after having my twins, I went through some rather difficult times. Some of it was lack of sleep, some of it was hormones and some of it was from dealing with the ups and downs of having preemies in the NICU. I shut down for awhile and didn't want to admit that I was having problems. It all kinda came out during a visit to my OB.
As a way to deal with my emotions, I began writing. It started to form itself into a list which I later titled: Things I've Learned About Twins So Far-or Survival Skills for Parenting Twins-or Advice To Myself. As you can tell by the title I was a little wishy-washy still.
So, for reasons I'm still not sure of, I've decided to share this list with you, a few entries at a time. And since I decided to do this today and today is Thursday, I'm going to make Thursdays "Twin List Thursday" on this blog.
Some of it is funny, some stupid, some sad, but all of it is an honest reflection of how I was feeling at the time. I do not do this for sympathy, I do this as a way of helping myself and reminding myself of what I was going through not too long ago and exactly how far I have come. So here goes:

#1 Get over yourself-read all the books you want, talk to everyone you want, you'll never really be prepared.

#2 No, it is not "just like raising one-only double"

#3 Crying is okay- for them-for you.

Okay, that's all for today. Tomorrow I'll write something a little more uplifting.

I know I wasn't going to post any pictures of my kids, but they are only a few days old here and most newborns look alike anyways.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


A friend, who also recently had a baby, said to me the other day that when things are crazy at her home she just reminds herself that it could be worse, she could have had twins like me. I told her well I always remind myself that I could have had triplets.

From Sid the Science Kid, a show on PBS:
     What's louder than one baby crying?
     I don't know, what is louder than one baby crying?
     Two babies crying. What is louder than two babies crying?
     Three babies crying?
     No, three elephants crying!

There are many days when things are really crazy and hectic and it seems like the crying never stops and I have to remind myself to stop and change my perspective of the situation. And know that it could be worse, I could have had three elephants.

Old Children's Books

I love finding old books. At the school I used to work at, I was able to find several really amazing old books.

Like these:

The Cowboy Sam series by Edna Walker Chandler.
These date back to the mid 60's. I love the pictures. If any of my kids decide they are into cowboys, I am going to try to embroider some of these images on a quilt.

This book by far is my favorite:
Millions of Cats by Wanda Ga`g, dated 1928. The pictures are beautiful. They look like wood block prints. The coolest part is the story line. It's about an old couple that want a cat so the husband goes off to the land of cats to get one. When he gets there he can't just pick one cat, so he brings them all home. When he gets home the cats all start to fight and him and his wife hide in their house listening to them fight all night. In the morning there are no more cats to be seen, they have all killed and eaten each other. Then the couple hears a small sound coming from a bush and discover one tiny kitten has survived. They keep the kitten and live happily ever after. Now they don't make stories like that for kids anymore.

Check out the font they use. It almost looks hand written.

Even the inside cover is beautiful! The book has definitely seen better days, it was in an elementary school, so it's probably not worth anything. I just love it!

After talking with my mom, I decided to do a little research. This book is a 1929 Newberry Award Winner. Check out this link.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Hi, this is my first blog posting. Not sure what I hope to accomplish with this page or who is going to read it. About me: I am a 30 something stay at home mama to 3 wonderful kids: 2 year-old J, and 7 month old twins C and O. I am not going to post their names or pictures because I have read about crazies who like to steal pictures of other people's kids. I like knitting, sewing, quilting and being a mom. I live in the great state of Alaska. On this blog, I hope to include pics of my creations, rants and raves about being a SAHM, as well as survival skills on raising twins (trust me, I am no expert there). I can't promise that I will post every day, but I will try. So, leave comments, because I'd love to hear from you!