Monday, July 13, 2020

big sister

Mom kept Mae entertained during the week leading up to my due date. They filled the days with picnics, puzzles, and trips to the park while Dan and I were still working from home. We've been letting Mae go to playgrounds, as long as they aren't crowded and she sanitizes/washes her hands right afterwards. Mae was so happy to have some undivided attention from Grandma after weeks of being trapped at home with two working parents!

Mae and I compared our baby bumps. Shortly after this was taken, Mae birthed a small balloon. I think this is the last photo of my bump before I went into labor!

On the day Colin was born, Mae got to celebrate becoming a big sister! We gave her a doll carrier for her Bitty Baby and a very cute "Big Sister" shirt made by Stacey (check out her etsy shop here). She also helped Grandma make some chocolate cupcakes and a big poster to welcome us home!

We missed her SO MUCH while we were in the hospital. We were so happy to come home to her big smile, and she immediately declared Colin "soo cute!" She already loves reading to him, especially her "I'm a Big Sister" book!

Friday, July 3, 2020

he's here!

Colin Matthew was born at 1:11 pm on his due date, Friday, June 26th! (He’s the first person in our family to arrive on time for anything.) He weighed 8 lbs and measured 20 inches long.

My labor started around 1 am Friday morning. I woke Dan at 3 am and we left for the hospital. Fortunately, my mom has been staying with us since the previous Friday (after a 2 week quarantine at home), so we didn’t have to wake Mae or call neighbors before leaving for the hospital. I was 6 cm dilated upon arrival to the hospital and in a decent amount of pain, so they quickly hooked up my IV and prepped me for an epidural. I had more anxiety about the epidural procedure than any other part of labor since my last experience was so traumatic. I sobbed through the whole thing, but it was uneventful and, more importantly, it worked!

Overnight, I rested while watching “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and had my COVID test. They warned me it would be “uncomfortable” but I was expecting it to be more “swabby” and not nearly so “poky.” It felt like they were jabbing a coffee stir stick into my brain. Not fun. At least it was negative so I didn’t end up in isolation.

The doctor broke my water around 8:30 am. I felt so lucky that the doctor on call all weekend was the same doctor who had held my hand through the very stressful beginning of this pregnancy. While this is my second live birth, it’s my fifth pregnancy and was preceded by two back-to-back miscarriages. This doctor was so reassuring and helpful throughout the whole pregnancy, birth, and hospital stay.

I only pushed for about 10 minutes and thankfully avoided an “operative” delivery with forceps like last time. Colin was born healthy and screaming like a champ!

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days and took full advantage of the nursery to get some sleep overnight. We came home to a VERY excited big sister. Mae was hyper-ventillating with excitement to meet her baby brother (and to show us how well she had cleaned up the playroom.) Adjusting to life with a newborn and a toddler has been a lot easier with my mom helping out, but we are slowly working into a routine!

P.S. I'm going to need to work a little harder to come up with blog title puns for the name Colin than I did for Mae!

P.P.S. If I can birth an 8 lb baby while wearing a mask, you can wear one to the grocery store.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

plaid flannel cheyenne tunic

Well, my nursery is finished but my "nesting" instinct hasn't evaporated yet. I'm channeling my creative energy into some last-minute home projects (just bought a new rug for the living room), but I've mostly been sewing in my free time. Since my summer will probably be spent in stretchy shorts and loose t-shirts, I've made a couple items for fall. I hope I'm up to the challenge of wearing real clothes by then.

First up is this Cheyenne Tunic in plaid flannel. A couple years ago, I made a chambray version of view B, a popover style with 3/4 sleeves, but I decided to try out the button-down (button-up?) view A this time. I was a bit intimidated by the idea of sewing a collar and collar stand, but it came together pretty easily.

I love the suggestion to cut the button plackets, pockets, and outer yoke on the bias. It adds a fun detail to have the plaid on the diagonal and gives an added bonus of not having to perfectly match plaids on all the seams. I also cut the collar stand facing on the bias for a little fun detail inside the shirt.

The fabric is a green plaid flannel from I don't think it's possible for a yarn-dyed fabric to be "off grain," but this was certainly a bit distorted, probably from when I washed it. I kept having to adjust the fabric while cutting so that the pattern pieces would line up square to the plaid. Even though my cut pieces looked a little distorted, it was easy to keep everything lined up while sewing using the plaid as my guide. I'm glad I took my time when cutting. (Also, I did not realize how perfectly I pattern-matched one of the sleeve plackets until I was looking at these photos. I assure you that was entirely unintentional.)

After sewing the French seams on the sides, I was worried that the shirt might be a bit too snug across the bust. It was measuring smaller than the finished garment size on the pattern, so I was probably a little too generous on my side seam allowances. I took out the side seams and sewed/serged them instead, which added a little extra room. It at least fits my dress form nicely now! (Not sure why I'm particularly concerned about being able to button this shirt, since I often wear flannel shirts unbuttoned over a t-shirt anyways.)

The buttons are standard black shirt buttons from JoAnn. My only trips from the house the last couple weeks have been to the doctor's office for check-ups and to JoAnn for buttons and thread. Dan said he's seen less and less people wearing masks at the grocery store, but JoAnn customers still seems pretty dedicated to mask-wearing. I bet they're all secretly thinking, "I spent HOURS sewing these darn things and by gosh I'm going to WEAR THEM." I'm hoping to get as much wear out of this shirt in the fall as I am currently getting out of the mask Mom made me!