Saturday, October 24, 2020

pen pals

Mae has a pen pal! GranE found a great way to stay in touch since we haven't been able to visit as often as usual. It started several weeks ago when she sent Mae a letter and a huge leaf from their sycamore tree. Since then, they've exchanged several notes, a few leaves, and lots of stickers!
Mae loves when a piece of mail comes just for her! She enjoys hearing about GranE's days at work and at the beach. Writing a letter back is great practice for working on alphabet and spelling, though her notes tend to be on the brief side.
I help her spell some of the words (though I got a very sassy "Mommm I don't need you to spell 'AND'" recently). Then we seal the envelope and walk to the mailbox. Having a pen pal is so fun!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

colin meets colleen

It's hard to know what to write about family visits these days since we don't really do anything other than hanging around the house! Last month, Colleen drove out to meet Colin (and hang out with us). We enjoyed a mostly lazy weekend with lots of time for snuggles.
On Friday we met Colleen at the park after her morning run and then walked to the coffee shop for hot drinks and jelly cookies. On Saturday, Colleen braided Mae's hair. I'm impressed that 1) Colleen was able to braid Mae's short slippery hair, and 2) Mae sat still long enough for braided pigtails!
On Saturday afternoon, we walked to the park for some creek stomping. Even Colin dipped his toes in the water! He was a big fan of squishing his toes into the cool muddy sand.
On Sunday, we walked to the playground. Mae and Colleen kicked a soccer ball around and raced across the field. It was pretty evenly matched. While one has more running training, the other one has almost limitless energy.
Of course, we had to recreate the photo that Colleen has taken of Mae the last 3 years. Aw I love that little 2-year-old Mae photo so much!
Even though we didn't have any grand plans for the weekend, we still we wore ourselves out! Colleen and Colin got one more evening snuggle in before she had to drive home on Monday. Thanks for a fun visit, Aunt Colleen!

matchy matchy

Do you like my new profile photo?? My old photo featured two-year-old Mae and I (in matching shirts) and no Colin, so it was in desperate need of an update! Now all three of us are matchy-matchy in our new clothes!
First up, a Lane Raglan Hoodie for me. I finished sewing this right before Colin was born. I had two goals with this project: 1) make a comfy, lightweight hoodie for fall, and 2) support a local (woman-owned and Black-owned) fabric/yarn store, Make.Do. I was devastated when I found out the store was closing last year, thrilled when I found out it was reopening under new ownership, and worried when everything had to shut down because of the pandemic. I really like this little shop and I want to see it thrive! During the pandemic shutdown, they started an online shop and now do curbside pickup and shipping for online orders, so I ordered 3 yards of this Art Gallery sleek stripes jersey in Mediterraneo.

I used about 2 yards to make the hoodie. I've sewn this pattern once before for my lemon-print raglan shirt, but I made the hooded version with hem band and thumb-hole cuffs this time. I also sized up to a medium to give this piece a slightly more relaxed fit. (Yes, this meant I had to cut ALL of my pattern pieces again. Note to self: ALWAYS trace pattern pieces from the taped PDF pattern instead of cutting it up. This saves a lot of time if you want to make a different view or size. Fortunately I was smart enough to do that this/last time!) I added a hood lining (there are lots of online tutorials for how to do this) with some gray Kaufman Laguna jersey leftover from my first Julia cardigan. The only other modification I made was to remove 1.5" from the sleeves before adding the cuffs. Next time I might cut the hem band a bit wider.

I completed almost all the sewing (everything but the sleeve cuffs) in one day. I debated doing regular cuffs, since the thumb-hole cuff instructions add 20(!!) extra steps that looked very confusing. But they came together easily and quickly, and they add a fun detail to the shirt. Worth the extra effort!

Since I had some leftover fabric, I made a Be Rad Hoodie for Mae. I used this pattern previously to make her Pua costume. I cut a 4T size but in the 5T length. I even added an extra inch to the sleeves, and they're only juuuust long enough.
Lastly, I made a long-sleeved onesie for Colin with a pattern from Mama Can Do It. It had all the features I was looking for: overlap-style neck to fit over giant baby noggin, reinforced snap closure, and sleeve length options. It even comes with a cloth diaper option, which is just a bit longer in the body. I actually made the cloth diaper version since a longer body means he won't outgrow it as fast! I used KAM snaps (originally purchased for Mae's bumblebee costume) for the closure. Best of all: this pattern is free for the 3-6 month size, which was a great way to try it out before I buy it.

So glad to finally have a profile photo with both kiddos!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

colin meets cousins

Can you believe we haven't traveled anywhere in 7 months? We discussed a trip to Mammoth Cave in early March but I was hesitant to be far from home (and deep underground) while pregnant. Since then, traveling has seemed both risky and logistically challenging. Except for the 2 nights Dan and I spent at the hospital for Colin's birth, we haven't been away from home. While she takes it in stride, I feel bad that Mae has been isolated from friends and family so much. We finally decided to take a short visit to my parents' house, so Mae could play with her cousins and they could meet Colin!
We spent the first few days hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa. We went for walks around the neighborhood and on a nearby trail. We went to the city center a couple times for a little change of scenery and window shopping.
Unfortunately, a week before our visit, Christopher and Emily found out they'd been exposed to COVID. They were careful to quarantine for two weeks, and fortunately none of them got sick and they tested negative. Since one of our main reasons for traveling was to see them, we decided to extend our visit by a few days. They were able to finish their quarantine, and we had some fun playdates!
Auntie Em and Uncle Christopher got some great snuggles and smiles meeting Colin for the first time.
Oliver and Archie were very excited to meet him also. He loved being serenaded by them as they sang the alphabet song! They were so gentle and sweet when they held him.
The kids (and adults) had a great time making s'mores. I bet Mae could polish off a whole back of marshmallows on her own!
We also went to the pond in Christopher and Emily's neighborhood to try out Mae's new fishing pole that Grandma and Grandpa gave her. Uncle Christopher and Oliver fished with hooks while Mae practiced casting with a little weighted fish. The kids also had fun decorating the nearby cement culverts with sidewalk chalk.
I'm so glad we had this little chance to get away from the house for a bit. We had so much fun visiting Grandma and Grandpa, having playdates, and introducing Colin to his aunt, uncle, and cousins!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

three months of colin

Happy three months, little guy!
Colin continues to be the happiest, smiliest baby. He is bursting with new sounds: coos, burbles, yelps, raspberries, and even the occasional laugh. While we eat dinner, Colin lays on his pillow next to the table and screeches along with our conversation. He especially loves when I loudly smooch his little fists and cheeks; that's when I get the most giggles!
He is getting more and more active and loves kicking his feet so it looks like he's running. He even seems to like tummy time (especially if he gets to watch "The Magic School Bus" with Mae during it.) He has grabbed his feet a few times (trying to figure out what socks are), but he hasn't pulled them to his mouth yet. Everything else he can get his hands on goes in his mouth, especially his burp cloths and the neck of his shirts.
He has rolled both ways, with a bit of an assist from the terrain. He rolled front to back on an uneven couch cushion that was slightly tilted in his favor, and he rolled back to front on the edge of the rug. Juuuust enough help to get him over that shoulder! He's moving around a lot, so I expect he'll be rolling like a champ soon. He also likes to scoot around his play mat by pushing with his feet while he's laying on his back, and we frequently find him in a completely different orientation in his pack n play when he wakes up in the morning.
Colin is sleeping through the night from about 10 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. when Dan feeds him before heading up to our office to start work. He's not on much of a daytime schedule, but he takes several naps during the day and usually a long one in the afternoon (Colin, not Dan). I think he wakes up at night but sooths himself back to sleep sucking his thumb. I'm not looking forward to trying to break his thumb-sucking habit in the future, but it is certainly convenient at 3 a.m.!
This month we had a visit from Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Kelsey. We also made the short trek to their house for a week to get away for a while since vacations aren't really possible at the moment. I have lots of photos from that trip to share soon!
Love you tons, little three-month-old!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

two months of colin

Here he is... two months old already!

This little boy is just the picture of contentment! He loves relaxing on his lounge pillow, napping in the swing, getting his hair washed, and throwing wild punches at the dangling toys in his baby gym. He loves wearing his wrist and foot rattles, and frequently naps in them after nodding off in the middle of playtime. He's calm, observant, and quiet most of the time, but he's a bit stingy with the smiles. However, he always has the biggest smiles and gets so chatty as soon as he's placed on the changing table! He loves to communicate with a mix of "oohs," "ahhs," and "englehs."

We've settled into a good naptime/bedtime routine. Colin has his last bottle around 10 p.m. (he's fully weaned to formula now), and wakes up once at night. He keeps us a bit on our toes since his overnight feed happens anywhere between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Dan started working (from home) after six weeks off, so it's been great that Colin has only one feed at night and usually takes a long afternoon nap which coincides with Mae's "quiet time." Colin gets better at finding his thumb every day, so he's able to settle himself back to sleep if he wakes up at night. Sometimes we wake up and find him wide awake and happily watching the ceiling fan.

This month Colin had his first real bath, and it was love at first splash. He's also made lots of progress lifting his head during tummy time! Tummy time is much more successful when I lay him on my chest so he can lift his head to look at my face. If I put him on his mat, he usually finds his thumb and puts himself to sleep.

Mae continues to be a fabulous big sister. She loves "conversing" with Colin, where she talks and we respond as Colin with a silly voice. She refuses to carry on the conversation if we respond in a normal voice and says, "No, I was talking to Colin!" He loves getting attention from her, and reserves many of his somewhat rare smiles for her!

Happy two months, little guy! We are excited to see what month three brings!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

meet the family

With some careful planning and isolation, both sets of grandparents have now had a chance to meet Colin!

Mom, Dad, and Kevin came for a visit when Colin was 2 weeks old. They even came bearing a (very large!) gift: a hand-me-down playset tower for the backyard from Christopher and Emily. Mae was pretty excited when they pulled up in front of our house towing a U-Haul! When he wasn't helping set up the tower and slide, Dad got lots of snuggle time with Colin.

Kelsey was working the day Mom, Dad, and Kevin visited, so they all came back for a visit the following weekend. Kelsey even got to feed Colin a bottle! So cozy.

GranE and Batman came for a weekend visit when Colin was 6 weeks old. Colin is a little more awake and alert each week, so they got to see his playful, contented personality while also enjoying his long, snuggly naps.

Mae was THRILLED to have some company. Isolation is getting pretty tough for this very social kid. She moved a mile a minute all weekend and was so happy to have GranE and Batman as playmates. She spent hours coloring with GranE outside in the backyard and doing puzzles in the play room with Batman!

Since Mae went into GranE and Batman's room each day when she woke up, Dan and I enjoyed a few minutes of quiet in the morning. Can't say the same for Batman!