#microblogmondays – ice skating

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Microblog_Mondays

Last night we went to Manhattan. While we were getting bundled in to outerwear Rob asked me how much we were going to regret this (post light dinner and they did nap, but still an evening trip). I said probably a lot. But that’s how memories are made.
We went to Bryant Park, where the Market is in full swing and the free ice skating! I took Simon a couple of weeks ago for his first time on skates. This time he got to wear his new skates for the first time. He fell a lot, but I think 60% of that was because he wanted to lick the ice off his hands. He did really well. The video doesn’t do him justice. I’m so glad we went and had fun and didn’t let the fear of a melt-down keep us home. Also, it’s a HUGE workout to skate while holding someone up.

PS – We also bought a case of chocolate to include in Christmas presents.


#microblogmondays – rite of passage

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IMG_2780We never through it would be Caleb who gave us this one. I always assumed Simon would fall or jump off of something a little to high. I’ve been saying for almost 2 years it’s a matter of “when not if” we head to the Emergency Room. But I really thought it would be from a playground accident.

I heard a cry in the middle of the night. Then a different sound. At first I thought Simon was up and talking. But it was Caleb with a deep barking cough between crys and labored breathing. I fed him and realized how hot he felt. There was a fever. It was a few minutes while we debated calling the off-hours doctor or just taking him in first thing this morning. The doctor on call heard the cough over the phone and said get thee to the emergency room for a dose of steroid that baby has croup. Dr. N asked our nearest hospital, I named two, and he told us where to go. Rob called for a car. It was cold and raining.IMG_2775

We made it to the ER, it was quiet, nothing like on TV. This hospital has a pediatric waiting room, triage, and treatment area (do all hospitals have this?) We were seen quickly. Caleb never did cough in front of a nurse or doctor. His fever was down, we got our steroid and took a cab home. I heard the cough at 3:30, we were home at 6:20. As a parental milestone, it was smooth sailing and everyone is FINE. Next time it will probably be the scary one.


Caleb – months 8 & 9

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Wow! nine months. On the outside longer than inside, which is truly spectacular to me. This month brought one major change which is mobility! The last monthly update was September 16 and on September 18 we went to the Child Lab for Caleb’s first day in the movement study which is crawling and later walking down paths and through tunnels. That was the first week he was able to army crawl across a room multiple times without complete exhaustion. And that day was pretty exhausting. Over the past two months the army crawl has been perfected. Over the last couple of weeks there has been some rocking on hands and knees and maybe a couple of real crawls, but then a drop to belly for speed. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he skips true crawling altogether. As of two weeks ago pulling up to stand has been a key feature. And last week I found him sitting up in bed crying in the middle of the night as he’s figuring out how to go from prone to sitting in his sleep and can’t quite figure it out while awake. There is no cruising yet and any steps taken while holding my hands are pretty forced (by me) and uncertain. I’m in no rush for walking though – except that it will make the playground much easier.

These last two months have brought out a love for the playground and the swings. We’ve done a few slides, and are finding that he doesn’t like the roughhousing and being thrown around nearly as much as Simon did. Maybe a more timid child? Babbling is all the time and the laughter melts my heart.

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Caleb loves to eat and having a child who will eat a whole banana in one sitting blows my mind continuously. Simon still won’t eat a whole banana at one time. He’ll eat pretty much anything and likes both veggies and fruits. Caleb also shows a preference for whole foods over purees. There is a constant discussion with daycare that I don’t care how much he eats (they only do jarred food before 12 months) or if he eats at all as long as he takes his 10 oz of pumped milk. Despite eating all the food he’s a skinny squirt and about a pound smaller than Simon at the same age. So the calories from the pumped milk are important. I was sending 12 oz to daycare, but now I’m starting to freeze the extra 2 oz so I can maybe stop pumping a few weeks before 12 months. We are nursing 4-6 times a day. And unfortunately a lot overnight over the last month. I don’t know how long we’ll go past a year. I want to go until two, but also not…

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Sleep was awesome before all the crawling starting. Now we are up at least two times a night and usually 3-5. About once a week I see Every. Single. Hour. over night. I’m blaming the motor stuff and hoping that maybe it’s also teeth as we have none yet. It’s not awful (ok it is awful, but I’m trying for optimism) but I look forward to eating and waking during the day and sleeping at night. A lot.

The other big happening, and it’s related to mobility, is that Caleb is not full on into Simon’s things. Because of course big brother is the most amazing thing and I need whatever he is doing right now. Simon does not thing this is so awesome. The behavior problems that didn’t really happen last winter are showing up now as I predicted. We are working on sharing and distracting and “I don’t care what he just did YOU DO NOT hit/bite/kick/sit on your brother!” But there are glimpses of brotherly love and the hint that they will play well together some of the time someday soonish.

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We are in the awesome stretch of baby to toddler-dom. I think I might be crazy for planning on a Christmas tree.

___

Stats:

15 pounds 15 ounces, 27 inches tall

6-12 month or 9 month clothes, size 2 diapers when in disposables

 


DIY Babywearing Coat – tutorial

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IMG_2748I’m really glad I decided to make this. A perfect babywearing winter option that I find stylish and WARM! After wearing the coat out all day it’s much warmer than I expected it to be.

Sewing has long been a hobby. I’ve mostly made quilts, but with my recent making of CLOTHES for Halloween, I’m finally maybe ready to admit that I am more than a novice. With winter coming there has been a lot of chatter about winter babywearing options. Simon’s first winter was pretty mild, but we would put him in a full-body pea coat in the Ergo over our coats. If it was really cold I’d wear fleece jacket backward. His second and third winter he was walking well enough that we always used the snowsuit and wore him over our coats for daycare runs.

I thought about buying a zip in or clip in coat panel for front carrying this year. I also really liked the idea of the Kow.ali carrier. I bought some fleece and made my own. It’s not perfect and I need to add pockets, but I like how it turned out. Since I do more back carries with Caleb and don’t want to carry over my coat I first thought I’d just switch to front carries for the winter. There are baby wearing coats but I don’t love the look of most of them, and didn’t really want to spend the money. I’ve seen some DIY options, but it wasn’t until last week when someone mentioned a wool coat option that I decided to jump. Old Navy had outerwear 50% last week, so I bought a hip length coat for $30. I had fleece scraps from the Kowali style vest that worked for the inserts.

I found this tutorial and this one that outlined the basic procedure. I first put Caleb on my back to determine about where his head and bum hit on me. Then I put on the coat to find those approximate spots. A medium coat fit me exactly, so I went up a size and bought a large. I think either would have worked.

I used a paint pen to mark the coat where I would cut. I made the top about 5 inches down from the neck line and made the length of the cut 23 cm. This was easy because the seam down the back of the coat was 1 cm, so I used that as a guide as I marked down the coat. I made my cut to just above the pleat in the back.

Because the lining would become detached I pinned the coat to the lining both on the coat and the panel well inside the seam allowance (about and inch) then sewed a zig zag stitch along the inside and the outside of my paint pen. Then I cut out the three sides of the panel. The waist belt was a bit tricky to stitch over, but ultimately not a problem.

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zig zag stitch attaching coat and lining

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zig zag stitch.

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hole with panel left attached on bottom.

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panel cut out.

Then I uses safety pins to attach some fleece to get an idea that I was on the right track. I cut strips 6 inches wide at the top. Instead of a curve I made more of a triangle. My inserts were about 3 inches longer than the cut.

IMG_2726I pinned the “curved” side to the panel right sides together. Then stitched with a half-inch allowance. Fleece is stretchy and slippery, so it works best to have the fleece on top.

IMG_2738 IMG_2739Were I a more patient person I would have basted before sewing to help with the slipping. (This would also have allowed me to test the size and be able to rip it out easily if I was wrong.)

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see the extra tail beyond the panel.

Then I pinned the straight side to the main part of the coat right sides together. I made sure to pull the extra tail through to the inside of the coat and stitched.

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tail tucked to inside of coat

To finish I cut a 1.5 inch strip and sewed it over the raw edge of the coat like you would with a quilt binding.

IMG_2751Then I took the last 4 inch scrap for the collar I sewed it (right sides together) to the top edge of the panel and the two fleece sides of the insert.

IMG_2750Then I pinned the ends into the finished edge of the coat. I hand stitched this on because I didn’t want to get the sewing machine out again. I also reinforced the bottom of the pouch insert pieces by hand.

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I thought this would be for Caleb only, but it turns out it works for Simon too. And they can ride arms out if they must although that defeats the purpose in my opinion.

IMG_2749Happy babywearing!

I will update if I get around to figuring out how to cinch the pouch closed to wear this without the baby. If your baby has sensitive skin you might want to sew fleece over the top of the coat for babywearing naps.


#microblogmondays nine months out

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Microblog_MondaysNine months ago today I gave birth. The post I planned for today was to finally finish and post one of the drafts about recovery from birth, the physical and emotional. I have one draft from 3 years ago and one from 8 months ago. I thought nine months would be fitting. But I haven’t had the energy to go there. What I should have done is post my six week recovery post I wrote after Caleb, but I was waiting to take a picture I never took. And those words now are inadequate to describe where we are. I’m not sure why this is a post I can’t write. Maybe I still have too much to process or maybe it’s that I’ve moved on and that story doesn’t need to be told.

What I have learned is that the birth stories as I’ve told them are mine. The boys feature prominently but those stories are about me. From their perspective the story goes something like this, “Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital and I was born. They loved me very much.” Maybe one day the post about recovery will need to be written and maybe not.

But today Caleb is nine months old and he just learned to clap.

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