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April 2009
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June 2009

May 2009

new rhythm

It's mind blowing to me how quickly the hours pass with a new little one. The days fly by even faster when family is visiting, drawn here by a cuddly, cooing new life.

I wondered, as I'm sure all soon-to-be mamas do, how much our lives would change with the arrival of a baby. With almost three weeks on our parenting resumes (I know, you seasoned mamas can insert a laugh right here!) I can begin to see a new rhythm emerging. It's a slower, peaceful rhythm, pulsing along to the beat of a little stomach. When a sweet, petit mouth begins to open and close, I have no qualms about putting down the fabric shears, the broom, or the as-yet-unfolded laundry to quench his thirst. What a joy it is to slow down like this, to enjoy these quiet moments with this amazing, growing person.

So, yes, the crafting continues. Things get done, but slowly and mindfully. We have been very fortunate to have had family in town since Finn's birth to help out around the house. When my parents leave in a few days, this new rhythm will continue to evolve, naturally shaped by the needs of the three of us. Three of us in our own drumming circle, learning to play our own beats in rhythm with the other two musicians, each player adding something unique and complimentary to the mix.

Here's a sampling of what the mama beat looked like this week:

summer blouse 2

The Summer Blouse from Weekend Sewing in Nani Iro double gauze. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the end result. The shirt worked up easily, with a few modifications. I made it in a larger size than I would have normally in order to accommodate any postpartum chest size fluctuation. I did have to modify the bust darts (as you can probably see here - my ironing job is super lax) as well as significantly decrease the sleeve length. I fancied up the sleeves by adding a flared, finished edge. This added a bit of time to the project, but I think the detail really adds to my level of satisfaction with the blouse. Without the flared sleeve, I might have the impulse to wear it as a pajama top rather than an out-and-about top.

summer blouse 1

The double gauze fabric worked wonderfully. It's cool and light yet not see through, with a nice drape. I would certainly not recommend making the blouse in a standard quilting cotton, as it would be too stiff. Cotton lawn or other lightweight cotton would do the trick. And oh, how I would love to have more clothing in double gauze, particularly in the Far Far Away line. Too bad it's so hard to come by at the moment!

(The little bird necklace is my Mother's Day/Birth Day gift from my sweet Patrick - in honor of bringing my littlest bird into the world. I only take it off to shower, and even then, it's with hesitation!)

summer blouse 3

Until next time, in between feedings!

pj pants for a new mama

Thanks again for your warm welcome for Finn - I will be printing off all of the comments on the Mother's Day post and tucking them into some as-yet-unmade memory box for him. I'm sure he will read them one day and treasure them as much as Patrick and I do.

pj pants for everyone ...

Or, the alternate title: "First postpartum sewing project, brought to you by the good folks called Grandparents. Always willing to hold the baby, no questions asked."

The pattern: PJ Pants for Everyone in Weekend Sewing .
The fabric: Liberty of London cotton lawn, leftover stash fabric from one of the book projects.

The pattern is so simple, but the results are divine, especially if you are a new mama with a changing waistline and a penchant for lounging about with a baby in arms, smiling at every crinkle of his nose. How wonderful is it to know that, with the flip of a seam ripper and a flash of a sewing needle, the elastic can be taken in effortlessly to adjust the fit as the empty baby house goes through its own remodels (downsizing, perhaps, from a mansion-esque residence to a more humble studio apartment?) My one tip is this: if you can't find the perfectly-worn, soft vintage sheet for these pajamas, go ahead and splurge on some Liberty. It's ridiculously comfortable and ridiculously pretty. And having a pair of luxurious, hand sewn pajama pants is such a pleasure - akin to the joy of wearing hand-knit socks. No one knows but you, and that's just fine.

Back to the baby nose kissing.

photos from baby land

on movement mat looking at mobile

skinny little foot

Such a wonderful five days - days of getting to know each other; of marveling at the newness of the world and its tiny new inhabitant; of learning about all sorts of poop; of spending every moment staring in his eyes; of looking at my husband with complete admiration as he bonds with his baby ... the list goes on. More photos here.

We're working on the birth story! Have a great weekend

growing season

herb garden on dining room table

You know how pregnant women seem to get thoroughly engulfed by absorbed in their growing bellies? It's been nice to be distracted in these last few hours/days/weeks of pregnancy by the actual growing season. Trips to the farmer's market have been inspirational - we've come home with a blackberry and two blueberry bushes (of different varieties - apparently you need more than one variety so they can cross pollinate), herb plants and flowers. A neighbor was giving away a whole slew of mint plants, which we transplanted out back with visions of mint iced tea and homemade mint ice cream for summertime. (We don't have an ice cream maker, we just place the custard in the freezer and stir it with a fork every hour or so for five hours - the result is thicker than your average ice cream but just as good).

We had a garden when we were living in Mexico. It was a tough, cold climate with poor soil, but we did manage to eek out some greens, radishes, and the ubiquitous beans, yellow squash, and corn. Oh - and one big, red tomato which was grabbed by a passing child before we could get to it.

One thing I miss about our yard in Mexico is the chickens. We "had" chickens. Lots of them. They weren't technically ours, but they had free range of the place. Every morning during the early planting season we would have to run outside in our bed clothes and bust out our best arm-flailing, chicken freak-out dance to get them away from the newly planted garden. It was such a ridiculously fun way to start off the morning!

The cats also love chicken watching. Once, Timoun tried chicken catching ... and let's just say that the chicken won. Big time. Poor cat and his fragile self-esteem.

The big news around here (aside from the baby) is the "Great Chicken Project". Durham just lifted its ban on backyard chickens, and we'll be hopping on board with three or four egg-laying pullets come Fall. This summer, we're taking advantage of my parents' month-long visit (they arrive tomorrow!) and building a chicken coop and run. My dad and Patrick will be building something portable like this. Very functional - we can move the coop/run around the yard so that the ladies can munch on fresh greens and bugs and leave behind their poop for the benefit of future crops.

Do you raise chickens in your small backyard? I'd love to hear your tips!

The child-sized watering can is from Montessori Services. Also, check out this quick post over at Ohdeedoh with ideas for making your yard more inviting for kids.