Monday, June 29, 2009

diaper making as therapy

What got me through the first 72 hours of twin-related shock was making about a zillion diapers.

Because if anything is capable of making you feel warm and welcoming about twins it's the sight of two tiny homemade baby diapers.  I've been comforted by the knowledge that if nothing else these babies will not be going around bare arsed.  They may not have car seats (how do you fit three car seats in a Volkswagen Golf?) or a place to sleep or a college education, but all clothing-related needs will be met.

Also, I figure that if I make a bunch of simple velcro-closing diapers for all the relevant bottoms in the house, then helpful grandparents, friends, and assorted others might find the courage to change a cloth diaper (instead of passive aggressively frowning upon my decision to cloth diaper, not that that's ever happened of course). 

This was a Bummies cover that suffered serious abuse in the laundry.  I cut out the torn parts and used the remnants to make a newborn pocket diaper.  This was my first effort at sewing with fold over elastic and I'm still working out the details.

This is one of SEVERAL fitted (i.e., not waterproof, it needs a cover) diapers I made for Joseph.

I think the little size tag is my favorite part.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

pass the courvoisier

I'm having twins. 

Really. Seriously.  I saw the pictures.  Two people in my belly.  One boy and one girl; both look healthy. 

I was going to write a post about this killer hummus recipe or the crayon carrier I made for Joseph, but all I have to say is:  twins.

Monday, June 22, 2009

some problems solved

1.  It turns out that my sewing machine actually has a walking foot!  Built right into it!  I've had the machine for nine years, dammit, and I had no idea what that thingie was for. I've had all kinds of weird guilt related to the fact that I can't get my machine to work as well as it should.  Now perhaps I can skip another round of therapy and just sew merrily along.  Thank you, internet!

2.  It turns out that cranberry juice actually can clear up a UTI.  For years I've had a love hate relationship with the cipro family of antibiotics:  they end the dreaded UTI but they make me feel like I'm being slowly poisoned.  I had tried drinking cranberry juice but it didn't do anything for me.  It turns out that the trick is drinking bottle upon bottle of the vile unsweetened stuff and gallon upon gallon of water over the course of a few days (i.e., some cranberry juice cocktail with your vodka isn't going to do the trick).  Sure enough, no more UTI.  Thank you, excellent midwife, for giving me that advice!

3.  My iPod speakers broke, and instead of freaking out and immediately buying a replacement, I'm enjoying some quiet.  I think my speakers were enabling a vicious addiction to NPR podcasts.  This holiday from rotten news is doing me quite a bit of good.  It turns out that I actually can shower/fold laundry/interact with my child without NPR in the background.  I feel kind of serene. Thank you, shoddy speaker workmanship!

Friday, June 19, 2009

it's not an abandoned lot

This godforsaken tangle of weeds is actually our vegetable garden.  Between all the weeding I didn't do during that nasty first trimester, and the fact that it pretty much rained nonstop for a month, the weeds have grown everywhere that didn't already have a plant on it.  Next season the key word is mulch.
Despite the weeds, we have a pretty impressive harvest of tomatoes and potatoes.  See those dead-looking plants in the background?  They're potato vines, which apparently die right before you dig up the taters.  I did not know that.  We also have quite a few squash, including some edible-looking butternut squash that's growing out of the compost pile.  It does not look like we're getting any peppers or watermelons, but I figure that the cherry tomatoes alone (which retail for approximately seven million dollars a pint for the organic stuff) alone have very nearly paid for the gardening supplies. 

And, of course, it feels very wholesome to have my little helper out in the garden, picking tomatoes and running amok in his summer uniform of t-shirt, diaper and dirty little feet.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

coals to newcastle (more pants for Joseph)

These are from the "Huck Finn Pants" pattern in Weekend Sewing.  I think these might be my favorite of all the pants I've made for Joseph.  They're a bit wider in the leg than called for in most baby & toddler pants patterns, which makes them look a little fresher.  I'm pretty much going to scrap the rest of my pants patterns and use this one exclusively.  Next time I'll make them either a bit shorter or a bit longer because I'm afraid that at this length it just looks like he's had a growth spurt. 

The pants match this dress, which, since it was so big when I made it will probably fit me for another two months or so.  Maybe. 

Monday, June 15, 2009

insanely tiny baby hoodie

While I was knitting this I kept needing to compare it to actual baby clothes to make sure my gauge wasn't off, because this is one tiny sweater.  I used about a skein and a half of yarn.  We have positive boatloads of newborn clothing, but one thing we never had for Joseph is a warm, cozy sweater; however, it gets much colder in Jacksonville than it does in Phoenix, so this little one will need some winter layers.

 perhaps it should close with buttons instead of a huge needle aimed at the jugular? 

This shade of green/gray/blue is something I'm kind of stuck on.  It shows up a lot in my house and life and I figure it's a decent unisex baby color. I used Lamb's Pride Superwash in Lichen, so theoretically this is machine washable and dryable, but I don't intend to put it to the test.

This pattern (which owes a lot to this) involves NO SEAMING which is good because if I wanted to sew, I would just go right ahead and sew instead of knit.  Also, I think seams might irritate newborn skin.  For the hood I just picked up stitches around the neckline, increased a lot, knit until it was about seven inches, and then grafted the top.  This was my first effort at grafting and it took me a while to get it to the point where I would not be humiliated by the baby wearing it in public.

close up of not-so-badly grafted hood
Next up (after I finish a sweater or two for myself) are more hoodies for Joseph and the new baby.  The degree to which they match will depend somewhat on the results of the sonogram we're having next week...

Friday, June 12, 2009

some purchases, not so much guilt

1. Yarn from KnitPicks.
I've come to terms with the fact that for most of the year, my uniform is skirt/jeans plus camisole/tee plus cardigan. The only problem is the shortage of cute-but-not-precious cardigans in my closet. I decided to make this sweater using the tan cotton in the photo above, six skeins of which cost less than $15. This feels like one of those rare moments when making your own clothing actually dose save money. We'll see how wearable the finished product is, but meanwhile I'm not feeling too bad about the purchase. The lurid pink yarn ($2!) in the photo is because I'm knitting some play sushi and I needed some pink to be the salmon and ginger. All the yarn is insanely soft and I'm dying to cast on.

2. Make up from Everyday Minerals.
I love this company: free samples, great prices, no nasty ingredients. Every now and then I stray (benefit, I'm looking at you) but I always come back. I ordered two huge containers of mineral foundation (one pressed, one loose), one sample of a shade that might suit me for summer, and some lipstick, all for under $30. Again, I feel super-smart about this.

I also bought some new bras at Target ($7.99!!) but I'm not showing pictures, for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Much to my relief, Joseph now has new words every day.  This week's best new words are tea, cook and naan*.  That really tells you all you need to know about our family.  Some 21 month olds might be toilet trained, have vocabularies of 400 words, and understand that hands are not for hitting, but my little boy requests tea in his sippy cup and likes nothing more than to help his mama cook.  I could not ask for better company.

Did I mention that he likes to cuddle?  

*Well...I tried to make naan but it turned out more like lavash or pita.  Good lavash/pita, but still not naan. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

lovely mail

A few months ago I participated in Bird and Little Bird's Celebrating Handmade Swap.  Probably because of some oversight or shipping error, I didn't get anything, but Annie of Bird & Little Bird hooked me up with the fabulous Lisa who sent us a box jammed full of goodies:

*These felt cookies and bonbons

She also sent boxes of the real deal (Jammie Dodgers and French Fancies) since they aren't available in the US.  I do not need to tell you how well these were received in my house. 
*This bag for Joseph to tote his goodies around in:

*And these little colored pencils which I'm jealously guarding and not letting any little fingers get near:
There were also a bunch of other treats in the box, not least of which is a sewing magazine which has filled me with all kinds of fabric-related schemes.

Needless to say, I'm dying to do another swap.