Wednesday, February 11, 2009

She's Here!

Hello everyone!

If you've been following along here, you know I made my last post Sat. evening ("39 weeks") while having "braxton hicks" contractions... [AHEM!]  well about 4 hours after that post went live my contractions were 4 min apart (and VERY real),  and we were on our way to the hospital.  Too funny!
Sidney Luella Draheim was born at 7:18 am on Sunday.
Weight: 7 pounds, 6 ounces
Length: 17 inches

(THREE pushes and she came flying out!!!  Yeah Isagenix!)

She's beautiful and doing wonderfully, and Big Sister is really enjoying her new role.

Praises to our Heavenly Father for our newest little family member- she is indeed wonderfully made! 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

39 Weeks

This'll be a quickie catch-up post to document some of the things we've been doing this week.  My writing style is going to suffer somewhat, as did the quality of the photos- I've been having Braxton Hicks all day and I'm feeling rather diminished both physically and creatively...
Someone this week pointed out that I am due in less than 2 weeks and wondered where I was finding the time to do all this stuff...  Good question!  I guess it's a "fake it til ya make it" kinda thing..  Also, having a very active 5 year old at home with me all day is some very serious motivation to make and do stuff.  I wish I could say I have made as much headway toward preparing for the arrival of baby #2, but that's just not the case.  Tiny baby laundry has been washed and folded, yet sits waiting in a laundry basket.  Keely's bedroom is in a huge state of transition- the loft construction is complete, but now we need to paint, re-arrange, and move her things back into her room.  It's pretty chaotic here, actually, but in a good way that says "We like to do Stuff!".   Since you can never really be sure when labor will begin at this point, I've been trying to cram in as much fun, valentine-y stuff with Keely as possible.  She loves hearts, and I don't want to miss out on all the fun craft possibilities.  We've been making heart animals from construction paper, and working on her embroidered heart cards.  (No pics to post, but I assure you, like everything she makes, they are darn cute!)

For example, our valentine decorations this year are cheerful and set me at ease:

We hung paper heart mobiles across the cut-out in the wall between living room and kitchen.  (Wish I could've gotten a better pic but this was the best I could do- use your imagination!) They're quite lovely as they twist and spin.

Keely made a lovely paper mache valentine lantern using tissue paper and mod-podge.  We made a tube with heavy cardstock, and she did several layers of tissue paper in reds and pinks.  We placed it over my simmer (wax melt) pot, which gives it the warm glow.  (Again, the photo doesn't do justice).

My little Kitchen Helper has assisted me in making some fun lunches this week:

(That oil-slick looking stuff in the mini muffin paper is actually some Hershey's chocolate for dippin' the bananners..)

And I *finally* finished the hat & booties that I was afraid wouldn't be completed before the new arrival:

I'm quite happy with the results- it took forever to figure out how to embellish these little cuties- I made a lot of "test" flowers to come up with a prototype to satisfy my fickle preggo self.

And now, time to rest...

Monday, February 2, 2009

The bestest yarn for baby knits

I'm passionately in love with a sock yarn I just discovered this month.  It's Fortissima Socka "Teddy" yarn.  It's a combo of luscious super wash wool and acrylic.  The knitted result is almost chennile in texture and it's HEAVENLY.  Even better, it's self-striping, which is always a bonus.
I made myself some socks with this stuff over Christmas, and I'm addicted now.  I've almost worn holes in this pair already!

So when Metrodad asked me to "whip up a little knitted baby thing" as a gift for our friends who had a baby last week, of COURSE I had to find a way to use this new favorite yarn.

I settled on an adorable infant hat with ear flaps that I found HERE.  
Props to "Hey Julie" blog for the awesome free pattern!  Because of the nature of the yarn, I had to modify the pattern, which was originally done in stockinette, so it wouldn't curl- but I'm super happy with the results.  This little guy was super quick and the pattern is fool proof and leaves room for lots of personalization options.  For mine, I added removable, tassled ties (that hook onto buttons attached to the ear flaps) and a tassel on the top.  I've got hat envy!

I'm now working on one to match these teensy pink shoes (also in the Fortissima sock yarn of course) for OUR new baby, due in 2 weeks.  I need to embellish these, but haven't quite decided what I want to do yet...
I love knitting little booties!  So quick & Fun!

Flowers in January: A fiber tribute to the Allium

 I'm not normally a bright-color kind of girl.  Earth tones have pretty much always been my thing, and I gravitate toward them naturally.  But at this time of year in Wisconsin, there just isn't much color... ANYWHERE.  Snow, snow, snow.  And not the fluffy sparkly magical kind of snow that blankets everything like marshmallow fluff and is fun to look at.  Nope. This time of year, we've got grimy, sludgy grey piles of snow mixed with salt, dirt, and things we probably don't want to think about.  It can get downright depressing!

In the spirit of livening things up and giving the house a fresher, more joyful appearance, I decided to act on an idea I got the other day.  One of the gals on the Two Peas message board mentioned that she organized her knitting needles by putting them in vases, which I thought was ingenious.  Then I thought, why not take in one step further, and top those needles with stray balls of stash yarn?

Here's what I came up with last weekend- my tribute to the Allium flower, which I love.

I am so delighted to have finally found a use for that scrumptious bright blue Berroco Plush yarn!  It was an impulse buy on sale, two years ago.  (Like I said, I'm more of an earth tones gal) so it's been sitting in my stash trunk all lonesome in the dark.  This is a much better use for it!  

Soon I was raiding my stash to find bright cheerful colors and great textures.  Next came the orange "poppies".  (and to think that I had been kicking myself for impulse-buying ORANGE yarn..!)

And at that point, it was becoming an addiction, and I dug deep to find this coveted stash of retired Sirdar yarn to make these pussy willow inspired Big Boys. (Aha!  Earth tones!)  -To give you an idea of how huge these guys are, the sculpture in the background is nearly two feet tall...

There you have it.  Silly puffball flowers that I stayed up to make until 1am last weekend.  They make me so happy.  And they are ridiculously simple to make.  I was going to type up a little tutorial, but I don't think it's necessary- these are super easy-peasy.   Materials I used were styrofoam balls to save on my stash, wooden skewers, tape, liquid stitch (or any craft glue that dries clear) and yarn.  I thought that chunky, fluzzy yarns like Sirdar snowflake and Berroco Plush were the most charming, but any ole yarn'll do.  Just wrap the yarn around a styro ball, secure the end w/ a skewer, and wrap the skewer with a contrasting color.  I just taped the yarns at the bottom of the skewer, but if I were making them for someone, I'd use a craft glue.  To create varying lengths, I taped skewers (and parts of skewers) together.

If you hop on the yarn-puffball-flower bandwagon, I'd really like to see what you come up with!

Serious warning- they really are really addicting.  Really...